Centaur Analytics invites an ancient industry to meet the modern age. From the moment a harvest leaves the field until it reaches store shelves, Centaur tracks its journey monitoring for infestations and prescribing early interventions to prevent any crop spoilage. “Our sensors are the missing link in post-harvest safety. They are designed to withstand direct fumigant treatments and transmit in real-time from any storage container with no required infrastructure” explains Sotiris Bantas, co-founder and CEO.
With their R&D headquarters in Volos, Greece, but a clientele spanning five continents, Centaur proposes an end-to-end solution that can be used in places like warehouses, silos or trains. The sensors and the related software monitor crop data including climate and gases, using cloud-technology to instantly communicate information on potential and current spoilage resulting from things like mould or pests where, traditionally, there would be little or no visibility.
Furthermore, they offer treatment prescriptions and monitor their success in preventing or limiting crop loss. It was this huge potential in eliminating food waste that attracted PJ Tech Catalyst Fund, an EIF-backed venture capital fund in Greece, to invest in the company.
“The difference the investment made is like day and night,” explains Sotiris, “It allowed us to scale up our business, accelerating the manufacturing of our products, hiring new talent and growing the team by ten employees, investing in hardware, software and analytics. We were also able to put some more effort in marketing and sales.”
Optimized for a variety of crops including grains, rice and cereal, coffee and hemp products, fruits and nuts, Centaur can improve predictability and visibility in the supply chain. This reduces inefficiencies, the need for pesticides and consequently the negative impact on the environment. “This is an industry that has relied heavily on ozone-depleting chemicals in the past. New chemicals are not well-studied and need to be closely monitored to be efficient. Our job is to help the industry in this process” says Sotiris.
Company: Centaur Analytics (Volos, Greece)
Type of business: agriculture
EU-supported EIF co-investment: JEREMIE Greece
Financial Intermediary: PJ Tech Catalyst Fund