The world of agriculture is changing. Driven by the growing expectations of consumers demanding cleaner and greener products, and predicted climate change, farmers are modernising and turning to digital solutions to improve yields and help create sustainable systems. Technology in the form of AgriTech is beginning to play a decisive role in the evolution of farming. Enter Sencrop.
Sencrop was founded five years ago by Martin Ducroquet and Michael Bruniaux. Their aim was to use technology and ultra- local real time data to enable farmers to make informed decisions with which to protect and grow their crops.
Their journey began five years ago, back in 2016 when the introduction of new low-power and long-range telecom networks in rural Europe made the use of connected objects possible.
Martin and Michael came up with the idea of creating a mobile application to enable them to monitor their plots remotely, enabled by sensors that farmers and farmer’s groups can deploy in their fields. The sensors track and communicate a wide range of meteorological information such as rainfall, hygrometry, wind speed, temperature and solar radiation.
The risk-management platform allows them to observe and analyse meteorological and in-field conditions and therefore foresee and counter potential risks such as the appearance of certain diseases, crop-destroying insects or hazardous weather conditions like frost or heavy rains. Thanks to its data-storing capabilities and decision support tools, farmers can better organise their time and resources. With the Sencrop app Farmers can be notified, for example, of the right time to plant or harvest their crops and where or whether treatments are required thus helping to prevent overuse of pesticides or fertilisers and protecting crops from unnecessary toxicity.
The app’s collaborative data-sharing possibilities provides farmers with information and warnings issued by agricultural partners and other sencrop users over a wide territory. Crop advisors and inspectors can also access and assess crop data at a distance without having to go out into the fields, a big plus, especially during last year’s strict lockdown.
Sencrop’s solution applies to all farm sizes and types of agriculture, from viticulture to potato and fruit farming to grain crops. Their offer is accessible and flexible so as to allow all farmers to benefit from their technology, whatever their profit margins.
Why Sencrop ?
Sencrop’s solution makes sense. Just a year after launching, the then five person team won the prestigious 2017 SIMA Innovation Awards with their Ag-weather stations and decided to raise their first seed round to finance further production. Convinced by their value proposition and the quality of their solution, and unafraid of financing hardware, Breega decided to back the two entrepreneurs. Co-Founding Partner, François Paulus says:
“Digital progress in agriculture has generally been slow. Despite being a sector that stands to gain enormously from new tech solutions. Precision agriculture, fueled by AgriTech, helps lead to more resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems that are more respectful of the environment and better meet consumer needs. For Breega, Sencrop’s solution was definitely a step in the right direction”.
Why Breega ?
When asked what motivated Sencrop to chose Breega as their first investor, Martin Ducroquet tells us:
“We chose to work with Breega because they are a tech fund made up of entrepreneurs, like us, with real knowledge. Michael and I had a great first meeting with François – who sits on our board- and Ben (Marrel). They took the risk and agreed to back us even though the company wasn’t quite a year old”.
Martin says that working with Breega helped them to scale, notably with our HR and talent team advising and hiring their vital first talents for them.
Today, as a SaaS business, Sencrop has over 60 employees and 12 thousand clients. With a strong European DNA, and present in 21 European countries, they have offices in France, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.
So what’s next for this Agritech? Already a sector leader in France, over the coming months, Sencrop will be focused on deepening their roots in Europe where the Agritech space is still fairly limited. Planning to benefit from a first movers advantage, they hope to reach a milestone of 25 K clients in as many months. Team Breega is delighted to be backing Martin, Michael and their team and accompanying them on their journey as they nurture and grow their AgriTech company from a young startup to a flourishing business.