Paul-Tech, an Estonian startup specialising in precision agriculture, has raised €1,4 million in a seed round. The funds will be used to expand into the UK market and advance the product offering.
Paul-Tech is an AgTech platform that harnesses scientific research to help farmers optimise processes by monitoring soil data in real-time. The company utilises soil sensors, built from decades of research, to accurately measure fertiliser potency in soil and inform farmers when they need to replenish. The company was founded in 2019 by Mikk Plakk, Tiit Plakk, Eve Plakk, and Anu Einberg.
The round was led by Estonian fund Superangel, with participation from SmartCap, Honey Badger Capital, the Estonian Business Angels Network (EstBAN), agricultural firm Tatoli AS, Overkill VC and business angels from Sweden. SmartCap Green Fund is financed by the European Union NextGenerationEU Recovery and Resilience Facility funds. SmartCap Green Fund focuses on fostering investments into startups whose activities help to solve environmental problems and achieve the set climate goals.
Better data for better crops
Paul-Tech’s agricultural platform combines proprietary sensors, born out of multiple generations of research, with data analytics, allowing farmers to engage in more efficient management practices. Unlike traditional precision farming methods that rely solely on optical data, Paul-Tech’s technology evaluates the effectiveness of fertilisers in the soil and provides farmers with insights on when they are running low or need to be replenished.
“Our unique soil-based approach provides recommendations based on real-time soil data from the customer’s fields, weather and satellite data, as well as agronomic knowledge,” says Mikk Plakk, CEO and co-founder of Paul-Tech. “As a result, farmers are able to increase crop yield whilst reducing its ecological footprint.”
“Paul-Tech serves as an excellent example of a company that not only provides data-driven services crucial for agricultural enterprises but also significantly contributes to reducing the environmental footprint of the sector,” says Sille Pettai, Fund Manager and member of SmartCap’s board. “SmartCap’s involvement in the funding round is therefore a logical step, together with other strong investors, creating even better conditions for the company’s growth and entry into new markets.”
Today, Paul-Tech’s platform is used already by over 100 farmers from Estonia, Finland, Sweden and the UK. “In the light of growing environmental, societal and economic pressure, sustainable practices are more crucial than ever. We are excited to support Paul-Tech in driving positive change within the agricultural sector and creating lasting value”, says Marko Oolo, partner at Superangel.
Estonia is a well-developed Nordic country, so its exposure to agriculture is limited. But it’s not insignificant, and the sector is treated with the same allure for innovations and improvements.
Forests cover around 50% and agricultural land almost 25% of Estonia’s territory, with agriculture, forestry and fishing accounting for around 2.5% of Estonia’s total GDP. There are around 11,300 farms in Estonia, with an average size of 87 hectares.
Estonia’s innovative approach spans there, too. Besides PaulTech, several other companies strive to make agriculture more effective, efficient, and sustainable. eAgronom supplies knowledge and financial aid to farmers committed to sustainability, using an all-in-one software that simplifies carbon emission tracking. ÄIO transforms Estonia’s largest source of production waste into edible fats and oils.
The state is also putting ahead ambitious goals. The overarching goal of Estonia’s Agriculture and Fisheries Strategy 2030 is to have a preference for local food, a healthy environment and biodiversity, thriving food businesses, and viable rural areas.