Washington, Iowa based startup Continuum Ag has raised a $475,000 investment round led by Clean Energy Trust. Additional investors in the round include Ag Startup Engine and Ag Ventures Alliance.
Continuum Ag’s TopSoil is an online management platform where farmers can map out their fields and gather data to map soil health. TopSoil helps Farmers use technology like machine learning and real-time sensors in a palatable format. With that data, the company provides analytics and recommendations that empower farmers to make their own management decisions and implement action on their farms.
“The funding is going to continue to build out our team and our software offerings to help farmers profit from soil health,” said Mitchell Hora, founder and CEO of Continuum Ag.
“Topsoil helps farmers monetize and easily keep track of all their data. And then we help the farmer to connect that data with whatever offering they would like,” said Hora. “There are lots of companies doing sustainability stuff, lots of companies doing carbon programs. The farmers have a lot of options. We want to enable farmers to optimize how they’re using data in the most effective way possible.”
The company’s Topsoil platform currently has about 1100 farmers covering 38 states and 15 countries, Hora told Clay & Milk.
“The Continuum Ag team is committed first and foremost to helping farmers optimize their soil health. But they also fully recognize the massive climate opportunity that can — no, must — be seized by the farming community. Farmers hold the key to a very powerful negative emissions weapon, and Continuum Ag is well-positioned to facilitate its deployment,” wrote Paul Seidler in a blog post about investing in Continuum Ag.
Hora says he is planning to raise a larger investment round in early 2022 and hopes to at least double his team over the next 12-18 months.
Partnering on a new carbon sequestration program
Continuum Ag recently partnered with Rabo Carbon Bank on a carbon sequestration and soil health pilot program. Participating farmers will receive compensation for implementing regenerative agricultural practices that enrich their fields’ soils while capturing carbon from the air. The initiative enrolled five farmers this year in a pilot program, and it will be enrolling 10 farmers next year.
“Rabobank was wanting to connect with more farmers and our farmers were wanting to connect with companies like Rabobank,” said Hora. “So we are kind of a catalyst in the middle and are, with Rabobank specifically, helping their farmers get the correct agroeconomic advice and data tools that they need to successfully sequester carbon and build out a new asset that a marketplace can be built around.”
Continuum Ag will consult with each individual farmer in the pilot and provide tailored practices for soil health and carbon sequestration.