Arable Labs, a pioneer in data-driven agriculture, closed a $20 million funding round. The company builds affordable tools that help people collect and synthesize site-specific agricultural data. The round was led by Prelude Ventures, and includes new participation by M2O, AVG’s Nassau Street Ventures, and Tridon, as well as investment from Arable’s existing investors including S2G Ventures, Middleland Capital, Ajax Strategies, and Chase Field.
Arable which was founded in 2014 with the conviction that the reliance of agtech on models is useless without real data, and the production of data is pointless without an understanding of modeling, has raised a total of nearly $39 million. It has over 200 customers, including Bayer, Cargill, Driscoll’s, Blue Bottle Coffee, World Bank, UC Davis and Stanford.
“We are at a crucial turning point not just for agriculture as an industry, but for the entire food system and the planet. The challenge before us is how to increase agricultural productivity, efficiency, and sustainability at the same time. I firmly believe the most promising solution lies in using modern data technologies to better understand crop systems, empower growers, and optimize decisions.”Jim Ethington, CEO of Arable
The company’s integrated hardware, agronomic modeling, and software suite enables farmers, agronomists, researchers, processors, and food companies to understand the full crop system at the plant, field, and region level, which helps to reduce risk, improve productivity and optimize for sustainability.
Using a unique set of spectral and thermal sensors, Arable can observe a crop’s development continuously through the season and determine the onset of stress due to, for example, a lack of water or nutrients. Their ground-breaking calibration-validation network of more than 30 scientific research sites employs a machine-learning algorithm to continually improve accuracy, collecting over 36 million data points per day.
The fresh capital, is expected to go toward expanding into Mexico and South America, especially Brazil, where the company has already seen a lot of interest.