reports that the agriculture sector creates 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the second-largest contributor. However, agriculture is also an incredible force for good, with the potential to sequester as much as 10% of anthropogenic emissions over the next generation (FAO
) as farmers continue to adopt sustainable practices and provide nutrition to a growing population in the face of unprecedented challenges. Last year’s IPCC
report showed that the value of the world’s terrestrial ecosystem services roughly equal global annual GDP, indicating a huge lever for meaningful change. Yet up to now, the industry has remained a bit player in the digital revolution already underway in other industries forced to adapt in the 21st century, like manufacturing, commerce, and finance. With Arable’s holistic, reliable, and actionable data system, this is about to change.
We are thrilled to announce that Arable has successfully closed a $20M Series B to help digitize and optimize decisions from seed breeding to food production. After experiencing just over 300% sales growth through the third quarter of 2020, investor confidence in Arable’s technology is a signal of the critical role that data plays in optimizing the food system to meet the urgent challenges
that growers and agricultural companies face in feeding an expanding global population sustainably. The round is led by Prelude Ventures, and includes new participation by M2O, AVG’s Nassau Street Ventures, and Tridon, as well as investment from Arable’s existing investors including S2G Ventures, Middleland Capital, Ajax Strategies, and Chase Field. Mark Cupta, Managing Director at Prelude, is joining our board.
“We are at a crucial turning point not just for agriculture as an industry, but for the entire food system and the planet,” says 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.”
The company’s growth is fueled by partnerships with some of the largest and most advanced players in agriculture and food, ranging from crop input innovators like Bayer and BASF
; to large consumer food companies such as Treasury Wine Estates; to cutting-edge startups like Planet and Terramera. This year, expansion has taken off in Brazil
, where better crop and weather technology must also overcome connectivity challenges in the country’s vast agricultural regions. Arable has partnered with Claro, the Brazilian telecom leader; and Tridon, the VC arm of the agricultural equipment giant Grupo Jacto, is joining the round to bring this vision forward.
“What initially drew us to Arable is their unique approach to improving agriculture and ecosystem resource management through data,” said Cupta. “We seek out companies who are making real change in the world, who don’t flinch in the face of our most fundamental challenges. Arable is following through on their promise by making agricultural data reliable, accessible, and — maybe most important — useful to people who are trying to feed the world in a way that is compatible with our planet’s systems. This is foundational to building the low-carbon economy that we believe will shape the rest of this century.”