Agtech's Arable, announced it has raised $40 million in series C financing. The company will use the new funding to advance climate resilience in agriculture by accelerating product development, delivering new services for customers and expanding its global footprint.
Arable received the very first investment from Tom Steyer and Katie Hall’s new climate investment platform, Galvanize Climate Solutions, which led the fundraising round. In connection with their investment, Saloni Multani, partner at Galvanize Climate Solutions, joined Arable’s board. The funding sees new participation from Qualcomm Ventures. Also joining the round are Arable’s existing investors, including Prelude Ventures, S2G Ventures, Ajax Strategies, Grupo Jacto, Middleland Capital, M2O and iSelect.
The need for new technologies that can improve the financial, productive and ecological outcomes of farming has never been greater. Agriculture is the most prominent shaper of our planet's resources, currently responsible for one quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions and 70 percent of all freshwater use. In addition, our growing population will require producing 50 percent more food by 2050 from the same land area.
“It’s a global imperative that we find new solutions to reduce emissions, increase agricultural resilience, and create a more sustainable food supply,” said Multani, “Arable is at the cutting-edge of farm innovation with technologies that combine the next frontier of connected sensors and machine learning. We are excited to lead this investment round because the company’s technology aligns with our mission to scale vital and urgent climate solutions.”
Climate change has led to greater challenges for farmers spanning reduced access to water, increased weather variability, new crop development patterns, and pest pressures. Global issues such as the requirement for a more transparent and agile food supply chain, rising input costs (e.g., crop fertilizer), and the demand for more visibility into how food is grown have heightened the need for digital transformation throughout the farm-to-food value chain.
“From talking to farmers and agricultural producers worldwide, it really feels like we are at a tipping point. There is an urgent need to improve the productivity and sustainability of farming while at the same time making these systems more resilient to a changing climate and landscape,” said Jim Ethington, CEO of Arable. “Arable is focused on building the tools for the next generation of agriculture that can
unlock productivity through data and digital tools while helping secure farmers’ livelihoods and a stable food supply. We are thrilled to have the teams at Galvanize and Qualcomm Ventures join us on this journey.”
Farmers, agribusinesses and food companies around the globe see promise in digital transformation, but the myriad of complex, disconnected systems continue to present barriers to progress.
“The number one pain point that I hear across the industry is that customers want someone to connect all the information they need in one place and make it easy and intuitive — and that is what we are building,” said Ethington.
With Arable’s streamlined solution, agricultural professionals can quickly and easily access the data they rely on, including weather, soil, plant health and other critical environmental conditions. This enables more informed decisions throughout the season.
To optimize water use, Arable uniquely combines an accurate view of the weather, soil moisture and irrigation amounts with sensors that read the growth and stress of the crop to provide a complete view in one integrated solution. The company has helped customers reduce irrigation by up to 50 percent through this approach while keeping yields and quality consistent.
Arable’s product also helps farmers be more precise and effective in protecting their crops from loss due to pests and disease. Used by agronomists at AgroInnova, a leading agronomic advisor in Central America, Arable’s technology has shown an ability to reduce pesticide use by 15 percent. “If you can use Arable to monitor the plant data, you can make better decisions on when to apply and when not to apply,” said Adolfo Meneses, CEO of AgroInnova.
Consumers have become significantly more mindful of how their products are sourced and delivered in recent years. A 2021 study by Simon-Kucher & Partners indicated that 85 percent of people had shifted their behavior toward being more sustainable in the past five years. As companies look for ways to respond to this shift in consumer mindset and actualize their sustainability initiatives, measuring carbon emissions has taken on even greater importance. In fact, experts suggest that carbon markets have the potential to grow to $180 billion by 2030.
Ethington added, “In addition to being used on-farm for operational decisions, Arable also helps larger companies to see across their entire farm supply chain, enabling them to accurately benchmark sustainability, estimate carbon emissions and sequestration, and predict yield or timing.”
“The output of a model is only ever going to be as good as the data you feed in, and in a space like carbon where money and reputations will be on the line, we believe Arable can help to achieve a level of reliability and trust that can really help farmers and the planet,” said Multani.
To ensure the highest level of data accuracy, Arable has created a unique calibration and validation network of 30 global research institutions on more than 50 sites across 15 different climate zones who partner to produce industry-leading models that continuously improve with time through machine learning.
Today, Arable serves customers in over 40 countries and works with some of the most innovative food and agriculture leaders in the world, including Bayer, Netafim, Absolute Foods, The Nature Conservancy, Treasury Wine Estates, University of Nebraska, Embrapa and The World Food Programme.
“Arable's comprehensive data capture and analytics platform is helping businesses embrace climate-smart agriculture,” said Carlos Kokron, Vice President, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Managing Director, Qualcomm Ventures Americas. “We look forward to supporting and working with Arable as they continue to unlock productivity and sustainability in agriculture.”
Arable’s unique approach to data-driven decision-making resonates with its customers, resulting in four times growth in annual recurring revenue each of the last two years. Arable’s users are drawn to the ability to monitor and respond to conditions in their fields in real time, with active users on Arable’s mobile app increasing by 200 percent in the last 12 months. To support this growth, Arable has doubled the size of its team in the last year and added offices in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Bangalore, India.