Concept

Prospera is using clever computer-vision technology to reinvent the way data is used in agriculture. This tech continuously monitors and analyses plant health, providing information on its development and stress. By capturing visual and climatic data from the field and relaying it to the farmers via the web and mobile devices, Prospera provides clear and actionable insights into how to improve their crops. Specifically, Prospera helps with pest and disease detection, optimising the correct amount of water and nutrients they need, while also monitoring and predicting yield outputs.

How they’re disrupting

Agriculture professionals already have plenty of tech at their disposal, from soil and weather sensors, to aerial images attained by drone and satellite services. But farmers still don’t have the complete picture of what they need to truly “optimise” the production of their crops. Using Prospera, they are able to understand when diseases like blight are beginning to take hold of their potatoes or tomatoes. Such information allows farmers to forecast their yields better, make up for expected losses with other growing efforts, or possibly contain the problem and save their crops. Prospera’s systems use proximal RGB cameras plus sensors that monitor humidity, temperature and light alongside cloud-based software to gather and analyse information that is much more precise than that from drone or satellite imagery. Importantly, this technology also works for vertical crops, i.e. indoor farms, which wouldn’t usually be helped by aerial services.

Disruption potential

There are 570 million farms worldwide. With 4.77 billion mobile users this technology is accessible to most farmers, regardless of location and size of farm.

Investments and future

Prospera has secured $7 million from Bessemer Ventures. Their technology is already being used by farms, especially in Spain and Mexico, with major clients including Walmart, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Aldi. The company is planning on expanding beyond greenhouses, which comprise most of its current business, to row crops and vineyards, and possibly nascent markets like legal cannabis in the U.S.