SoilSense, a Scandinavian startup helping farmers with sensor-based precision insights, has just raised $230k in a seed round from leading Danish investors. SoilSense provides an automatic soil moisture sensor system for agriculture that lets all farmers save water while increasing yield without the need for special education, equipment or calibrations.
“All you need is to get the sensors in the soil and a mobile phone and our system will help you save water and increase yield”, says Jesper Alkestrup, the founder of SoilSense. “Our vision is that every grower in the world should have access to insights about their irrigation. No matter the size of your farm, sustainable irrigation is the future.”
Example of the SoilSense sensors
Sensors and interface
SoilSense has operations in Denmark, Sweden, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Hungary, Peru, and Kenya. “SoilSense is the only solution on the market that combines sensors I trust with an interface that makes optimizing my irrigation easy” said leading Danish grower, Peter Stybe. “I’ve used other systems before and they were expensive and difficult to use. With SoilSense I can manage it all from my desk instantly”.
SoilSense began in 2017 when Jesper was at MIT. From there, SoilSense grew to Africa and South America. When the first COVID-19 lockdowns struck, the team were in Kenya working with avocado growers. “We were forced out of Africa by the pandemic”, Jesper continues. “However, when we came back home, we saw that Scandinavian farmers, who are quite innovative and digital, also had the same demand for a reliable and data-driven approach to sustainable irrigation.” Today SoilSense supplies leading growers in greenhouses, orchards, and open fields in Scandinavia and EU.
"Our is combining robust hardware and smart software, eliminating the need for time consuming calibrations, which happens automatically via a proprietary algorithm that analyses irrigation data. The reliability of this innovation has been the key for growers and horticultural consultants who trust our system," Jesper says.
As the system is fully digital, there is no maintenance of mechanical parts either, allowing growers and consultants to focus on optimising their production. Calibrations, interpretation, and maintenance have been the biggest barriers for many farmers. “With other sensor technologies including tensiometers or watermarks, we spend so much time and money on replacing units or on interpreting soil and hydrology to use the data. With SoilSense it just works.” says Danish grower Ole Andersen of Orskov Foods. “My previous system wasn’t just expensive. It also required me to have a scientific understanding of the soil and its hydrology in order to use the data”.
SoilSense is backed by innovative Nordic investors: Planetary Impact Ventures and The Footprint Firm are leading a strong Nordic movement to solve global climate-challenges by supporting scalable businesses that address global climate challenges. Tech Station Invest, are a seasoned hardware investor with extensive experience developing and scaling hardware products which will be crucial for SoilSense in order to ramp up their global efforts.
Despite a hard path ahead, Jesper remains confident in SoilSense, believing the right combination of strong team and investors will unlock future innovations for growers all over the world.
Planetary Impact Ventures
The footprint Firm
Tech Station Invest