Export Development Canada (EDC) announced today it is investing $7 million in Quebec-based cleantech firm Hortau, which has developed a smart farming platform for agriculture that allows growers to detect crop stress, optimize growth, and reduce water use, energy and environmental impact.
Hortau technology is already being used in places such as California where the conservation of water is critical for growers. However, issues related to a lack of water and drought exist around the globe.
“The reality is, our farmers are facing tougher challenges than ever before as they work to feed a growing population with fewer resources,” said Jocelyn Boudreau, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Hortau. “We know our products make a difference, reducing water use by 25% while increasing yields and this investment will help us bring our solutions to more customers.”
Technology developed by Hortau combines real-time soil tension sensor data with a simple-to-use mobile platform, allowing growers to anticipate the water needs of the crop and manage irrigation accordingly. Hortau’s irrigation management scheduling ensures there is enough water available to meet the crop water demands, even during a heat spell.
“We see a lot of potential in Hortau and know there is a demand for their technology around the world as the need to better manage water resources becomes increasingly important,” says Carl Burlock, Senior Vice President, Financing and International Growth Capital at Export Development Canada. “Global demand is growing across the cleantech sector, and EDC is committed to helping Canadian exporters gain a bigger foothold in the world market.”
Since 2012, supporting Canadian cleantech companies grow their businesses internationally has been a top priority for EDC, which has a dedicated team focused on understanding the industry’s needs and delivering the right solutions for them. In 2017, EDC posted a record CAD $1.5 billion in support of nearly 200 cleantech businesses. One way of doing that is by taking minority equity positions in Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises that have a demonstrated competitive advantage, and international growth aspirations.
Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) also provided Hortau with funding in the amount of $5.9 million this year for new technology development. SDTC helps Canadian entrepreneurs accelerate the development and deployment of globally competitive clean technology solutions.
EDC and SDTC are partners in Canada’s cleantech ecosystem, set up to support the growth of the sector. SDTC helps companies seeking EDC support in the commercialization stage, by sharing their project-related knowledge and expertise. Both organizations are focused on building strong Canadian companies with customers around the globe.
Hortau, a global leader in crop stress management systems, was founded in 2002 by two agriculturally minded entrepreneurs, Dr. Jean Caron, agronomist, Ph.D in Soil Physics, and Jocelyn Boudreau, agricultural engineer, M.Sc. in Soil Physics. Hortau’s patented, crop stress management platform helps growers detect plant stress in real time, ensuring optimal crop growth while reducing water and energy use. With U.S. operations based in San Luis Obispo, California, Hortau has offices, representatives and technicians throughout North America, including a Canada headquarters in Quebec. Learn more at hortau.com.
Export Development Canada (EDC) is a financial Crown corporation dedicated to helping Canadian companies of all sizes succeed on the world stage. As international risk experts, we equip Canadian companies with the tools they need – the trade knowledge, financing solutions, equity, insurance, and connections – to grow their business with confidence. Underlying all our support is a commitment to sustainable and responsible business. To help Canadian businesses facing extreme financial challenges brought on by the global response to COVID-19, the Government of Canada has expanded EDC’s domestic capabilities until December 31, 2021. This broader mandate will enable EDC to expand its support to companies focused domestically.
For more information and to learn how we can help your company, call us at 1-800-229-0575 or visit www.edc.ca.