Investment Participation in Plant Life Systems Co., Ltd., Japan

Aug. 24. 2018
Marubeni Corporation

Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, "Marubeni") announced that Marubeni undertook a third-party allocation of new shares of Plant Life Systems Co., Ltd. (hereinafter, "PLS"), a company that develops and sells an optimized cultivation support system with specialty culture medium for horticultural farmers.

PLS provides a service by which they are able to determine the optimal way to grow crops by gaining an understanding of the state of agricultural crops themselves through the use of a system of sensors (hereinafter, "sensors") installed in their facility, as well as with an artificial intelligence system which utilizes PLS’s self-developed Plant Biometric Model*. The service PLS provides makes it possible to cultivate high-quality agricultural crops stably with greater yield than was previously possible. Furthermore, since PLS artificial intelligence system does not heavily rely on sensors and does not require expensive facility investment like advanced agriculture, it is easy to introduce their system not only to new horticultural farmers but also to existing ones.

At present, agriculture in Japan is facing numerous problems. The population of farmers is decreasing, there is difficulty in transferring techniques due to the aging population of currently active farmers, there is a shortage in the number of people who want to become the next generation of farmers, and the amount of abandoned farmland is increasing. All of these problems lead to the issue of maintaining the self-sufficiency of food, so improving profitability and productivity in agriculture has become an urgent issue. Marubeni, through its investment in PLS, will work on solving domestic agriculture issues by utilizing artificial intelligence systems.

On April 1st, 2017, Marubeni reorganized the "IoT · Big Data Strategy Office" and on April 1st, 2018, the company established the new "Digital Innovation Department". The new department’s purpose is the promotion and creation of new business models through the use of digital technology. Marubeni and PLS will work together to optimally combine their products, techniques and sales networks in order to provide the agricultural world with new digital solutions. Furthermore, in the future, the duo will strive to build a database for the purpose of providing diverse solutions for production, distribution and sales based on the needs of the consumer.

(*) Plant Biometric Model:A system by which flora are mathematically modeled.

< Outline of PLS >

Corporate Name Plant Life Systems Co., Ltd.
Address Yokohama, Japan
Establishment 2014
Representation Takayuki Matsuoka
Business description Development, manufacturing and sale of systems related to the cultivation of plants
HP https://plantlife.jp/