SmartCap invests into an agricultural efficiency startup VitalFields
November 14, 2012Estonian startup VitalFields, a Startup Wise Guys alumnus, successfully raised a €250,000 seed round from venture investors.
VitalFields focuses on increasing the productivity of farmers by offering a HyperLocal field based weather forecast, plan disease forecasting and farm efficiency analysis. The system is already used by hundreds of farmers in Europe. The investment will enable to deploy the solution in several new countries next year.
"The success and productivity of farmers depends on a lot of different factors. It's extremely hard to keep track of all disease and pest related information. This is why VitalFields is such a valuable tool for farmers," says Mati Koppel, the Director of Estonian Plant Variety Institute and expert of plant diseases.
"We are currently building global pest and disease warning models. If we add HyperLocal weather forecasting to these disease models we are able to warn farmers about plant diseases early and give advice on combating and preventing them. The result will be a higher yield for the farmer," says Martin Rand, the CEO of the company.
VitalFields was started a year ago in 2011 at the international Garage48 hackathlon and the team has also been through a very intensive business accelerator program Startup Wise Guys. The seed round was led by SmartCap, the venture capital arm of Estonian Development Fund and included two Estonian early stage investors, Arvi Tavasti valduse OÜ and Wiser Financial Advisors OÜ.
According to Heidi Kakko, the fund manager of SmartCap Early Fund II. VitalFields is the first positive example of successful finance raising by a graduate of the Startup Wise Guys program. “We are actively looking for the startups with a unique business model able to expand globally. In VitalFields, there are combined a young dedicated team with the potential to disrupt the large market. This time we are also glad to engage the business angels as co-investors, enlarging their investment portfolios" said Kakko.
SmartCap is an investment arm of the Estonian Development Fund managing early stage venture funds and investing into innovative and ambitious Estonian technology companies. SmartCap has the largest portfolio of Estonian innovative startups with currently 16 investments.
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Fund manager, SmartCap
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