National Nut Grower National Nut Grower

Feb 7, 2022
The Bee Corp: ‘Investment will provide resources to maintain momentum’

Indianapolis, Indiana-based The Bee Corp. has secured another $1 million in funding from Flywheel FundIU VenturesIU Angel Network and several other contributors.

These investments in The Bee Corp will be used to expand access to Verifli and introduce the technology to more growers whose yields depend on the strength of hives rented for pollination. Additionally, the funding will be used for key hires focused on supporting market expansion and meeting the demand for noninvasive, accurate pollination assessments.

The Bee Corp owners Wyatt Wells and Ellie Symes.

Verifli uses infrared (IR) imagery to measure the strength and pollination value of a honeybee colony without opening the hive. Beekeepers use Verifli to reduce labor costs associated with sorting hives before pollination and prove the value of their bees when negotiating pricing. Users gain access to tools and information to improve pollination management on the Verifli dashboard, including an interactive hive mapping tool and a customizable report builder.

“We’re motivated by the positive feedback we’ve received since we first started building Verifli in 2018,” The Bee Corp CEO Ellie Symes, said in a news release.  “We’re eager to accelerate product development and introduce Verifli to more growers and beekeepers around the world with this new round of funding.”

“This new investment round will provide the resources to maintain our momentum and capitalize on the mounting interest for fast, accurate, non-invasive hive strength assessments,” said The Bee Corp Co-founder and COO, Wyatt Wells. “These funds will allow us to scale our technology and hire key personnel necessary to support the product as we add more users to the platform.”

Funding will go to scaling the technology beyond the almond industry. Access to hive grading services is a luxury uniquely available to California almond growers. Third-party hive assessments simply aren’t offered to growers of most crops that rely on bees for pollination – including berries, apples, avocados and other staple foods. This new funding will allow The Bee Corp to enter these underserved markets and introduce Verifli to more growers whose yields depend on strong bees and more beekeepers who need an objective method to prove the value of their hives.

“The Bee Corp has always been a winning team. I’m personally a three-time investor and proud the Flywheel Fund has the opportunity to support their innovative hive health technology. Ellie Symes is one of Indiana’s best young CEOs – resourceful, pragmatic and well-connected,” said Pat East, executive director of The Mill, which manages the Flywheel Fund. “Her drive to overcome obstacles that would defeat others will continue to serve The Bee Corp well as they scale their tech to break into new markets.”
“We are extremely pleased to advance the development of one of IU’s most successful student-initiated startups, which marked its fifth anniversary last year, through the support of our expanding IU Angel Network,” said Jason Whitney, vice president of venture development at IU Ventures and executive director of the IU Angel Network. “We hope this new investment will enable The Bee Corp to further optimize its breakthrough technology platform for improving bee colony management and crop pollination and expand the use of this platform in more markets across the nation and world.”

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