Agtech startup, FluroSat, has raised AU$1.5 million to further develop its state-of-the-art remote sensing tech and predictive decision support for farmers, in its goal of using advanced agronomy to help Australian and US farmers grow more with fewer resources.
The remote sensing imagery is taken by precise hyperspectral cameras on board drones or satellites, meaning it essentially measures crop health from space.
Investors in the round include CSIRO Main Sequence Ventures, AirTree Ventures, and strategic agricultural investors lead by CRDC. Alongside the equity funding, Flurosat has also successfully secured several grants with the help of Cicada Innovations and its Growlab accelerator program.
How will FluroSat use this funding?
“The funding will of course give us the resources needed to continue our rapid growth, however we are most excited about the depth of experience of the investors supporting us,” said CEO and Founder, Anastasia Volkova.
“These investors have experience and knowledge in each of the major parts of FluroSat’s business: deep tech, crop health science, data analytics, and machine learning – as well as direct contacts with growers of high-value crops. This is almost as important as the financial injection.”
FluroSat sees the future of agriculture in AI-assisted farming, where insights and suggestions gathered from satellite and weather data on a paddock level are served to farmers daily each morning to guide their decision making throughout the growing season. It will also keep farmers abreast of long-term changes to yield sustainability, allowing them to adapt activity accordingly.
“We believe that receiving the actionable insights required to manage a farm should be as easy as viewing your morning news feed. Our goal is to give growers and agronomists the cues to make decisions that directly affect ROI,” concluded Anastasia Volkova.
Why has FluroSat attracted this funding?
This advanced level of innovation and problem solving, applied to such a crucial sector, was why Flurosat was able to secure the funding from such prestigious investors.
Michael Zimmerman, Partner at Main Sequence Ventures, said: “Australia is a world leader in innovation for the agriculture sectors, tracing all the way back to CSIRO’s origins over 100 years ago. We are thrilled to be leading the investment in Flurosat, who are bringing together advances in remote sensing, machine learning and crop science to deliver a much-needed solution for industry.”
John Henderson, Partner at AirTree Ventures, said: “The future of farming is precision agriculture. Identifying the perfect blend of water, fertiliser and/or herbicide on an individual plant-by-plant basis is a perfect challenge for computer vision and machine learning. The result will be hugely improved crop yields. We are excited to be supporting Anastasia and the Flurosat team as they build the toolset for tomorrow’s farmers.”
It also explains why Flurosat holds a position within Australia’s only “super incubator”, Cicada Innovations, which is home to 75+ deep tech startups and scale-ups across a range of critical industries.
“Flurosat’s groundbreaking research will have significant impact on our crucial farming and agricultural industries, which is exactly the type of outcome we’re looking for in the start-ups and scale-ups we nurture within our uniquely tech-focused incubator,” said Petra Andrén, CEO of Cicada Innovations.
“The funding injection will also further ensure its vital work and world-leading research can be commercialized, so ends up exactly where it will have the greatest impact – on Australian farms.”