EarthOptics raises $27.6M Series B funding to advance data-driven agriculture through actionable soil insights
As we all know, carbon dioxide (CO2) is the leading cause of climate change. Today, the world’s carbon-neutrality goals are front and center right for institutions and governments—and agriculture has the opportunity to play a leading role.
CO2 is also the most prominent greenhouse gas and it lasts for thousands of years in the atmosphere. Soil-based carbon sequestration is one of the most effective ways to remove CO2 from the air and store it somewhere it can’t easily escape. That’s why one tech startup is on a mission to do just that.
Enter EarthOptics, an Arlington, Virginia-based technology platform that gives farmers, carbon markets, and CPG companies trusted accuracy in measuring, reporting, and verifying the amount of carbon stored in the soil. While other companies are using open-source models that estimate carbon retention based on farming practices and/or satellite imagery, EarthOptics provides farmers with tools that have the ability to generate added value across the food supply chain by helping companies offset their GHG emissions and create a new climate-smart product category.
To further advance data-driven agriculture through actionable soil insights, EarthOptics announced it has raised a $27.6 million round of funding, led by Conti Ventures, with participation from Rabo Food & Ag Innovation Fund (RFAIF), CNH Industrial, Louis Dreyfus Company Ventures, and CHS and Growmark’s Cooperative Ventures join current EarthOptics investors Leaps by Bayer, FHB Ventures, S2G Ventures, iSelect Fund, Route 66 Ventures, and Middleland Capital’s VTC Ventures.
Founded in 2018 by John Dombrosky, John Anderson (PhD), and Todd Martin, EarthOptics is an agricultural technology company developing next-generation soil-sensing technologies that give growers revolutionary insights into the physical characteristics of their soil. The company has offices in Raleigh, North Carolina; Arlington and Blacksburg, Virginia; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Fayetteville, Arkansas.
EarthOptics will also use the new cash infusion for product and service offerings to farmers and ranchers working to meet growing customer demand.
“We believe EarthOptics has a clear advantage in soil measurement technology, as they improve the scalability of measurement while helping to reduce extrapolation error,” said Chris Abbott, Co-Head of Conti Ventures. “As we look for technologies that can verify critical soil measurements for growers, we believe EarthOptics stands out in providing agronomic value as well as verification for initiatives like carbon credits.”
EarthOptics uses a combination of ground-based sensors, satellites, physical soil samples, machine learning models and agronomic expertise to help farmers and ranchers make better data-driven decisions about their land. This groundbreaking technology delivers insights to help farmers optimize fertilizer applications, make informed tillage decisions, quantify carbon sequestration and more.
“Our industry-leading technology has huge potential for farmers and agribusiness,” Lars Dyrud, EarthOptics CEO, said. “This funding will propel our growth and enable us to scale the SoilMapper™ platform.”
The Series B funding will expand access to valuable tools and deliver hyper-accurate soil insights, providing immediate cost savings for farmers, who recognize the importance of having comprehensive data about their soil.
“The revival of interest in soil is highly encouraging and much needed. Given the fundamental importance of soil health to the food and agriculture systems, we are excited to support Lars and his team in bringing EarthOptics’ truly disruptive solution to our bank’s global network of farmers, corporates, as well our ecosystem services teams of The Carbon Bank and ACORN,” according to Pieter van der Meche, Head of RFAIF.
“With small margins and unpredictable input prices, farmers are looking for ways to improve productivity,” Dyrud said. “Our product does that in a way that fits seamlessly into individual operations. Farmers no longer must rely on expensive soil analysis from labs. Powerful soil insights from EarthOptics can transform the way decisions are made on the farm.”
“EarthOptics is a leading agriculture platform that accurately measures key aspects of soil health,” according to James Ramey of Middleland Capital’s VTC Ventures. “Ranging from compaction levels and nutrients through carbon sequestration, the company is perfectly positioned to deliver strong ROI for growers while advancing climate resilience initiatives.”