NEC X invests in Verdi, integrates AI platform with NEC’s CropScope

NEC X, the Silicon Valley innovation accelerator backed by NEC’s advanced technologies, announced a new investment in Verdi Expeditions, the world’s first scalable platform for farm automation and personalised plant healthcare.

Alongside its strategic investment, NEC X will collaborate with Verdi to enhance its technology and geographic reach while augmenting NEC's CropScope initiative. This joint effort will enrich farm irrigation practices in Portugal with Kagome, while CropScope will empower Verdi’s farm automation capabilities and expand support for agricultural production.

This partnership exemplifies the mission of NEC X's Elev X! programs, designed to foster strategic alliances, drive innovation, and accelerate the adoption of transformative startups globally.

This also marks Verdi’s entry into Elev X! Boost, which provides startups on the brink of significant scaling with a blend of capital, strategic partnerships, and integrations with NEC’s expansive tech ecosystem.

“With increasingly severe weather and resource scarcity globally, it’s clear that we need new, innovative agricultural infrastructure that is both efficient and sustainable,” said Shintaro Matsumoto, President and CEO of NEC X. “NEC X is committed to addressing this urgent issue through our strategic investment in Verdi, whose innovative solutions are set to transform farming practices. We’re confident Verdi will make a lasting impact, as part of Elev X! Boost and the CropScope initiative.”

"Our strategic partnership, collaboration and integration with NEC X is invaluable as we enhance our AI capabilities and scale our platform to reach new markets.  With NEC’s international reach and deep sector expertise, we are uniquely positioned to be a global leader,” said Arthur Chen, CEO and Co-founder of Verdi. “NEC X’s support is more than an investment – it’s a partnership focused on startup success.”

Founded in 2020 by Canadian entrepreneurs Arthur Chen and Roman Kozak, Verdi  is building modern automation tools for agriculture and solving the scaling challenges that have traditionally prevented the widespread adoption of farm automation. Verdi’s intelligent devices transform existing farm infrastructure (ex. irrigation equipment) into smart systems capable of AI-powered automation, enabling farmers to boost crop and workforce productivity while significantly reducing technology adoption costs. Verdi has also driven sustainable impact for its customers, which include the world’s largest food brands. In 2023, Verdi saved its customers over 30 million litres of water.

This latest investment synergises with NEC’s long-ranging commitment to promoting sustainable and profitable farming. This includes the development of its AI-enabled agricultural information and communication technology (ICT) platform, “CropScope," as well as the establishment of joint ventures such as DXAS Agricultural Technology LDA with Kagome Co.

With this investment, NEC X also joins a roster of other notable investors in Verdi, including SVG Ventures who is part of NEC X’s growing partner ecosystem offering invaluable expertise, resources and opportunities to help startups scale and who made the initial introduction to Verdi at THRIVE’s accelerator demo day in Calgary during Stampede 2023.