Kubota Corporation (Head Office: Naniwa-Ku, Osaka, Japan; President and Representative Director: Yuichi Kitao; hereinafter “Kubota”) has invested in a ‘Series A’ venture funding investment round for Chouette (hereafter “Chouette”), which offers a precision vineyard management solution for the viticulture industry.
With this investment in Chouette, Kubota has taken steps to accelerate its innovation philosophy with the objective of creating new business opportunities, products and services for the viticulture industry. In recent years, the viticulture industry has faced global issues such as labour shortages and environmental regulations. The Kubota Group is intending to expand its community-focused business operations in order to solve these issues by delivering integrated and collaborative solutions, technological advancements and unique customer value across all segments of its business.
Chouette, founded in 2015 in France, offers a precision vineyard management solution that optimises farmers’ decision making. Chouette has developed unique AI and algorithms to analyse images taken from drones and sensors on tractors to detect diseases and tree vigour maps, which offers the possibility of creating prescription maps to optimise the use of inputs. Farmers can manage this information through Chouette’s web-platform, which assists farmers in decision-making.
The strategic positioning of Kubota as a leader in the global agriculture and equipment manufacturing, together with Chouette, will accelerate smart technologies in crop production and shift the business from product sales to providing comprehensive solutions. This is a strategic step for Kubota to become a total solution provider in the wine industry.
In 2019 Kubota established ‘Innovation Centres’ in Japan and Europe as a division for the creation of new business ventures, products and services. This division creates an eco-system which allows innovation to evolve through partnerships with external businesses such as AgTech start-ups, agricultural producers, research institutes and universities.
“With the investment in Chouette, Kubota is taking a new step in accelerating the digital transformation towards autonomous vineyards. Chouette’s platform allows for the optimisation and automation of the decision making process for wine growers, helping them to monitor tree health and vigour, and detect diseases in an early stage. This will close the loop towards controlling our equipment via prescription maps and gathering new data, again via our on-board sensors,” explains Peter van der Vlugt, General Manager of the Innovation Centre Europe.
Chouette, founded in 2015 in France, offers a precision vineyard management solution to optimise farmers’ decision making, especially to help them reduce their usage of agricultural inputs, whilst securing their yields. 100 vineyards are today relying on Chouette for their precise vine monitoring, representing over 20,000 hectares under monitoring.