WEST AFRICA – Agtech company, Ignitia has closed a US$ 4.2m financing round led by Novastar Ventures with participation from IKEA Social Entrepreneurship, Future Foodways, Mercy Corps, Norrsken and Finca International.
The funding will enable the company to extend its Sub-Saharan Africa footprint to new markets.
It also represents another stepping-stone towards its 2030 mission to reach 200 million farmers.
Ignitia, headquatered in Sweden, was founded in 2010 by three scientists from renowned research institutions such as NASA, who joined forces to address the seemingly impossible task of producing reliable tropical weather forecasts.
Five years and 20, 000-man hours later, in 2015 the team produced the world’s first hyperlocal, highly accurate tropical weather forecast.
The company uses predictive AI, proprietary algorithms, and uninterrupted 3-D multisource data to create a tropical forecast that is more than twice as accurate as global models in tropical regions.
“We have partnered with Ignitia as they have the best weather forecast machine learning in the industry.”Bernardo Arnaud – CEO Starksat
The services enable agricultural players to make better timed decisions on all farming activities and achieve improved farming outcomes – from preparing the land to harvesting the crop.
Currently it serves 1.9 million farmers across West Africa, mainly in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Mali.
“IKEA Social Entrepreneurship is proud to continue our support for Ignitia so they can scale their work and make a better everyday life for millions more small-holder farmers around the world,” Åsa Skogström Feldt, Managing Director at IKEA SE said.
Being a global provider of accurate tropical weather forecasting, the funding will also be used to expand Ignitia’s agricultural decision-making support into the Brazilian market.
As 90% of Brazil’s agricultural activities depend on rain, Ignitia could play a significant role in stabilizing agricultural value chains through its hyperlocal, highly accurate weather forecasting services.
In fact, Ignitia has secured its first major Brazilian deal with precision agricultural leader Starksat, to serve farmers across 3 million hectares.
“We have partnered with Ignitia as they have the best weather forecast machine learning in the industry.
“We use them in some of our platforms and indexes for agricultural loss prevention and index-based insurance services in Africa and Latin America,” Bernardo Arnaud, CEO Starksat.
Owing to the evolving patterns of weather caused by increased global warming, new technologies have been used to improve productivity and crop yields.
With technology such as real-time agricultural tracking, weather forecasts, optimum field requirements, and the like, precision agriculture allows agriculturists to maximize yields with minimal human effort and gasp.
In addition, this technology helps farmers to monitor their tools and to view the information in real-time using their smartphones.
According to an analysis research report by Facts and Factors, the global Precision Farming Market in 2019 was approximately US$ 5.56 Billion.
The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.7% and is anticipated to reach around US$ 12.84 Billion by 2026.
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