Pymwymic is proud to announce a €2 million investment in agro-robotics company Naïo Technologies

Amsterdam, 9 January 2020

Pymwymic is proud to announce a €2 million investment in agro-robotics company Naïo Technologies. With a leading number of weeding robots in the field, Naïo is a frontrunner in its sector and committed to push the boundaries of sustainable food production. For this €14 million investment round, Pymwymic (‘Put Your Money Where Your Meaning Is Community’) teamed up with French sovereign wealth fund Bpifrance via its Environmental Fund (Ecotech) joined by current shareholders Capagro and Demeter.

Over the years agricultural intensification has led to an increase in the use of fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. The increasing use of chemicals impacts our soil, fresh water and crops and exposes both farmers and consumers to toxic components. At the same time, with a global population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, studies show that agricultural production must increase by 70% to meet growing demand. As confirmed also by the European Green Deal, we need a radical transformation in order to feed tomorrow’s population in a sustainable manner.

France-based Naïo Technologies is one of the groundbreaking companies changing the way we produce our food while reducing pollution. Born from a desire to realise sustainable food production and driven by the observation of farmers’ hazardous working conditions, increasing use of pesticides and deterioration of our soils, the company was founded in 2011. Over the years, Naïo demonstrated the ability to develop and sell autonomous field robots which take care of mechanical weeding for the vegetable- and vine industry.

Many of the Toulouse-based team have personal roots in the farming industry and feel a strong commitment to adding real value to farmers and natural environment we so cherish. As of today, they have sold about 150 robots to customers across Europe and North America. Naïo’s robots are built to respect both nature and man: they provide a solution to reduce farmers’ strenuous working conditions and limit the use of chemical weed-killers.

We were eager to get Pymwymic on board to support us to translate our mission into concrete impact targets which drive our daily operations; business and impact in one hand” Co-founder and CEO Aymeric Barthes.

Naio is becoming part of a portfolio of impact companies in Pymwymic’s Healthy Ecosystems Impact Fund. Pymwymic is a frontrunner in impact investing for over 25 years and backed by 75 European families who are committed to mobilise capital for people and planet. Through its venture capital fund, Pymwymic invests in early to growth stage companies that seek to conserve and restore our ecosystems while generating an attractive financial return. The Healthy Ecosystems fund is backed by both Pymwymic members and institutional investors Van Lanschot Kempenand a.s.r.

It is our ambition to change systems for the better of people and planet. What sets Naïo apart is their commitment to make a difference in the daily practice of farmers and their drive for innovation to create more sustainable farming.” Monique Meulemans, Investment Manager, Pymwymic.

 

About Naïo-Technologies

Naïo Technologies is a French AgTech company that was founded in 2011 by robotic engineers Aymeric Barthes and Gaëtan Séverac. The company is based in Toulouse, France, and designs, manufactures and markets farmbot solutions in close collaboration with farmers. Their weeding robots respect both the environment and man: they provide a solution to tackle farm worker shortage, reduce the strenuous physical workload and limit the use of chemical weedkillers.To date, nearly 150 Naïo robots tackle weeding issues across the world: the Oz robot is designed for small-scale vegetable farms, the Dino robot works in large-scale vegetable fields, and the Ted robot handles weeding in vineyards. At the end of 2019, the Naïo Technologies team counted 60 employees, for a turnover of 2.8 million Euros in 2018. www.naio-technologies.com/ Twitter @naiotech / Contact: anouck.lefebvre@naio-technologies.com 

About Pymwymic

Pymwymic is a co-owned impact fund leveraging a peer-to-peer network and exchange of knowledge and expertise. With 25 years of experience in impact investing, we are a frontrunner investment cooperative of private investors who seek to make smart investments that serve people and planet. The Coop invests in impact driven enterprises through SDG themed sub-funds. Our first sub-fund is the Pymwymic Healthy Ecosystems Impact Fund (“PymHEIF”). The PymHEIF is a venture capital fund that invests in early to growth stage companies that seek to conserve and restore our ecosystems while generating an attractive financial return. We seek opportunities that have measurable impact and economies of scale, and take an active role in growing our portfolio companies to the next stage of maturity. Contact: Monique Meulemans, monique@pymwymic.com, https://pymwymic.com/

About  Ecotech & Bpifrance

Ecotech is a 225 M€ venture fund managed by Bpifrance dedicated to French startups developing environmental technologies. Bpifrance is the French national investment bank: it finances businesses – at every stage of their development – through loans, guarantees, equity investments and export insurances. Bpifrance also provides extrafinancial services (training, consultancy.) to help entrepreneurs meet their challenges (innovation, export…). For more information, please visit: www.bpifrance.fr“We are very proud to support Naïo Technologies, a pioneer startup in agricultural robotics, in its new growth. Naïo allows farmers to transform their farms by moving towards precision farming and sustainable agriculture, and thus responding to new consumer demands for the limitation of chemical inputs in crops, to new existing or future regulatory constraints in this area, and to the problems of labour shortages in the agricultural”explain Laura Panquet Senior Investor at Bpifrance

About Capagro

Capagro (https://www.capagro.fr/) is one of the global VCs and recognized pioneer in venture capital dedicated to AgTech and FoodTech investing in Europe, US, Canada, Brazil and Israel. Capagro prides itself in accelerating the growth of its portfolio companies by leveraging the strength, expertise and market reach of its 13 industrial and financial partners; all major players in the agriculture, food production and distribution industry. Capagro believes in the value of fostering strong industrial partnerships between its corporate investors and the management team of its portfolio companies. With €124M under management Capagro invests up to €12M in several rounds to support companies in their commercial acceleration phase. The Fund is led by a multidisciplinary team bringing a wealth of  experience and expertise with a mix of agronomic engineers and seasoned investment professionals. The fund is currently invested in 12 companies; all global leaders in the Ag/Food value chain for fields ranging from Autonomous agricultural robotics, specialty ingredients to food delivery.Demeter and Capagro are very excited by this new financing round that will provide Naio with additional means to pursue a growing Ag Robotics market while maintaining its leadership position. We also welcome the participation of new and prominent investors that confirms the vision and attractive prospects we both shared about Naio when Demeter and Capagro first invested in the company at seed stage in 2015“ explain Riadh Shaiek Partner at Demeter and Tom Espiard Managing Partner at Capagro.”

About Demeter

Demeter (www.demeter-im.com) is the leading European private equity company in energy and ecological transition. Its funds invest between 1 and 30 million euros in companies in the sector at every stage of their development: innovative and disruptive startups, fast-growing SME’s and midcap companies, and infrastructure projects. The Demeter team has 35 people in Europe, located in France, Spain and Germany. With 1,000 million euros under management and 130 investments made over the past 15 years, Demeter has established itself as one of the main energy-transition, environment, and sustainable-development funders. Contact: Riadh Shaïek, riadh.shaiek@demeter-im.com, https://demeter-im.com/en/home/

 

For more information please read our joint press release here.