Nectar Technologies scores funding led by Real Ventures

Montreal-based Nectar Technologies has raised funding to support the development and expansion of its precision beekeeping software solution, BeeTrack.

Montreal-based Nectar Technologies has raised funding to support the development and expansion of its precision beekeeping software solution, BeeTrack. No financial terms were disclosed. Real Ventures led the round, with participation from Telus Pollinator Fund for Good and Fondaction as well as existing investors Upper Canada Equity Fund and Third Estate Investment. Nectar’s app was launched in January.

PRESS RELEASE

Nectar Technologies secures funding for North American expansion of commercial beekeeping software solution

November 23, 2021

‍MONTREAL — Nectar Technologies announced today it has raised a private equity round of funding to support the development and expansion of its precision beekeeping solution, BeeTrack, across North America. The investment will allow Nectar to improve the survival of bee colonies through precision beekeeping technology and promote responsible agriculture. The round, led by Real Ventures, with participation from strategic investors TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good and Fondaction, as well as previous investors Upper Canada Equity Fund, and Third Estate Investment. Remi Schmaltz, of TELUS Agriculture, will also serve as an advisor to Nectar to help the company grow and thrive well into the future.

“This investment will enable Nectar to significantly expand its precision beekeeping platform across North America and help significantly improve annual colony survivorship,” said Marc-André Roberge, Nectar’s CEO and Co-Founder. “Our company is on the verge of tracking over 100,000 honey bee colonies across Canada and the United States, with the ambition to expand to more than 300,000 in the upcoming year.” ‍

Launched in January 2021, Nectar’s BeeTrack app was developed together with industry members as a means to combat the significant mortality rates commercial beekeepers have endured recently. Beekeeping is a critical part of the agricultural industry and the global economy as one-third of crops depend on bee pollination. The platform allows beekeepers to collect data from their hives, and make data-driven management decisions to help protect this critical component of our food ecosystem. Combining a smartphone app, a manager’s portal built for the desktop browser, and IoT devices, BeeTrack allows the user to track any input (feed types, disease treatment, location etc.), and measure its impact on hive survivorship. ‍

“A significant part of our diet relies on honey bee pollination. By safeguarding the health of bees, Nectar’s technologies have an impact on the maintenance of biodiversity and the resilience of our food systems,” said Claire Bisson, Deputy Chief Investment Officer at Fondaction.‍

Nectar aims to expand into more commercial operations across North America. BeeTrack is contributing in research settings, including a research project led by Washington State University’s Hopkins lab, which aims to enhance the health and vitality of honey bee colonies while improving crop production.‍

“We created the Pollinator Fund to invest in organizations that are enabling a healthier, more sustainable future for the benefit of future generations,” said Blair Miller, Managing Partner, TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good. “Nectar’s commitment to protecting and enhancing the bee population across North America will promote responsible agriculture and protect food systems, all of which are aligned with our core values.”

Nectar’s commercial beekeeping clients are already seeing the benefits of using the system after just one season. Mike Williams, with MCW Apiaries in Peace River, Northern Alberta, noted the record-keeping functionalities as being a game changer for his business. “We’re really excited about BeeTrack, especially about the ability to track and trace our hives. Having the exact number of weak and strong hives helps us plan our pollination contracts.”‍

“Nectar is driven by a vision of a pollination supply chain where software, data and artificial intelligence promote economic efficiency and ecological sustainability. Conscious of its mission, its team has shown great resilience in pursuing these goals. We are proud to have been their first funder through FounderFuel and to continue to work with the company to transform this crucial industry, “said Isaac Souweine, Partner at Real Ventures.‍

Since 2016 Nectar’s mission has been to grow a sustainable pollinated food supply chain. The company’s desired impact goals are to significantly improve honey bee colony annual survivorship, to ensure an adequate supply of hives for crop pollination, and to leverage pollinator health data to transform conventional agriculture.

Roberge added, “The endgame is to build a sustainable food system where pollinators are considered an essential factor in feeding our planet.”

About Nectar

Nectar’s mission is to grow a global sustainable pollinated food supply chain, currently threatened by the severe decline in pollinators and 40% annual beehive mortality rate.

Nectar uses precision beekeeping technology to help commercial beekeepers raise healthier honey bee colonies in a profitable way. The company provides growers analytics to ensure pollination and brings pollinator data to agrifood stakeholders to optimise towards a resilient food supply chain.

About Fondaction

A forerunner in sustainable finance for the past 25 years, Fondaction brings together individuals that are mobilizing for the positive transformation of society, taking action to make Québec’s economy more equitable, inclusive, green and successful. As a labour-sponsored fund, Fondaction represents tens of thousands of savers and hundreds of companies committed to helping Québec progress. It manages net assets of more than $2.96 billion invested in hundreds of businesses and in financial markets, prioritizing investments that generate positive economic, social and environmental impacts in addition to a financial return. Fondaction helps create and maintain quality jobs, reduce inequalities and fight climate change. For more information, go to fondaction.com or our LinkedIn page.‍

About Real Ventures

Real Ventures is a pre-seed venture capital firm for entrepreneurs who dare to build successful global businesses. Since 2007, Real Ventures has been dedicated to building the Canadian startup ecosystem with a firm belief that it’s people, not money, who build businesses that will change the game. Real Ventures offers mentoring to support founders every step of the way, as well as access to resources and networks to accelerate their personal development and the growth of their businesses. Real Ventures manages $ 325 million divided into 5 funds for an active portfolio of over 100 companies, representing a total valuation currently valued at $ 10 billion.‍

About the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good

The $100 million TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good is one of the world’s largest corporate impact funds, and will focus its investment on for-profit companies and founders committed to driving social innovation. The TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good is an extension of TELUS’ long-standing commitment to leveraging the power of technology to drive positive social and environmental outcomes for all Canadians by funding the development of solutions for transforming healthcare, caring for our planet, supporting responsible agriculture and enabling inclusive communities. To learn more about the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, please visit: telus.com/pollinatorfund.