Israeli farm management software startup FieldIn has raised a $4m second seed round to expand its pest management platform for specialty crops.
FieldIn monitors pesticide applications through a custom sensor while also providing a platform that allows growers to monitor pest threats, pesticide applications, and other remediation tactics.
Using data analytics and artificial intelligence, the software analyzes geospatial, chemical, biological, weather and other data to help growers plan their pesticide applications and then monitor them in real time to spot any errors in the application. The company says that this system allows growers to improve yields, adapt faster to evolving pest resistance, and reduce costs while also reaping the environmental benefits of pesticide efficiency.
“What is important for us is to close the loop. We know the biology, we know the chemistry and we know what is actually happening in the field,” said FieldIn CEO Boaz Bachar, who told AgFunderNews that the company has reached nearly $1 million revenue.
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In addition to monitoring for spraying errors in real time, the platform also assesses the efficiency of a spraying operation by measuring downtime for machinery.
FieldIn’s main clients are tree crop growers in the US, Israel, and South Africa. Bachar said that the company initially set out to target tree crops both because of the higher margins, but also because the canopy makes other forms of sensing, such as remote sensing using drones, satellites, and aircraft ineffective for these crops.
One such client is The Wonderful Company, the world’s largest grower of tree nuts. Bachar says that FeildIn is now managing nearly 100,000 acres for the California company, with 50 to 60 sprayers running simultaneously on an operation that size.
He says that the average spraying operation costs around $50 per acre and if the spraying truck is driving too fast, for example, the application will not be effective and those funds are essentially wasted.
On top of the software as a service offering, the Israeli startup claims to have the largest “AgPest” data set in existence with more than 1 million sprayed acres monitored.
“Our AgPest dataset has reached critical-mass in coverage that enables us to provide unique insights on crops, chemicals, and geographies,” said Bachar.
FieldIn distributes to vineyards, citrus, tree nut, and stone fruit growers in California through Kern Machinery and globally through a partnership with major global crop protection supplier ADAMA Agricultural Solutions.
“FieldIn offers growers a unique spray management system that is economical and easy to use,” said Larry Sitzman, GM of Kern Machinery.
With this new funding, FieldIn plans to expand distribution deeper into California and its other major market, South Africa.
Eventually, Bachar would like to get this data into the hands of the consumer both to provide them with more choice, and to offer a greater reward to his customers.
“When you are going to the store and you are looking at two oranges, I can show you they are not the same fruit. One was sprayed 20 times and one could be sprayed eight times. We think that people should know about that.”