US startup Arable Labs has today announced that it has raised $20m in Series B funding for its agriculture digitisation solutions.

The funding round was led by Prelude Ventures, with additional investment in Arable coming from Nassau Street Ventures, Tridon and M20. Existing investors Middleland Capital, S2G Ventures and Chase Field also contributed to the round.

Central to Arable’s offering is a focus on providing rich data for farming, from initial seed breeding through to food production.

This is achieved through the deployment of a host of sensors under its integrated system, which provide real-time data on crop development, weather, soil conditions and more. Among these is a microphone-based system to measure rain intensity.

Together these provide farmers, researchers and processors with detailed insight into how weather impacts crops, providing information about harvest timing, quality and yield.

Arable is already used by a wide range of institutions, including The Nature Conservancy, the University of Nebraska, Syngenta and Corbeta, and is deployed in 39 countries, providing data on 37 different crops.

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“Arable gives me everything I need, all hours of the day, to stay in touch with our crew and make data-driven decisions,” said Charles Dietzel of Carolina Heritage Farms, in North Carolina.

“We reduced our watering by more than 50% compared to last year, which also reduced our risk of fusarium from overwatering. Arable has a tremendous advantage over others in the Ag IoT space—from integration with industry leaders like Netafim and Sentek, to technology, to customer support, to ease of use—and I’ll tell anyone that, hands down.”

Arable Labs funding reflects growing demand for digitisation in agriculture

The successful Arable funding round reflects growing demand for data analysis in the agriculture space, which provides similar real-time insights to those enjoyed by more digital industries.

“We are at a crucial turning point not just for agriculture as an industry, but for the entire food system and the planet,” said Jim Ethington, CEO of Arable.

“The challenge before us is how to increase agricultural productivity, efficiency, and sustainability at the same time. I firmly believe the most promising solution lies in using modern data technologies to better understand crop systems, empower growers, and optimize decisions.

“That’s why Arable’s work is so exciting: we are at the forefront of bringing new data and technology products to one of the core engines of human life, and these innovations will benefit the billions of people who work in agriculture, the food we all eat, and the future of our climate and planet.”

Read more: Spoon Guru nets Series A funding for AI food search technology