The round is led by Liechtenstein Group with participation by Hamilton Lane and Natural Ventures
N-Drip Ltd. – the fast-growing Israel-based AgTech company with a revolutionary irrigation technology -has closed on a US$44million C round, which may be extended due to investor demand.
Investors include the Liechtenstein Group, Hamilton Lane and Natural Ventures; as well as investors from previous rounds Granot Group, Bridges Israel, Kibbutz Ein Harod Ihud; and a group of US-based investors. Co-founders and investors are Prof. Uri Shani, Dr. Ariel Halperin and Ran Ben-Or.
The company holds a variety of patents around the world which allow farmers to irrigate their previously flood-irrigated fields using only gravity and no external energy to either filter the water or propel it across the field.
The low-cost, easy-to-install and easy-to-maintain system was invented by Professor Uri Shani, Israel’s former Water Commissioner – who is also the company’s Chairman and Chief Technology Officer. N-Drip – led by CEO Eran Pollak, with nearly 100 employees – currently does business in 17 countries, with a special emphasis on the US, India and Australia.
As part of the on-field solution, N-Drip also developed N-Drip Connect – a sensor-based decision-support solution that is unique in its accuracy, allowing farmers and any other interested parties to continuously monitor a given field. The sensor provides real-time recommendations as to irrigation and fertiliser application, offering additional means for maximising water and nutrient usage.
The system can also predict with extraordinary accuracy the size of a harvest as much as six weeks in advance of its scheduled reaping. Although the sensor is ordinarily sold with N-Drip irrigation equipment, the sensor works equally well with any form of irrigation.
Globally, 85 percent of all irrigated fields – in all, more than 600 million acres – are flood irrigated. This includes hot and very dry places such as Arizona – with summer temperatures exceeding 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but in which the vast majority of all agriculture utilises the flood irrigation method.
Flood irrigation is characterised by a highly inefficient water use, massive soil depletion and, in certain crops, the substantial emission of methane; one of the most harmful greenhouse gases. With water resources becoming strained, the N-Drip technology is a game-changer for farmers, governments, water utilities and industry, among others.
Farmers who switch from flood irrigation to N-Drip routinely achieve water savings of 50 percent, yield increases of up to 33 percent, fertiliser reduction of 50 percent, and a drop in greenhouse gases like carbon and methane.
Liechtenstein Group is a worldwide investor in smart, sustainable agriculture among other core investment areas, and is a strategic holding company owned by the Foundation Prince Liechtenstein. Among many other assets it is the owner of RiceTec, one of the world’s largest producers of hybrid rice seeds.
“We are looking forward to assisting N-Drip with the global adoption of its irrigation technology, especially in rice. N-Drip’s technology fits very well with RiceTec and its technology around direct-seeded herbicide tolerant rice. We believe that the combination of these two technologies has the power to transform the way rice is grown and substantially eliminate the negative carbon footprint of rice farming,” said Johannes Meran, Liechtenstein Group’s CEO and Managing Partner. “RiceTec is already developing projects with N-Drip on our own rice fields.”
As part of the current funding round, N-Drip and RiceTec have entered into a strategic cooperation agreement for marketing N-Drip’s technologies in rice fields of the US, India and elsewhere.
“N-Drip has enjoyed remarkable growth, with 7x growth in 2022 and more than 3x percent growth projected for this year,” said N-Drip CEO Eran Pollak. “The current funding round will support the company’s rapid growth at the same time a global water crisis has farmers and policymakers looking for solutions that will allow them to continue growing food and fibre although with less water.
“Farmers with farms of all sizes and in all geographies will be able to make use of our transformative technologies to help assure stability and continued farm income while also joining the worldwide effort to meaningfully reduce agricultural greenhouse gases.”
Deutsche Bank acted as sole placement agent to N-Drip on this transaction.
N-Drip is a privately owned company. So far, including the current round, the company has raised approximately US$80million from strategic and financial investors in the US, Europe and Israel. Among these investors are the company’s founders, Granot Corporation, which led the previous round; Bridges Israel Impact Fund, Metzer, Kibbutz Ein Harod Ihud, RDC and a group of American private investors among others.
The company is currently active in 17 countries, with the centre of management, development and production in Israel (the company’s factory in Migdal HaEmek), and its business activity mainly in the USA, Australia and India. Currently, N-Drip employs nearly 100 employees in sales, research and development, production, engineering and more.
N-Drip’s founders are Prof. Uri Shani, who serves as Chief Technology Officer and Chairman; Dr. Ariel Halperin and Ran Ben-Or. The CEO is Eran Pollak, former deputy director of Budgets at the Israel Ministry of Finance. Other management members are Tami Shor, who serves as COO, and Einav Tabac, the company’s CFO. For more information, visit www.ndrip.com.
Liechtenstein Group is an international group of companies and an investment platform owned by the Foundation Prince Liechtenstein, and is based in Vienna, Austria, operating in the areas of food & agriculture, forestry, renewable energies and real estate.
The Group pursues a long-term investment strategy with an international orientation focused on its four core sectors. Liechtenstein Group also invested in another Israeli company – Agritask, an Agronomic Intelligence & Analytics platform that enables Food & Beverage enterprises to gain control over their agricultural supply by building collaborations across their value chains. Further information can be found at www.lgroup.com.
Natural Ventures is an impact-driven fund that is at the centre of addressing the interrelated challenges arising from climate change, world population growth and transformation of the world’s water systems. Natural Ventures invests across the Water – Energy – Food nexus globally, while accelerating the adoption of innovative technologies into the Middle East and Asia. More information can be found at https://natural.ventures.