Monsanto leads $11m Series B for agtech company

The company will use funding led by Monsanto Growth Ventures to develop products that combine drones, data analytics and genomics to improve crop yields.

Monsanto Growth Ventures has led an $11 million raise for agtech company Resson.

Resson is developing products it claims will increase crop yields by combining cloud-based analytics with drone and robotics technology and advances in genomics.

BDC Capital, Build Ventures, Rho Canada Ventures, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and East Valley Ventures also contributed to the raise.

The company, based in New Brunswick, Canada, plans to use the capital from the Series B round for product development and to expand its sales and marketing presence, including establishing a new office in California.

“Resson has been able to scalably move beyond NDVI (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index) to detect and diagnose in-season anomalies impacting yield,” said Ryan Rakestraw, venture principal at Monsanto Growth Ventures. “We envision this impressive data-driven technology helping to improve yields, while reducing costs across a number of crops and cropping systems.”

Monsanto Growth Ventures is the venture capital arm of seeds and chemical giant Monsanto and capital and resources to agribusiness start-ups. In February, it led a $7.5 million raise for weather data company Understory Weather. In November, the firm led a €5.7 million raise for Spanish biotech company PlantResponse Biotech.

Spencer Maughan, partner with agtech venture capital firm Finistere Ventures told Agri Investor that there is strong appetite by large agribusiness companies to acquire small firms, particularly in agtech, to drive innovation.