Trace Genomics, a San Francisco firm which develops AI-enabled tools to aid agricultural yields, has raised $13 million in a Series A funding round led by Stage 1 Ventures.
Since it was founded in 2015, Trace Genomics launched the first scalable soil microbiome test which enables the early prediction of soil diseases, soil health and crop quality.
The firm’s tools use DNA sequencing, artificial intelligence, and a database of microbial species to identify and profile soil microbiomes, interpreting key soil health and disease risk indicators for every soil sample.
These insights can help crop growers use nutrients more efficiently, reduce input costs and the risk of disease and find which seeds, rotations or biological agents will work best for their soil.
Trace Genomics claims that this technology helps aid the move towards more sustainable agricultural production, and the company say it will now expand to corn and soybean crop production next year, with the potential to impact over 170 million acres in the US alone.
Diane Wu, Trace Genomics’ CEO and co-founder said: “We’ve spent our careers working on genomics technology, watching it transform human health in a very significant way.
“We’re passionate about bringing that power to every farmer, using genomics and big data to help them make smarter decisions and materially change our approach to food production.”
Poornima Parameswaran, PhD, Trace Genomics’ president and co-founder added: “People have been looking for ways to tackle global food security – and it’s right there, under their feet.
“Measuring the soil biome is the critical first step in optimising the natural functions present in our soils today, so we can be more precise and economical in choosing seed, nutrients and other inputs.
“Our ability to sustainably utilise our soils today will put us on track to meeting our growing food demands sustainably.”
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