Connecterra (“Company”), the Artificial Intelligence (AI) leader for the dairy sector has secured EUR 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 HLaw through the process.
Biggest ever series B funding round for a Dutch AgTech
The EUR 7.8 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.
Major traction from key industry players
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. “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”, says Yasir Khokhar, CEO of Connecterra.
Technology for regenerative farming practices
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 tackling regenerative agriculture implementation within the dairy protein supply chain.
The round adds new AgTech and industry insiders as investors in Connecterra.
Alastair Cooper, Senior Investment Director at ADM Capital:
"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:
“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:
“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.”
Existing investors Sistema_VC and Breed Reply amongst others were also part of series B and comment:
Dmitry Filatov, Managing Partner at Sistema_VC:
“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:
“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.”
Grow presence and invest more in AI technology
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.
Connecterra’s mission is to empower farmers of all sizes to increase the productivity of their farms, while reducing the impact of farming on the planet. The company operates a predictive intelligence platform that uses machine learning to provide farmers and industry stakeholders with insights that directly impact farm and value chain efficiency. Connecterra is headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and operates in 16 countries.
About the new investors
Kersia is a global leader in biosecurity and food safety with value added products and solutions to prevent diseases or contamination in both animal and humans at every stage of the food supply chain. In farming, Kersia provides solutions for udder hygiene products, milking machines products, etc. for the dairy segment and animal feed dietary/complements products and aerial surface disinfection for the pig and poultry segment. Kersia operates in more than 120 countries with a workforce of over 1,500 people and a turnover of more than € 300 million.
Founded in 1994, Pymwymicis the “Put Your Money Where Your Meaning Is Community”, a co-owned organisation of European wealth holders who take a frontrunner role in the transition towards investing with care for people and planet. A community that consists of over 150 individuals, families, entrepreneurs and angel investors of different backgrounds, ages and nationalities. We currently invest through the Pymwymic Healthy Ecosystems Impact Fund, a venture capital fund for companies that seek to conserve and restore our ecosystems, with a specific focus on sustainable food systems. By combining our knowledge, passion and money, we bring credibility to the impact investing industry and continuously push for higher standards until investing with care for people and planet is the new norm.
Established in 1998, ADM Capital was established in 1998 and has since then developed proprietary sourcing networks, extensive structuring capabilities and is regarded as a reliable and trusted source of finance in the absence of traditional funding. In 2017, ADM Capital launched the Cibus Fund, a private equity vehicle created to invest in rapidly growing food chain companies that adopt technologies to enable the profitable and sustainable capture of high-growth market and produce opportunities.