CropX drives agriculture efficiency through technology
One thing Israel is widely respected for is the advances it has made with regards horticulture in general, and irrigation in particular. There are numerous examples throughout the country where land that was either malarial swamp or desert has been transformed to be a productive resource. Much of this change has been achieved through the use of advanced irrigation techniques – Israeli irrigation companies have an extensive history of exporting their technology globally.
As global warming and population growth demand more outputs from the agricultural and horticultural sector, there is a huge investment in the space. Last year, Google CEO Eric Schmidt‘s Innovation Endeavors fund launched the Farm2050 collective, an initiative designed to accelerate the development and commercialization of agricultural technology.
The first investment since the launch of Farm2050 was announced last month – an Israel irrigation company taking the honor. CropX delivers an adaptive irrigation service. The system automatically analyzes the exact water needs of different parts of each field based on topography, soil structure, and current moisture. Farmers download a mobile app and place three wireless sensors in the ground. These sensors continuously send soil readings to the cloud, where the CropX software determines how to effectively irrigate different parts of the field based on pattern-recognition analysis.
CropX has raised $9 million in Series A funding, led by Finistere Ventures, Innovation Endeavors, and GreenSoil Investments. The company is actually borne of both Israeli and New Zealand research and development – both these countries bring their own experience to the table. Israel has the aforementioned experience leveraging minimal water for maximum gain. New Zealand, on the other hand, has no shortage of water but increasing concerns about the environmental impacts of over-irrigation, and the ensuing water run-off, have led to a desire to apply the correct amount of water for every different situation.