Saskatchewan ag tech start-up closes $4-million seed round to develop tech putting grain quality information in farmers' hands.
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Photo by Polina Rytova on Unsplash
Ground Truth Agriculture Inc. has announced the closure of its seed funding round with $4 million to develop technology that will be utilized to create technology to provide farmers with a lab-quality grain analysis right off their combine, in real-time and with location precision.
Ground Truth Ag is combining conventional lab techniques and advanced machine vision tools to provide farmers with real-time, lab-quality grain analysis during harvest to help inform their marketing decisions and agronomic practice.
Once commercially viable, its precise, location-based insights will help farmers see the whole picture by combining bushel-per-acre yield with grade and quality-per-acre insights.
"During harvest on my family's farm, I would think about the effort that went into optimizing that year's yield," explained Kyle Folk, the Chief Executive Officer with Ground Truth Ag.
He added: “And then we would send a grain sample to a lab with a volume equivalent to what comes off a four-foot square piece of land to judge the quality of a harvested area of at least 75 football fields. Where is the precision in that?”
The funding round was led by Conexus Venture Capital Inc. and includes $2 million from its ag tech-focused Emmertech fund. Additional investors include: SaskWorks Venture Fund Inc., Tall Grass Ventures, Golden Opportunities Fund Inc., and WTC Investments LP, as well as private investors and new commitments from existing shareholders.
“Finding an experienced team led by a repeat founder in the ag tech space is extremely rare here in Canada. We are excited to be working with Kyle given his experience in scaling and exiting an ag-tech company,” noted Sean O’Connor of Conexus Venture Capital and the Emmertech Managing Director. “We believe that Ground Truth Ag is the missing piece in helping give meaningful clarity to the farmer on the outcomes of their precision agriculture practices.”
Since it began operations in January of 2022, Ground Truth Ag’s team has grown to include 15 employees working from its Regina, Saskatchewan-based headquarters, creating new jobs in computer vision, mechanical and electrical engineering, software development, and analytical chemistry.
In fewer than nine months, the Ground Truth Ag team had developed a current prototype operating for this year’s harvest on Folk’s family farm—The Holdfast, where it has become a proving ground for ag-tech innovations.
“My dad was an amazing supporter when I built my first ag tech firm over a decade ago and was the first farmer to install its monitors on his grain bins,” Folk said. “With this being his last harvest before retiring, it meant so much to me to see our prototype on his combines for my family’s final harvest.”
Launched in 2021, Emmertech takes a fundamentally different approach to venture capital funding, with an investor base composed predominantly of critical players who work in, serve or have deep knowledge of the agricultural sector.
Emmertech empowers founders to harness data, connectivity, and advanced technologies to lead the next evolution in agriculture, establishing Canada as a global influencer in ag tech. Learn more about Emmertech at www.conexusventurecapital.ca/our-funds/emmertech-fund.
For more information on Ground Truth Ag, visit www.groundtruth.ag.