EDF Pulse Ventures invests in startups committed to building a low-carbon future in order to help them grow. That is why it acquired a stake in the French start-up ITK in 2021. After developing all the synergies that the EDF Group's corporate venture capital (CVC) could bring to ITK, EDF Pulse Ventures has sold its shares to the Innoval cooperative group, which will be able to exploit the full potential of this innovative startup.
The INNOVAL group has finalised the acquisition of a majority stake in ITK, becoming its reference shareholder alongside the American cooperative group LAND'O'LAKES, INC. and ITK's founder. This transaction marks the withdrawal of the EDF Group and the STARQUEST investment company from the company.
ITK was founded in 2003 by Eric Jallas, a doctor and researcher in agronomy at CIRAD, and employs nearly 80 people specialising in research and development. It uses science and artificial intelligence to develop predictive solutions to optimise the technical, economic and environmental performance of agricultural production systems.
For INNOVAL, the acquisition of ITK is a further step in the strategy implemented by its Managing Director, Yann Lecointre, of developing upstream technical services to create value in livestock farming. With ITK, INNOVAL has acquired a complementary capacity for innovation, moving from observing events on farms to anticipating them.
ITK, a recognised international player in AgriTech, specialises in the use of agricultural data and its exploitation by various artificial intelligence technologies - whether mechanistic analyses, symbolic and/or deep neural approaches. Over the past 20 years, ITK has developed an AI platform for generating virtual twins of agricultural production systems of interest, which can then be used to improve farmers' forecasts and help them in their strategy to reduce pesticide use and make better use of inputs and irrigation. In SAS mode, ITK markets access to predictive indicators established on the basis of enhanced data and supported by dedicated applications - Vintel, Cropwin, FarmLife and, more recently, Quantik, among others. ITK also offers its scientific expertise in the field of artificial intelligence as part of collaborative research and development projects. By joining the INNOVAL group, the ITK teams will benefit from the proximity with its members to develop a centre of activity applied to livestock farming in addition to its historical missions - perennial crops, annual crops, decarbonisation. ITK joins the INNOVAL Développement business unit, whose mission is to manage the Group's subsidiaries and holdings in order to ensure the profitability of the capital invested by the cooperative for the benefit of its members.
ITK is also the only French-owned manufacturer of bovine monitoring equipment. As a leading player in this market in France with Médria Solutions, INNOVAL intends to step up the development of this equipment, which provides precision, efficiency and working comfort for livestock farmers, while at the same time promoting animal welfare and respect for the environment.
The INNOVAL group is delighted to be retaining the LAND'O'LAKES cooperative, one of the largest dairy cooperatives in the United States and a long-standing partner of ITK, as a shareholder in the company. Lastly,
INNOVAL salutes the commitment of Eric Jallas, who remains the company's second-largest shareholder, to support the integration process and ensure its success.