AI startup Cropsy secures $1.5m in first fundraise

by | Feb 4, 2022 | News

Cropsy Technologies has successfully completed its first capital raise, with the award-winning ag-tech company raising $1.5 million in an over-subscribed round, ensuring it is perfectly positioned to commercialise its world-first AI-enabled crop vision system.

“This capital injection enables us to reach our goal of looking after 10 million vines by the end of 2023,” says co-founder Ali Alomari.

Cropsy unlocks the full potential of crops with its unique visioning technology that combines mobile, continuous and GPS-tracked high-definition image capture, with AI-enabled software to analyse crops and aid decision making for growers. Attached to a tractor and powered by the tractor battery, the Cropsy vision system sees and understands every single plant while a grower runs their daily crop operations, profiling every leaf, fruit, shoot, cane, and trunk in real-time as the tractor passes by. Eliminating sun, shadows, and reflections from the captured images preserves accurate colours and textures regardless of the time or weather.

The technology enables growers to identify pests and diseases early, for targeted spraying and reduced crop loss, as well as efficiently understanding crop growth and saving time for vineyard and orchard managers. It will boost sustainability goals for growers by ensuring resources are not applied when not needed.

The resulting maps can be accessed online and highlight areas of concern and patterns across the entire crop, so growers know precisely how their crop is performing and changing over time. This ‘digital twin’ empowers growers to achieve the previously impossible – understanding the performance of millions of plants at all times, day and night, delivering real-time, GPS-tagged data for insight-driven crop management.

Initially focussed on grapevines and with an exciting product development roadmap, Cropsy will expand into apples and oranges. Outcomes for growers include:

  • Early pest and disease identification for targeted spraying and reducing crop loss
  • Identifying missing, slowing and dead vines to flag re-planting opportunities with unprecedented precision.
  • Crop phenology – analysing bud, shoot, bunch and berry counts for yield estimation and canopy management
  • Time-savings – a digital scout that assists vineyard and orchard managers
  • Forecasting crop issues before they happen by analysing every variable in the growing operation.

Cropsy was founded by Leila Deljkovic and Ali Alomari, who met as engineering students at Auckland University. They were then joined by fellow co-founders Rory Buchanan and Winston Su.

Along the way, they have received R&D funding from Callaghan Innovation and AGMARDT, and received multiple awards, including two Fieldays innovation awards last year and winner of the TIN Top 10 Early stage companies. In 2021 Cropsy was accepted into two accelerator programmes – Startmate and Sprout.

 

About the Author

Vincent Heeringa

Vincent Heeringa is a communications strategist, writer, marketer and PR expert specialising in tech, investment, and sustainability. He was co-founder of Idealog, Stoppress and Good magazines and helped establish the Science Media Centre. He is the host of a podcast ‘This Climate Business’, co-founder of The Feed.co.nz, and a trustee of the Adventure Specialties Trust. And there's nothing he loves more than a good story. vincentheeringa.com

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