The new investors are AgTech specialists ADM Capital, international food safety enterprise Kersia, and Dutch impact investor, Pymwymic. Existing investors Breed Reply and Sistema_VC are among others that also joined the round.
Connecterra, which is based in the Netherlands, said the funding allows it to accelerate the growth of its predictive AI platform, Ida. Ida has evolved from sensor tech to a full-stack technology and AI platform, combining proprietary sensor hardware, animal data, third-party enterprise data, and machine-learning algorithms.
There has been a rapid digital transformation in the global agricultural sector over the last few months because of COVID-19. Farmers and other key industry players are more acutely aware of the need for sustainable and efficient farming practices.
“Empowering farmers and the industry with a connected, AI driven platform is a necessity for the future of food production. The COVID-19 outbreak has brought into sharp focus the weaknesses in our food system that is disconnected and faces threats from climate change and a dwindling labor workforce. With the support of our top-class investors, customers and partners, we are well positioned to democratize access to our technology to millions of farmers across the globe,” Yasir Khokhar, CEO of Connecterra, said.
Connecterra said it has seen adoption of its Ida platform by industry giants such as Danone, Bayer and food safety expert Kersia. The technology is being used to create sustainable farming models that have eliminated the use of hormones, reduced antibiotic usage by up to 50%, and increased farm efficiency.
The platform is also part of the Farming for Generations (F4G) consortium led by Danone, aimed at tackling regenerative agriculture implementation within the dairy protein supply chain.
Sébastien Bossard, CEO of Kersia, said, “After a worldwide survey regarding AI for AgTech, we identified Connecterra as a promising digital partner. Beyond the technology, assessed during our survey, we have been enticed by the team. Like us, they are customer driven and partnership oriented and this made us decide to work with this innovative company.
“We strongly believe this is the opportunity for Kersia to make big steps in digitalization and to bring technology to our farmers and in their quest to produce better food, both from a food safety perspective, as well as from an economical KPI and CSR standpoint. The latter is a key criterion for us when we choose to partner with a company. Farmers want to make the right decisions at the right time. Connecterra has shown that technology is the right tool to do so".
Rogier Pieterse, managing director of Pymwymic, said, “Connecterra can significantly contribute to the transition of this traditional industry by reducing its negative footprint, supporting smallholder farmers in developing countries and accelerating regenerative practices. We look forward to supporting them in embedding this impact.”
Connecterra said the latest funding will help grow its presence in dairy leading regions such as Europe, North America and New Zealand and further scale out and develop the AI models and technology behind Ida.