Israeli digital farming platform nets $15m

Qualcomm Ventures led the Series B funding round for Prospera, which will use the capital to support a shift in focus from indoor to outdoor farms, among other initiatives.

Prospera, a Tel Aviv-based digital farming company, has received $15 million in a Series B funding round led by Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of telecommunications equipment provider Qualcomm.

Joined by Cisco Investments, IVC, and Bessemer Venture Partners, Qualcomm’s infusion of capital brings total investment in Prospera to $22 million.

Founded in 2014, Prospera offers software that utilizes data analytics, computer vision and artificial intelligence to help farmers make decisions. The company says its products assists clients in efforts to improve yields by helping identify pests and diseases, optimize the use of labor and make other agronomic decisions.

Prospera chief executive and co-founder Daniel Koppel told Agri Investor in an email that the new funding will be devoted to to expanding Prospera’s customer base through a focus on a wider variety of crops and geographies. In addition, Koppel said the new investment will allow Prospera to shift its focus from indoor to outdoor farms.

“While our system previously focused on the automatic detection of pets and diseases, it has progressed to now cover every aspect of farm production, from agronomy to operations, including irrigation, fertilization, and workforce optimization – digitizing a farmer’s entire business and every decision he/she needs to make,” Koppel wrote. “Based on the vast amounts of data we collect daily, we provide our customers with meaningful insights translating to bottom-line contribution.”

Data-enabled agriculture platforms like Prospera are the top priority of agtech investors, according to an October overview of the agtech investment landscape published by the Boston Consulting Group.

Drawing upon a survey of 50 agribusiness companies and 15 ag tech venture capital firms, the report found that 75 percent of respondents listed data-enabled agriculture as among their top five priorities from a list of 27 agricultural technologies.The report described data-enabled agriculture as being made up of four value chain components: capturing, aggregating and analyzing data; and prescribing actions based on that analysis.

BCG found that agricultural equipment manufacturers have been the most active investors in collecting and aggregating data, while companies offering crop protection products have invested most in technology designed to analyze data and recommend actions.

“Agribusiness executives need to determine which steps in the value chain their company should participate in,” the report’s authors wrote. “Within each selected step, executives must also determine whether the company is best suited to be a leader, a follower, or an enabler of other participants.”