CNH takes stakes in Augmenta, Bennamann

By: Anthony Wingard

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The manufacturer behind the likes of Case IH and New Holland has added to its portfolio with minority stakes in two agricultural technology companies.

CNH Industrial has acquired a minority stake in precision agriculture business Augmenta following an $8 million funding round 

CNH Industrial will become Augmenta’s strategic partner in crop sending and machinery automation, with future research collaboration between the two also likely.

Based in France, Augmenta uses computer vision and artificial intelligence to develop agricultural solutions.

These include a roof-mounted system with multispectral 4K cameras which scan the field ahead during normal farming operations and using artificial intelligence to calculate exactly what the crop needs in terms of fertiliser or other protective products.

Through using a real-time variable rate which is transmitted instantly, fewer crop protection products are required and in lower quantities, leading to lower operating costs and optimising sustainability.

The Augmenta real-time technology not only analyses crop condition but also compensates for environmental factors, such as light levels, which may impact analysis.

CNH Industrial’s minority stake acquisition in Augmenta follows an announcement on the same by the latter of an $8 million funding round which was led by CNH Industrial.

The funding investment which also included backing from Pymwymic, Marathon Venture Captial and HCVC, will accelerate Augmenta’s standing within the precision agriculture industry.

Augmenta chief executive and founder, George Varvarelis, says the company is excited to callaborate with CNH Industrial.

"We are excited to collaborate with a top tier OEM like CNH Industrial and a prominent impact investor like Pymwymic," says Varvarelis.

"They share our vision of 'Green Technology without Silos' and are determined to help us provide solutions to empower all farmers, regardless of the size of their land or their preferred tractor brand."

CNH Industrial Global Leader – Digital and Precision Solutions, Moten Schmidt, echoed Varvarelis; indicating the partnership will benefit both parties.

"CNH Industrial is delighted to partner with Augmenta, as this collaboration will provide CNH Industrial’s customers with accelerated access to productivity enhancing precision automation technologies, alongside significant sustainability benefits."

Through the partnership, Augmenta’s technology will be available globally through the AgXtend portfolio however in Australia, Augmenta will still be distributed through its Australian supplier, OzValue Ag.

If anything, the acquisition will only benefit both Augmenta and OzValue Ag’s ability to cut through in the Australian market given the $8 million investment from CNH Industrial, and others, into the company.

OzValue Ag Machinery Sales head, Mitch Blackmore, is optimistic about the partnership moving forward.

"[The acquisition] doesn’t change too much with us and Augmenta," says Blackmore.

"If anything, it probably strengthens the relationship we have with them and how we will be able to do our business.

"We’ve been dealing with these guys for two or three years now and we’ve got a really good relationship with them so I look forward to what could come ahead."

Augmenta products can be purchased from OzValue Ag Australia-wide from their base in Ballarat, Victoria. 

**CNH Industrial has also acquired a minority stake in Bennamann, a developer of technologies to capture and repurpose fugitive methane emissions from agricultural and other sectors. 

Based in Newquay, UK, Bennamann uses its technology to process greenhouse gases into liquid fugitive methane for distribution and use as a renewable biofuel.

The minority stake acquisition will see CNH Industrial become Bennamann’s exclusive strategic agricultural technology partner worldwide.

Bennamann chief executive Matt Hague says his company is very excited to be working with CNH Industrial.

"The synergies between our two companies in terms of our commitment to clean energy and helping farmers drive down emissions and become more sustainable are clear," he says.

"CNH Industrial’s investment is going to help Bennamann accelerate growth and also brings to the company a wide range of manufacturing, supply chain and operational expertise."

"We have big plans for the future and this backing, from one of the world’s pre-eminent agriculture technology providers, is a key moment for us," he says.



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