SpexAI closed oversubscribed Seed Round

Saxovent welcomes innovative agtech startup SpexAI to its investment portfolio...

SpexAI closed oversubscribed Seed Round

Saxovent welcomes innovative agtech startup SpexAI to its investment portfolio

Saxovent Leads Seed Investment Round In SpexAI, Betting On Sustainable Cannabis Production Through AI Technology

Berlin, 05 February 2024: Berlin-based Saxovent Smart Eco Investments GmbH is expanding its portfolio with a promising new member. The innovative startup SpexAI is revolutionising the legal cultivation of cannabis through a combination of artificial intelligence and high-resolution spectral cameras. Together with VIGO Ventures from Poland, TGFS Technologiegründerfonds Sachsen and Alumni Ventures (AV) from the USA, Saxovent as lead investor secures the seed investment round, which is primarily aimed at strengthening SpexAI’s personnel and infrastructure.

SpexAI has developed a revolutionary camera that takes cannabis cultivation to a new level by detecting pests, diseases and cannabinoid levels at an early stage. Artificial intelligence transmits the information to the responsible greenhouse operators and suggests targeted measures through a digital crop consultant. This not only results in significant resource savings, but also optimises yield. After a successful market entry, the company plans to expand the application to other crops such as strawberries and tomatoes.

“Our decision to invest in SpexAI is based on the impressive management team, strong customer demand and proven product-market fit. The attractiveness of the cannabis market and the potential in the greenhouse sector make this partnership a promising step into the future of sustainable agriculture,” concludes Jesko von Viereck, Head of Agriculture at Saxovent.

The founding team of SpexAI, consisting of technology-experienced CTO Ben Niehaus and CEO Nadine Walther, who specialises in human resources and strategy, combine their competencies to strengthen agriculture and use their technology for positive change in the agricultural world. The company was founded in Dresden in 2018 and already has customers in North America, the Netherlands and Australia.

“With SpexAI, we are bringing a revolutionary technology to plant cultivation that enables more efficient use of resources. With the support of Saxovent, VIGO Ventures, TGFS and AV, we are now setting a new standard in the market,” says Nadine Walther, CEO of SpexAI.

Paul Eppinger, Investment Manager at TGFS Technologiegründerfonds Sachsen, adds: “Using artificial intelligence to get the best out of nature – with this approach, SpexAI GmbH is targeting the dynamically growing market of controlled cannabis cultivation, which promises global business potential for the Dresden-based start-up. In addition to its technologically sophisticated monitoring solution, we were particularly impressed by the motivated founding team, which is characterized by a high degree of personal commitment and professional expertise. Based in Saxony, SpexAI has a global network of employees and customers. We look forward to providing additional impetus to the company’s further growth as part of an international consortium of investors.”

“The hyperspectral technology of SpexAI can unlock revolutionary insights on chemical composition and plant health addressing unmet needs of controlled-environment and greenhouse growers. We strongly believe that SpexAI team, with their unique know-how of agriculture industry and digital phenotyping, can deliver on this promise”, says Marek Kotelnicki, Managing Partner in Vigo Ventures.

About Saxovent

Saxovent Smart Eco Investments GmbH is an experienced project developer and impact investor based in Berlin, Germany. The company is active in renewable energy, sustainable construction in the real estate sector and seed financing in the agricultural sector. With approximately 1,000 MW of realised wind projects, Saxovent has a track record of more than 25 years.

Saxovent is characterised by a high degree of professionalism and close cooperation with local and international partners and is committed to climate protection throughout its portfolio.

About Technologiegründerfonds Sachsen GmbH & Co. KG (TGFS):

The Technology Founders Fund Saxony (TGFS) provides equity capital for seed and start-up phases to technology-oriented founders. The fund was launched in 2008 by the Free State of Saxony (including EFRE funds) and Saxon financial institutions and has since supported more than 100 start-ups.

 In 2023, TGFS will launch its third fund generation. TGFS focuses on young, innovative, technology-oriented companies in the fields of ICT, semiconductor and microsystems technology, medical technology, life sciences, environmental and energy technology as well as new media, which are based in or have an operational site in Saxony.

About VIGO Ventures:

VIGO Ventures is an early-stage deep tech VC firm with a focus on photonics, investing globally. With their evergreen structure, possible follow-on investment and hands-on business approach, they support teams with outstanding, scalable technologies that solve identified problems or change the status quo. They have 9 portfolio companies in 5 EU countries and Canada. VIGO Ventures – shedding light on the future by investing in photonics. You can find more at www.vigo.ventures.

About Alumni Ventures:

Alumni Ventures is America’s largest venture firm for individual investors. Founded in 2014, we offer network-powered venture capital portfolios to individual investors and institutions.

• #1 most active venture firm in the US and #3 globally (PitchBook 2022)
• Most Innovative Companies, FastCompany 2022
• Best Alternative Investment Platform, Benzinga 2021
• Portfolio of 1,300+ venture backed companies
• 130+ full-time employees, including 40 full-time experienced venture investors

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