SAN JOSE, Calif., June 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- WaterBit, an Autonomous Irrigation Solutions (AIS) company that enables growers to control local irrigation considering plant stage, soil conditions, and weather, at a level of granularity and accuracy that is not possible with manual control or using programmable logic controller (PLC) based methods, today announced it has completed a $11.4 million Series A round of financing led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), with participation from TJ Rodgers, former CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, and Heuristic Capital. In conjunction with the funding, NEA Managing General Partner Scott Sandell will join WaterBit's Board of Directors.
WaterBit addresses the global problem of fresh water scarcity for food production by providing growers with tools to analyze granular, ground-truth data collected through its IoT sensors and to monitor and control irrigation via cloud-based software. Using WaterBit, growers can maximize yield across soil types, while optimizing the use of labor and other input resources. Growers have seen measurable results from using WaterBit, including Devine Organics, a WaterBit customer. With WaterBit, Devine Organics nearly doubled their vegetable field yield, reduced water usage by 6% and enjoyed a 5% decrease in greenhouse emissions from fuel used for pumping water and trips to the field.
"We recognize the substantial opportunity to improve efficiency and lower costs in the agtech space, and have been impressed with the vision and expertise of the WaterBit team," said Scott Sandell, Managing General Partner, NEA. "WaterBit is pioneering a transformative solution for the agricultural industry, and we are thrilled to partner with Andrew and his team to make a global impact on the sustainable and efficient use of water."
"WaterBit provides measurable benefit to growers and the environment by using WaterBit AIS technology components to transform the way water is delivered to the crop," said Andrew Wright, WaterBit CEO. "The financial backing and support of both NEA and Scott Sandell are instrumental steps towards WaterBit achieving our vision of improving worldwide agricultural efficiency and agricultural water use efficiency by 50% or more."
The investment enables WaterBit to continue to accelerate its product development of automated irrigation solutions with the goal of fully autonomous irrigation, expand sales and marketing efforts as well as progress towards its objective of enabling growers to maximize the use of their scarce resources and increase yields.
WaterBit, based in San Jose, Calif., is a precision irrigation company that believes in helping growers be good stewards of the land through smart agriculture. WaterBit designs innovative agricultural solutions that set the standard for quality, reliability, ease-of-use and total cost of ownership. WaterBit's Autonomous Irrigation Solution (AIS) enables microblock control of local irrigation taking into account plant stage, soil conditions and weather at a level of granularity and accuracy that is not possible with other current methods. WaterBit translates technology into tangible value for growers to improve yields, optimize water usage and implement labor-saving strategies. For more information, visit www.waterbit.com.
New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With more than $20 billion in cumulative committed capital since the firm's founding in 1977, NEA invests in technology and healthcare companies at all stages in a company's lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm's long track record of successful investing includes more than 220 portfolio company IPOs and more than 370 acquisitions. For additional information, visit www.nea.com.