Agritech startup SUIND attracts Sunicon Ventures

SUIND, an Indian-Swiss startup, has secured around half a million Swiss francs (INR 5 crore) in a seed financing round led by India’s leading venture capital firm Sunicon Ventures. A pioneer in autonomous crop analysis solutions to promote sustainable farming practices, the startup will use the funds to advance its AI-driven crop protection platform.

Crop diseases and pests are causing a substantial 30% reduction in yields and a $220 billion annual economic loss. Bangalore and Zurich-based startup SUIND aims to revolutionize traditional agricultural methods for crop protection by seamlessly integrating drones, computer vision, and data analytics. The company is developing low-power vision-based AI for fully autonomous drones for crop analysis and spraying in challenging plantation terrains like tea, rubber, or fruit orchards. This technology is critical in efficient crop monitoring and treatment, representing a significant leap forward in agricultural practices.

Furthermore, the startup has also integrated automatic satellite monitoring capabilities, allowing for continuous and comprehensive observation of customer fields. This feature provides real-time updates on crop health and environmental conditions from a macro perspective, enhancing the detailed analysis from the drones. An  AI-driven crop protection system is still being developed.

Positive pilots and growing demand
Kevin Kleber, the startup’s co-founder, expressed that their current technologies are already substantially impacting customers. In a pilot project in rubber tree cultivation (as seen in the image on the right), the system sprayed rubber trees from the top, which would have been impossible without a fully autonomous system aware of its environment. The positive deployment resulted in a significant decrease in defoliation from fungi infections from over 45% to under 15%, compared to conventional methods, while saving time. With these positive results, T^the startup secured more orders for the next season and attracted interest from the tee industry. Currently, the largest customer operates on a diverse set of crops.

Founded in 2020, SUIND has secured capital to accelerate technological advancements, enhance the scalability of its AI-driven crop protection platform, and expand its market penetration in both the Indian and European markets. Sunicon Ventures, a leading early-stage India-focused venture capital firm, has led the INR 5 crore (approximately CHF 520’000) seed round, with participation from Zetta Farms and other prominent angel investors. 

“As we continue to refine our AI-driven crop protection system, our goal remains to improve crop yields, encourage sustainable agriculture, and contribute to a more efficient and profitable agricultural sector. Facing a future where the global population is projected to reach 10 billion by 2050, and with a pressing need to increase food production by 60% while mitigating climate change impacts, the role of our technology is more vital than ever. SUIND is committed to transforming how farmers manage their crops, ensuring our solutions are not only innovative but also accessible and practical for global adoption. We are at the forefront of enabling sustainable global food production,” said Kevin.

With his co-founder Kunal Shrivastava, Kevin has grown the core team to 8 people, with four located in Switzerland, one in the UK and 3 in India. The fresh funding will also allow the team to further grow.