Ceres Imaging gets $25M to intelligently scan crops from above

Agtech startup Ceres Imaging, which uses computer vision and spectral imaging tech to deliver insights about crops to farmers, has closed a new round of funding.

The Oakland-based company has pulled in a $25 million round led by Insight Venture Partners, with participation from Romulus Capital. They have raised around $35 million to date.

Since the company closed their Series A, they’ve continued expanding their efforts beyond vineyards and orchards into “row crops” like corn, soybeans and wheat. While those crops may be lower margin by nature, they offer a big opportunity when it comes to scaling up their operations and tackling problems on a bigger scale.

“Our imagery helps farmers cope with a changing world full of challenges such as climate variability, labor shortages, and depressed markets,” said Ceres Imaging CEO Ashwin Madgavkar in a statement.

Unlike many of the other startups looking to provide analysis of farmers’ crops from above, Ceres Imaging isn’t looking to stick their tech onto drones, instead opting for manned airplanes to carry the substantial proprietary equipment and gather the imagery data in a less automated capacity.

This data goes beyond naked eye imagery, gathering spectral data that can deliver insights into the water and nutrient content of the crops. This data identifies early warning signs for damage and ultimately gives customers in the U.S. and Australia insights on how best to fertilize, water and apply pesticides to their crop, the company says.