3 June 2021
The Trendlines Agrifood Fund has made a fourth investment, investing in PlanetWatchers, a crop monitoring company that can provide detailed information about any field or property, anytime, regardless of weather conditions in almost real-time. PlanetWatchers’ first application is to dramatically increase the efficiency of the crop insurance claims process, reducing the typical processing time for a claim from many months to a virtually immediate response.
PlanetWatchers uses advanced machine learning to support crop insurers in reporting planting dates, acreage, crop classification and claims validation at scale. Using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data, PlanetWatchers provides accurate insight regardless of cloud cover, bad weather or poor lighting. PlanetWatchers exploits the unique benefits of SAR, to create in-season insights that reduce overheads and increases customer satisfaction.
PlanetWatchers, for organizations such as crop insurance company ProAg, the World Bank and the Environmental Protection Agency, uses time series-based radar data to provide detailed analysis of claims without ever visiting the field. The use of SAR, a powerful remote sensing technology bouncing microwave signals off the Earth’s surface, helps PlanetWatchers to detect physical properties and the changes to them over time, providing valuable insights to its customers.
Our investment in PlanetWatchers corresponds with our goals and objectives: the company has a robust and unique technology enabling direct access to a great deal of data to all players in the agrifood value chain, from the farmer in the field to insurance companies and banks. PlanetWatchers’ management and development teams bring excellent capabilities and a proven track record, which together with us and our financial and strategic co-investors, provide a complete set of skills and knowledge for the future of PlanetWatchers. In addition to PlanetWatchers’ important and direct contribution to its customers, it also makes a very significant contribution to minimizing the world’s carbon footprint. We are confident that PlanetWatchers heralds a new paradigm for preserving our planet’s resources.
Trendlines Agrifood Fund CEO Nitza Kardish, PhD
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