Dutch agritech startup Connecterra lands €7.8m to accelerate industry digitization
Amsterdam based startup Connecterra, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) leader for the dairy sector has secured €7.8 million in a Series B funding round. The round adds new AgTech and industry insiders as investors in the Company.
The new investors are AgTech specialists ADM Capital (investor in AgTech unicorn Aero Farms), leading international food safety enterprise Kersia, headquartered in France and Dutch impact investor, Pymwymic. Existing investors Breed Reply and Sistema_VC are among others that also joined the round. The Company was represented by Humphreys Law through the process.
The EUR7.8 million raised is the biggest ever series B funding round completed by a Dutch AgTech company active in farm animal technology. This is also the largest ever series B investment secured by a European livestock tech company.
With this impressive amount raised, Connecterra has support from major AgTech and industry investors to accelerate the growth of its predictive AI platform, Ida. Ida has evolved from sensor tech to a full-stack technology and AI platform, combining proprietary sensor hardware, animal data, third-party enterprise data, and machine-learning algorithms.
There has been a rapid digital transformation in the global agricultural sector over the last few months because of COVID-19. Farmers and other key industry players are more acutely aware of the need for sustainable and efficient farming practices.
Yasir Khokhar, CEO of Connecterra said: “Empowering farmers and the industry with a connected, AI driven platform is a necessity for the future of food production. The COVID-19 outbreak has brought into sharp focus the weaknesses in our food system that is disconnected and faces threats from climate change and a dwindling labor workforce. With the support of our top-class investors, customers and partners, we are well positioned to democratize access to our technology to millions of farmers across the globe.''
Connecterra has seen adoption of the Ida platform by industry giants such as Danone, Bayer and food safety expert Kersia. The technology is being used to create sustainable farming models that have eliminated the use of hormones, reduced antibiotic usage by up to 50%, and increased farm efficiency. The platform is also part of the Farming for Generations (F4G) consortium led by Danone, aimed at implementing regenerative agriculture practices.
Alastair Cooper, Senior Investment Director at ADM Capital said: “We are most excited to invest into Connecterra. The company is at the forefront of innovation within the dairy industry, powering innovation through its sensors and cutting-edge artificial intelligence. Connecterra’s Ida platform empowers farmers via predictive intelligence to drive productivity and increase sustainability. Ida connects farmers to the value chain whilst increasing animal welfare and improving farm efficiency. Their system harnessing innovative technologies is a natural fit for the Cibus Enterprise Fund which focuses on investment opportunities in the Agri-Food Tech sector. We are excited to help Connecterra continue to evolve and expand into new markets.”
Sébastien Bossard, CEO of Kersia said: “After a worldwide survey regarding AI for AgTech, we identified Connecterra as a promising digital partner. Beyond the technology, assessed during our survey, we have been enticed by the team. Like us, they are customer driven and partnership oriented and this made us decide to work with this innovative company. We strongly believe this is the opportunity for Kersia to make big steps in digitalization and to bring technology to our farmers and in their quest to produce better food, both from a food safety perspective, as well as from an economical KPI and CSR standpoint. The latter is a key criterion for us when we choose to partner with a company. Farmers want to make the right decisions at the right time. Connecterra has shown that technology is the right tool to do so”.
Rogier Pieterse, Managing Director, Pymwymic said: “Connecterra can significantly contribute to the transition of this traditional industry by reducing its negative footprint, supporting smallholder farmers in developing countries and accelerating regenerative practices. We look forward to supporting them in embedding this impact.”
Dmitry Filatov, Managing Partner at Sistema_VC said: “Sistema_VC’s investment focus is on companies disrupting traditional industries with AI. Agriculture is a vivid example of an enormous market using conservative approaches and still influenced very little by modern technology. It creates a good environment for new big ideas and businesses to emerge. Connecterra is one of the most noticeable AgTech companies in Europe, transforming dairy farming with its AI. With a great team on all levels, Connecterra managed to partner with giant Danone and Kersia. Kersia’s latest investment is the best proof of the market’s need”
Emanuele Angelidis, Managing Partner at Breed Reply said: “Since we first invested in Connecterra in 2016, the Company has gone from strength to strength. The high-quality team led by Yasir Khokhar has done an excellent job in building Ida into a platform that can play a significant role in delivering sustainable farming. Connecterra is now a global leader in AgTech, as the strong support this funding round has received demonstrates.”
The latest funding will equip Connecterra with the funding needed to grow its presence in dairy leading regions such as Europe, North America and New Zealand and further scale out and develop the AI models and technology behind Ida.