(Image credit: Jean Wimmerlin/Unsplash.)
PlanetWatchers (London), a crop monitoring company that can offers detailed crop insights, at any time, regardless of weather and lighting conditions, has raised $11m as part of its series A funding round as part of what the company calls its ambitious growth plans. The round was co-led by Seraphim Space Investment Trust plc (London) and Creative Ventures (Oakland, Calif.).
“I’m delighted that PlanetWatchers can now take the next steps on our ambitious journey to tell the story of every field,” comments Dominic Edmunds, Chief Executive, PlanetWatchers. “We are thrilled to have the support of both Serpahim and Creative as co-leads and the other investors in the round. We look forward to expanding our market-leading technology and our commercial footprint together.”
PlanetWatchers reports that it uses advanced machine learning to support crop insurers and the agricultural industry in verifying cover crops, tillage, planting dates, acreage, crop classification and weather damage at scale. The company says it uses synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data to provide accurate insight at scale. PlanetWatchers explains that it exploits the unique benefits of SAR, to create in-season insights that reduce overheads and increase customer satisfaction.
PlanetWatchers says that it works with a large number of crop insurance companies, uses time series-based radar data to provide detailed analysis of claims without ever visiting the field. The use of SAR, a powerful remote sensing technology bouncing microwave signals off the Earth’s surface, helps PlanetWatchers to detect physical properties and the changes to them over time, proving valuable insight to its customers, according to the company statement.
Increasing Footprint, Expanding Teams
The latest funding round follows pre-series A round, which the company closed in June 2021, and will be used to significantly increase its commercial footprint with crop insurers and agricultural input providers, a company statement says. PlanetWatchers says that the proceeds raised will also allow it to continue to invest in its industry-leading SAR-based data analytics alongside the expansion of its commercial teams to maximize opportunities and address the increasing market demand to help solve global food security issues.
“PlanetWatchers have achieved an awful lot over the past year, and I am proud of the entire team at the company,” comments Andre Ronsoehr, Principal, Seraphim Space. “They have established themselves as a great partner to major companies that are vital in ensuring today’s global food supply chains, namely crop insurers and agricultural companies. The team’s capabilities in analyzing synthetic aperture radar data and giving customers actionable insights are second to none, and we are very happy to back them in fulfilling their full potential.”
“Rarely do I see a company so well managed and executed as PlanetWatchers, thanks to its CEO, Dominic, and its executive team,” says Champ Suthipongchai, General Partner, Creative Ventures. “The company continues to grow by leap and bounds since our initial investment and is clearly a category leader within the crop insurance industry. I have utmost confidence in its potential to upend multiple other industries through its satellite aperture radar technology.”