Aachener crop.zone secures equity financing of USD 11 million
crop.zone, manufacturer of the Hybrid herbicide Electrical Plant Control System, has significantly strengthened its capital base for entering series production. Existing shareholders (including Nufarm Limited) and new financial investors (Demeter Investment Managers, Madaus Capital Partners) have increased the equity base of the Aachen-based company by almost USD 11 million.
The innovative crop.zone system offers an electrophysical alternative to herbicides such as glyphosate or diquat. This is because instead of chemically controlling plants, it works with electrical energy that is applied to plants via applicators behind a tractor. These then dry up and the field becomes usable again for new planting without further plowing by the farmer. A highly productive and efficient solution, the technology is also used in harvest and seedbed preparation. In Europe, crop.zone has been successful in the “field” in the desiccation of potatoes for some time. The USD 11 million investment is aimed at opening up new international markets and developing additional agronomic areas of application for the crop.zone system.
Dirk Vandenhirtz (CEO)
„Our focus is on investing in people, production and scaling. crop.zone will transform agriculture by giving farmers a tool to work in a more sustainable, soil-friendly and organic way. Our goal is to rethink the way we farm , and enable farmers to adopt new practices, efficiently implement the EU’s sustainability goals and Green Deal. “
says CEO Dirk Vandenhirtz, highlighting soil conservation and the goals of reducing herbicide use that agriculture faces today. Goals that crop.zone hopes to address with its renewed investment. An investment that will also be reflected in the company’s WoManpower. Because the know-how of the people at crop.zone is the key to further development and the start of series production of the system, which is already in use in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
We see the new investment as a great sign of confidence from our partners in our path to a production-ready product. crop.zone is now a mature
technology that can specifically address the growing challenges in international agriculture. Our system is easy for farmers to use to use, eliminates the need for harmful herbicides, and is a major contribution on the road to climate-positive agriculture. Our system is easy for farmersto
apply, eliminates the need for harmful herbicides and is a major contributor to climate-positive agriculture. “
Existing crop.zone shareholders who co-invested in the current funding round include Nufarm Limited, a leading developer and manufacturer of crop protection solutions and seed technologies. The company, with more than 2,500 employees, serves key agricultural markets in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific and is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. Nufarm Regional General Manager EuMEA, Hildo Brilleman, says Nufarm is proud to strengthen its existing partnership with crop.zone as the company continues to expand its growing portfolio of sustainable solutions for farmers:
“This new round of funding allows crop.zone to expand its technology to new crops and segments. We are proud to be part of this journey to develop a sustainable potato siccation and weed control offering for European growers.
Under our own NUCROP brand, we will launch commercial sales of the crop.zone solution in several European
countries later this year – following a successful trial season already underway – through our agricultural inputs and farm
The investment by Demeter Investment Managers, a major European provider of venture capital and private equity for environmental change, demonstrates the importance of the crop.zone system’s unique selling point as the alternative to pesticides in agriculture. Demeter CEO Cyrille Cabaret says:
Cyrille Cabaret, Managing Director Demeter
“At Demeter Investment Managers, we believe there is an urgent need to find alternatives to chemical non-selective herbicides in
agriculture. The electric-hybrid technology developed by crop.zone offers farmers an innovative, competitive and
ecological solution for crop management. We are pleased to accompany crop.zone team in this new development phase together with
renowned partners such as Nufarm, LBBZ and Madaus Capital Partners.”
Through its subsidiary RWTH Innovation, RWTH is also supporting crop.zone in the current round of funding. crop.zone was already supported at launch through participation in the RWTH Innovation Sprint, a pre-seed funding mechanism of RWTH Innovation supported by the Excellence Start-up Center.NRW initiative of the NRW Ministry of Economics. The Innovation Sprint helped crop.zone to build a prototype and thus validate the business case of their technology.
Bram Wijlands, Managing Director at RWTH Innovation.
“Then as now, the potential of an environmentally impactful technology embedded in the regional research and innovation ecosystem and run by a team with deep industry expertise was the main argument for us to get involved. This technology fully embodies the spirit of RWTH Aachen University as a seedbed for deep technical