Agtech startp Gardin has raised $10.8m (£8.15m) in seed funding for its optical sensors that remotely monitor crops and provide data to farmers.
The Oxford, UK-based startup said it will use the funds to bring its technology to greenhouses and vertical farms in Europe and North America.
Gardin’s funding round was led by Molten Ventures, with participation from LDV Capital, MMC Ventures and Seedcamp. The announcement follows a $1.2m pre-seed round in January 2021.
The company’s proprietary sensors and accompanying analytics software are designed to monitor processes such as photosynthesis in real-time. Its machine learning algorithms crunch the data to provide information that farmers can use to improve crop yields and the unit economics of their harvest.
Gardin also plans the release of new analytics features such as crop forecasting and nutritional density mapping.
Launched in 2020, Gardin claims its “intelligent automation” technology can help farmers combat “shrinking labour pools, thin margins and price uncertainty”.
Its goal is to make nutritious food production sustainable and affordable and it has been conducting pilot trials with vertical farms and greenhouses since March this year.
Gardin has previously received backing from the UK government’s innovation agency via a SMART grant, in which companies secure a share of a £25m funding pot.
“With the new technology, food can be better, tastier and more secure,” said Dr Sumanta Talukdar, founder and CEO of Gardin. “What’s more, the systems that provide it can contribute to the health of our planet rather than advance its decline.”
Edel Coen, investor, Molten Ventures said: “The global food and agriculture system is coming to a tipping point. There are more people, more waste and less land available than ever before: food security and sustainable food production are now enormous challenges we are experiencing at a global scale. Gardin’s unique technology enables a step-change in how and where food can be produced.”