Artemis, formerly known as the indoor-farming company Agrylist, announced today an $8 million Series A round. According to a press release via email, the round was co-led by Astanor Ventures and Talis Capital, with participation from New York State’s Empire State Development Fund and iSelect Fund. The latter two companies are existing investors. The new funding round brings Artemis’ total funding to $11.75 million.
As well as raising new funds, the company has retired the Agrylist moniker and rebranded as Artemis. A new website and new corporate branding are slated for June 2019, according to the press announcement.
Artemis, which was founded in 2015 and is based in Brooklyn, NY, helps indoor farmers better manage the lifecycle of their crops through a proprietary system it refers to as an “enterprise cultivation management platform.” In one interface, which can integrate with existing software tools, the system will help farmers create planting schedules, control the indoor climate, track crop health, detect food-safety issues, and manage labor costs. The system also comes packaged with basic project-management capabilities like to-do lists and daily reminder features.
Increasingly, indoor farmers are turning to these kinds of “one-stop-shop” products to help them make large-scale indoor farming economically feasible and in doing so ensure more consistent production and higher crop yields. Some systems, like those from Liberty Produce and Freight Farms, also bundle hardware like LEDs and the actual grow panels into their end-to-end systems.
Artemis, for now at least, seems more focused on the data aspect of large-scale indoor farming. Gathering useful data on crops and farming operations can help companies not only better monitor crop health, but also help them measure productivity and labor costs, and ensure they’re in line with certain compliance standards.
Even more important, more data could tell us where indoor farming could stand to be more efficient, if indeed it’s efficient at all right now. As Paul P.G. Gauthier explained to me last year, the indoor farming industry tends to claim things that aren’t necessarily backed up by data at the moment. We need more information that can tell us, for example, how much water something like hydroponics actually uses, and where the waste water from those types of operations go.
These are no doubt questions Artemis is tackling, too, as it continues to build out its product. According to the company, the new funding will go towards expanding the Artemis team in product, marketing, engineering, and sales areas, as well as towards scaling sales.