Tel Aviv-based startup Prospera has raised a $15 million Series B to expand the scope of its technology, which uses computer vision and artificial intelligence to help farmers analyze data gathered from their fields. The round was led by Qualcomm Ventures, with participation from Cisco Investments, ICV and returning investor Bessemer Venture Partners, and brings Prospera’s total funding to $22 million (its Series A was covered by TechCrunch in July 2016).
The startup’s new capital will be used enter more global markets, add people to its delivery and customer-facing teams and broaden its services to cover more crops, “including making a key shift from indoor farms to outdoor farms, which has huge implications given that 40 percent of U.S. land is farmland,” says co-founder and CEO Daniel Koppel.
Since its Series A, Prospera has added new customers in Europe, Mexico, and the U.S. and now claims thousands of users, including produce growers for Walmart, Tesco, Sainbury’s, and Aldi.
Its technology has also evolved from its focus on automatically detecting pests and diseases to “every aspect of farm production,” says Koppel. This includes agronomy (the science of soil management and crop production), operations and managing a farm’s labor to increase its bottom line.
Some of the most notable companies also looking at agtech include drone makers like DJI and Agribotix (interestingly, Prospera’s new investors Qualcomm and Cisco are both working tech to support the development and manufacturing of drones).
Koppel doesn’t see those companies as competitors, but as potential partners. “Drones will provide another valuable data stream for our analyses, enriching our database and potentially helping us provide even more value to our clients,” he says.