Israeli robotic beehive maker raises $80 million in private funds

JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Beewise, an Israeli maker of robotic beehives aimed at saving bees from climate changes, said on Wednesday it raised $80 million in a private funding round led by private equity firm Insight Partners.

The round brings total funds to date to $120 million, it said, adding the new financing will go towards meeting rising demand for its robotic beehives.

Beewise said its agricultural technology has saved more than 160 million bees in the past year. Climate controlled and using automated harvesting, the robotic beehives — sheds that are populated by bees and used by farmers — are powered by solar panels.

The artificial technologies (AI) can detect threats, such as pests and pesticides, to a honeybee colony.

It noted that pollination is crucial to life on the planet since 30% of the global food supply and more than 70% of vegetables, fruit, seeds and nuts are pollinated by bees.

Fortissimo Capital, Corner Ventures, Israeli financial firm Menora Mivtachim, lool ventures, Atooro Fund, brokerage Meitav Dash Investments Ltd and Sanad Abu Dhabi also participated in the funding round.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer)

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