Constellr raises $10M to monitor crops from space
The German startup Constellr has raised a $10 million seed round to monitor crop conditions from space.
Why it matters: Constellr says the data from its satellites can improve harvests while reducing irrigation. And water consumption is just the first step.
Details: Lakestar and VSquared co-led the round.
- FTTF, IQT, Amathaon Capital, Natural Ventures, EIT Food, OHB Venture Capital, Next Humanity and Seraphim participated.
State of play: Roughly 70% of the world's freshwater supply is used for agriculture.
- Yet about 60% of that water is wasted, at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars.
What they're doing: Constellr's microsatellites monitor the planet's surface temperature and chemical composition. The goal: spot potential problems before they harm crops.
- "We are moving from damage to symptom, from using visual proxies to physical, chemical measurements," co-founder Max Gulde tells Axios.
- Constellr launched a demonstrator satellite in February. It plans to use the capital to build another two satellites, each about the size of a refrigerator.
How it works: The chief revenue stream is an SaaS play: offering data to Big Ag conglomerates such as BASF, which would then lease or sell the insights to farmers.
- "It’s a difficult task to go from farmer-to-farmer to provide the service on a farm-level basis," Gulde says. "To deliver a tailored product is something that we at a small company simply couldn’t do at this point in time."
What's next: Constellr hopes to launch its next two satellites in 2024.
- It's in talks with the European Commission and the European Space Agency to become part of the continent's space industry ecosystem.
- The company is also eyeing expansions into monitoring biomass and other verticals.