Press release

2016.12.26

Routrek, Smart Agriculture Company, Raises 400 Million Yen Spurring domestic and international expansion of IoT farming system ZeRo.agri

Routrek Networks, Inc. (head office: Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa; president: Shin’ichi Sasaki; hereinafter “Routrek”) has allocated new shares to third parties and raised 400 million yen. Routrek develops and markets ZeRo.agri, a next-generation soil hydroponic system.

Recipients of the capital increase are Globis Capital Partners & Co. (head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; CEO : Yoshito Hori), The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Co. Ltd. (head office: Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo; president: Tomotaka Goji), TechAccel Ventures, LLC (head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Managing Director: Nobuhiro Yasuoka) and Oisix Inc. (head office: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo; Chief Executive Officer and Founder: Kohey Takashima). A total of 400 million yen has been raised.

This has spurred the extension of ZeRo.agri into the market of general pipe-house cultivation, which occupies 97% of the total area of facility horticulture in Japan. Furthermore, “IoT × agriculture = ZeRo.agri” will be extended through open cultivation and the global market.

In 2010, Routrek entered the agriculture market with a project assigned by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, based on the M2M technology it has accumulated since its founding in 2005. In 2013, Routrek commenced collaborative development with Meiji University and launched ZeRo.agri, a IoT soil hydroponic*1 system. As a device for controlling the environment of the underground part of soil*2, ZeRo.agri automates irrigation & fertigation. ZeRo.agri obtains such data as the amount of solar radiation and soil moisture content inside the house using sensors. Based on this data, it calculates the optimal amount of soil moisture and fertilizer in accordance with crop growth using its own algorithm on the cloud, which was collaboratively developed with the School of Agriculture, Meiji University. ZeRo.agri automatically supplies culture solution, which is a mixture of water and nourishing solution. The system is capable of maintaining an optimal soil environment for crops without putting much stress on them. Conventionally, farmers have added water and fertilizer to the soil without understanding its condition. ZeRo.agri makes it possible to visually monitor the soil condition in the house and to control it accordingly.

Currently, 50 units of ZeRo.agri are in operation at home and abroad. The use of ZeRo.agri to control the soil environment in accordance with crop growth has brought a 30% increase of crops for experienced farmers and more than double an increase for new farmers. Fertilization control is said to require decades of experience and knowhow. Using ZeRo.agri to control irrigation & fertilization and to automatically and consistently control the soil environment increases the yield and improves quality, making it possible to support new farmers and to consolidate and enlarge a farm.

The recent capital increase will continue to strengthen development, sales activities, marketing, support and personnel and quickly advances ZeRo.agri to a new stage of development.



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Field equipped with ZeRo.agri

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Automatic fertigation with ZeRo.agri

Explanation of ZeRo.agri service is available at: http://www.zero-agri.jp/



【Information about the four funded companies】
Globis Capital Partners & Co.
Business Venture Capital Established December 2001
Representative Yoshito Hori
Chief Executive Officer
Location 5-1 Nibancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Co. Ltd. (UTEC)
Business Venture Capital Established April 2004
Representative Tomotaka Goji
President
Location University of Tokyo UCR Plaza 4F,
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
TechAccel Ventures, LLC
Business Venture Capital Established February 2016
Representative Nobuhiro Yasuoka
Managing Director
Location 5-29-20 Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Oisix Inc.
Business 1. EC
Organic and natural food online grocery “Oisix”
http://www.oisix.com/
2. Physical store
3. Fulfillment outsourcing service
Established June 2000
Representative Kohey Takashima,
Chief Executive Officer and Founder
Location 1-13-12 Higashi-Gotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo