WATERLOO, ONTARIO, CANADA March 28, 2022 — Ontario-based software startup IntelliCulture has secured U.S. $1.36 million in seed financing to fuel the growth of its farm management platform. The round consisted of a group of strategic investors and industry experts, led by Emmertech (an agtech focused VC fund managed and operated by Conexus Venture Capital) and supported by 519 Growth Fund.
Founded in 2018, IntelliCulture provides equipment management software for farms to provide insights into spray coverage, operational health and labor management. The platform helps growers realize savings through digitizing and automating the management process. Since inception, IntelliCulture has grown to serve growers across North America, ranging from small-town family operations to Fortune 500 wineries. IntelliCulture also was named as an agtech startup to watch in 2022.
With the closing of the seed round, the company will be “pouring more fuel on the fire”, says IntelliCulture CEO Cole Powers.
“We have more growers and product requests coming inbound than we could have ever anticipated, so we will certainly be growing the team," Powers says. "We plan to double our headcount within the next year, and this support and capital enables us to scale smarter, faster and go further.”
Kyle Scott, managing director at Emmertech, had the following to say about the IntelliCulture investment and team: “The IntelliCulture team is built to win – they bring an outstanding capability set and more importantly a drive to truly make a difference that shows up in everything they do. We are thrilled to be backing this team as they solve some of the biggest problems in the sector.” With a laser focus on supporting the agriculture ecosystem, Emmertech brings together key ag leaders from across Canada in their LP base. Coupled with the 519 Growth Fund, the groups bring a deep amount of industry expertise and business guidance to support the IntelliCulture team on their growth trajectory.
IntelliCulture primarily serves growers in the high-value crop space, but it is extending its reach into other crop types through its plug-and-play platform. They offer IOT devices that are backwards compatible with all makes, models and years of machinery on the farm that feed data into their reporting and software. By outfitting the entire farm with devices, growers are able to better understand their spray coverage and efficiencies, as well as manage upkeep of their assets.
“Seeing our growers transition from journals and whiteboards to literally saving hours in a day through our completely automated system to manage their fleet is a huge win for us at the IntelliCulture team,” says Powers. “These day-to-day wins are what make the switch to technology worthwhile, and it still makes me smile every time I hear one of our growers share how they are able to get home an hour earlier because of the system. I will never forget having breakfast with one of our California growers, where the ranch supervisor told us "[he] just bought [his] first house and is really looking to get some balance back in life the last 6 months. The GPS units really help with that; [he] used to have to drive all over the county and now [he] can come home for dinner.'”
The bigger savings, though, come from a review of seasonal data. IntelliCulture notes that is where the future of the platform lies, in predictive algorithms in overall farm planning and operation. Some of their long-standing customers are already redesigning their future vineyard layouts and managerial practices based on the recommendations from the IntelliCulture platform to realize efficiency gains in excess of 30%.
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