Israeli robotic beehive maker raises $80 mln in private funds

JERUSALEM, March 30 (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.

A man cycles next to a robotic beehive, developed by Israeli startup Beewise, in Beit Haemek, Israel July 29, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

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, lool ventures, Atooro Fund, brokerage Meitav Dash Investments Ltd and Sanad Abu Dhabi also participated in the funding round.

(This story refiles to correct company statement to remove reference to Menora Mivtachim as an investor, paragraph 6)

Reporting by Steven Scheer Editing by Jeffrey Heller

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