Arable, which makes tools that collect and synthesize agricultural data, announced today that it raised $20 million in its Series B funding round. This round was led by San Francisco-based Prelude Venture Capital, and brings the company’s total funding to $38 million.
I spoke with the CEO of Arable, Jim Ethington, on the phone this week, and he said the company will use the new funding to expand globally and increase its teams in Brazil, Chile, and the U.S. Additionally, the funding will be used to continue the company’s efforts in R&D, including new undisclosed projects.
Arable’s proprietary tech is called the Arable Mark 2, which is essentially a frisbee-shaped disc with several sensors that attaches to a pole. This hardware can be set up by a farmer in as little as 5 minutes. The sensor is able to monitor important metrics like rainfall, humidity, soil moisture, plant temperature, solar radiation, wind speed and direction, and chlorophyll index to name a few. After this data is collected, a farmer can go onto Arable’s app to check these metrics. Additionally, the app can be set to send notifications for any information collected that is important or out of the ordinary.
There are a few other Agtech companies besides Arable focusing on using unique techniques for data collection. Hawaiian-based Sensei Ag has built a 10,000 sq.ft. greenhouse, and uses an AI platform to collect crop data and implement an algorithm for growing practices. InnerPlant recently launched its first sensor plant (a tomato plant) that is fed a particular protein, and using a camera with augmented reality, the plants appear to be a different color when stressed, under attack from pests, or dehydrated.
The Arable Mark 2 and the system that comes along with it start at $850 a year. This subscription includes the hardware, the app, service, and support.