What does a farmer, a golf course superintendant and a football field manager have in common? Their need for precise data on the state of soil at all times to manage their water resources efficiently and sustainably.
Unlike above-ground solutions, Finnish IoT sensor startup Soil Scout ’s sensor is the only system capable of transmitting moisture, temperature, and salinity data in near real-time from up to 2 meters below the surface, for up to 20 years, maintenance-free.
Now Soil Scout has closed a significant late-seed funding round led by Husqvarna Group, with private investment closing out the round. They plan to use the funding to scale production so they can help more farmers, sports venues, and managers of green spaces around the world better manage their water resources.
“We are extremely excited about the recognition from Husqvarna as they have over a century’s worth of experience in the field and understand the need for water management,” said Soil Scout’s CEO Jalmari Talola. “This funding is important for us as it allows us to improve our collaboration with new and existing partners and customers, as well as extend our product portfolio,”
“We were particularly impressed with Soil Scout’s track record, with high-profile sports grounds like Wembley Stadium and Citizens Bank Park (home to the Philadelphia Phillies) already utilizing the system,” said Björn Axling, Vice President, Corporate Venture Capital at Husqvarna Group. “This, in addition to a strong team and the truly impressive capabilities of the Soil Scout system, convinced us to invest in Soil Scout, ” he continued.
Managing the water resources better
19th generation farmer, doctor in agrotechnology, and inventor of the Soil Scout solution Johannes Tiusanen built the system to give farmers the data they need to become precision agriculture specialists, both conserving water resources and increasing yields on their land over the long-term.
“Quite contradictory to what people think, precipitation actually is inadequate, even here in Finland: we have plenty of water, but agronomically in the wrong place,” said Tiusanen. “When it comes to agriculture, topography, draining and soil composition can lead to different parts of the same field having a substantially different yield potential. At Soil Scout, we have built a future-proof below-ground monitoring solution that can stay in operation and in-situ for decades,” he continued.
Less guesswork, more science
The system also allows farmers and turf professionals like golf course superintendents and sports venues managers to gain a detailed picture of their soil quality while leaving topsoil, pitches, and greens undisturbed.
“The Soil Scout moisture units have exceeded my expectations in their usefulness”, said Mike Boekholder, Director of Field Operations at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. “I feel like we tend to not overwater as much, making management of the clay a bit less guesswork and a bit more science. Any advantage we can get in providing a better-quality surface, I’ll take. They certainly are a nice tool to have and help us tremendously in that regard.”
Providing accurate underground weather from all over the world within 5 years
“The investment is directed to ramp-up international sales and speed up the R&D to develop the current solution to be more customer-friendly and interoperable with different 3rd party systems. Our near-term focus locations are Central- and Southern-Europe, USA and South-East Asia where we will focus to scale and develop sales through channel partners and acquire new business partners from irrigation providers and agriculture consultants. Our main focus market segments continue being high-value agriculture, especially horticulture and vineyards, golf courses and sports fields. We are constantly looking for new partners in these segments. Our vision is to be able to provide accurate underground weather from all over the world within 5 years.” – concludes CEO, Jalmari Talola.