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Hexafarms bags €1.3M funding round

Forecasting yield four weeks in advance with 90% accuracy, and beyond

Hexafarms, a German software startup, has bagged a €1.3 million pre-seed investment led by Speedinvest with participation from Mudcake. The new funding will be used to further develop its AI and machine learning capabilities as well as expand hexafarms' team of R&D experts.

"Currently, we see a lot of producers relying on their main grower for the forecasting. However, that comes with a lot of work as you need to prune the fruits, check them regularly, and look at the weather to create a 4-week forecasting. This is a very time-consuming and labor-intense task, whereas with our forecasting model, all you need is cameras and sensors for data gathering which will create your 4-week forecasting," says David Ahmed, Founder and CEO of Hexafarms.

David Ahmed

'CEA is not dead'
Whilst following the same mission, which is to address the inefficiencies in food production depending on manual labor, Hexafarms has pivoted more towards greenhouse producers as they have shown massive interest in the software. "Growers love the fact that they can pull data from our platform and read into what needs to get done in the facility to get the best results."

Sometimes David gets frustrated by the fact that often it's said that 'CEA is dead'. However, the growing demand for their SaaS product proves otherwise. "There are just some companies that might not have made the best decisions on automation or other unit economics. We want to help growers optimize their growing operations and clearly, there's a big market out there for us yet to explore."

This fresh round of funding, which brings the total capital raised by hexafarms to over €2.5 million, will enable hexafarms to continue to invest in its AI and machine learning capabilities, increasing the accuracy of predictions, as well as growing the company's portfolio of crops. hexafarms currently has a wide portfolio across Europe based on public information on supported crops and cultivars and is processing an estimated 9 million kilos of strawberries and tomatoes for this quarter.

An impression of the interface

Even though they initially created the software for vertical farms, David still sees potential for the smaller-sized, and certainly, large vertical farming companies. "They are especially interested in detecting diseases, however, we've accidentally baked into a complete climate computer which is super appealing to greenhouse growers."

David jokes that Hexafarms has been competing with main growers to prove the accuracy of their forecasting models which are Machine Learning (ML) based, thus constantly improving over time. Predominantly targeting strawberry and tomato growers, the team has seen a strong interest in their SaaS solution in the high-tech greenhouse market.

"Even partnering with high-skilled growers, we have proven 90% forecasting accuracy for tomato yields and 80% for strawberry yields. That number is increasing every year through our smart algorithms and ML-based software. Given it's autonomous forecasting, it's hands-off. Just tell us how much data will be harvested, install the cameras which will feed the data itself, and eventually, everything will be processed and ready for the end-user to read off the interface."

The Hexafarms founding team

Investors comments
"We have strong confidence in hexafarms and cannot wait to see them further develop their AI and machine learning capabilities and expand their team of experts. We are convinced that their app will transform commercial food production through optimization and digitalization," says Andreas Schwarzenbrunner, Partner with Speedinvest's Climate Tech & Industrial Tech investment team.

"Using their unique AI-optimized software for commercial greenhouses, hexafarms will help ensure food security for current and future generations. We are proud to back them in that important mission," shares Anna Ottosson, Founding Partner at Mudcake.

For more information:
hexafarms GmbH
David Ahmed
[email protected]