VitalFields, the Estonian startup that wants to help farmers make better use of data and act as a warning system for disease and pest issues, has raised a €250,000 (approx. $318k) seed round led by SmartCap, the venture capital arm of the Estonian Development Fund, in addition to participation from two Estonian early stage investors, Arvi Tavasti valduse, and Wiser Financial Advisors.
A graduate of the accelerator, Startup Wise Guys, VitalFields offers farmers precise weather data for their fields, along with focusing on things like disease forecasting, and providing tools to make it less labour-intensive for farmers to log more data from which the system can then provide those forecasts and conduct a “farm efficiency analysis”. This is potentially quite a big deal, since farmers, perhaps unsurprisingly, don’t always have access to or make great use of data, instead relying on less scientific practices.
“We are currently building global pest and disease warning models. If we add HyperLocal weather forecasting to these disease models we are able to warn farmers about plant diseases early and give advice on combating and preventing them”, says Martin Rand, CEO of VitalFields, in a statement.
It makes sense that today’s investment was led by SmartCap, the investment arm of the Estonian Development Fund managing early stage investments. In October, the fund announced that it was putting aside €1 million to co-invest in Startup Wise Guys alumni — and so it is that VitalFields has benefited from this arrangement.