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KisanHub Raises £1.75m for Big Data Potato Platform

22 January 2018. UK-based startup KisanHub has raised a £1.75 million ($2.43m) second seed round to expand its farm management and data analytics software platform capabilities, with a focus on enhancing weather predictions. The round was led by UK-based B2B tech venture capital firms Notion Capital and IQ Capital. Calibrate Management and other angel investors also participated in the round.

Founded in 2013, KisanHub uses big data analytics, cloud computing, and machine learning to compile data from satellite imagery, weather stations, soil sensors, and other sources. The platform offers yield predictions, pesticide application monitoring and other features for potato growing, which helps sellers manage contracts and supports farmers’ decision-making.

The platform also integrates market data and compliance requirements for potatoes, and provides information and makes recommendations on crop protection products.

KisanHub’s target customers are agriculture enterprises, such as suppliers, processors, and retailers that own some of their own farmland but work with a network of contract farmers. The company is able to integrate enteprises’ existing software or excel systems to provide a bespoke solution.

Farmers, while not KisanHub’s main focus, also use the technology as enterprise partners roll out the software across their networks. Roughly 2,300 growers in the UK and 700 in India use KisanHub’s software, all paid for by the enterprise customers.

KisanHub sources data via hardware and imagery partnerships, including one with satellite imagery provider Planet Labs. It also integrates public data.

The startup is planning to use its latest round of funding to deploy 100 of its own weather stations across the UK. KisanHub has not been able to get the level of granularity it wants from publicly available weather data, says Sachin Shende, KisanHub’s co-founder and CEO. Installing its own wealther stations will enable the platform to deliver more precise weather predictions.

Another focus for the company this year will be integrating telematics data from farm machinery into the platform.

Shende hopes these enhancements will help researchers support farmers in achieving better yields and bring value to KisanHub’s customers and growers. “At the moment there is a yield-gap between research and the fields,” he said. “We want to close that gap by capturing that data in our platform.”

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