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London Tech Week

French agtech Weenat snaps €8.5M to combat water scarcity in agriculture

Weenat
Picture credits: Weenat

Climate change is an undeniable reality, making water scarcity and management a major environmental challenge for the coming decades. This situation brings profound implications for farmers as agriculture accounts for 70% of global freshwater withdrawals, with more than half of this water being inefficiently utilised due to the lack of suitable tools. 

French agtech startup Weenat is dedicated to assisting farmers in facing the challenges of water scarcity. Now, the startup has secured a Series C funding round of €8.5 million led by European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF) that invested in Watttron and Heura Foods. Other investors in this round include Pymwymic, LIBERSET, and IDIA Capital Investissement. 

The funding will enable Weenat to expand its innovations across Europe and strengthen the resilience of the agricultural community to climate change through the use of state-of-the-art technology.

“With climate change and water scarcity pressing upon us, Weenat stands out in the rapidly growing precision irrigation market for its track record of profitable growth. A first-rate founding team and a high level of scientific excellence have earnt them the trust of farmers and a leading position in France. We are really confident in Weenats ability to make its mark onthe wider market, and excited about its potential for exceptional impact,” said Stéphane Roussel, Partner at European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF).

European expansion plans 

Weenat boasts over 25,000 sensors deployed throughout Europe. Its network is supported by over 200 in-field partners including leading cooperatives, dealers, and food industries in France, Spain, and Germany. 

In addition to collecting extensive datasets of spatialised and calibrated weather and soil water data, the company provides solutions to the food and agricultural industries, fostering climate-resilient practices. This unique blend of capabilities positions the company for robust expansion across Europe and beyond. It is developing its offering in eight European countries – France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland. 

Combats water scarcity in agriculture

Founded in 2014 by Jérôme Le Roy, Weenat provides the agricultural community with the agro-meteorological data it needs to monitor the climatic and agronomic conditions of its plots in real time, from sowing to harvesting. Farmers and ag industries have precise information to help them anticipate climatic hazards and optimise their farm management. 

Understanding soil dynamics remains the main challenge for irrigators. To tackle this, Weenat has launched an ambitious R&D program aimed at real-time monitoring of soil water content throughout the root zone depth across every plot in Europe. Launched in 2023, this program utilises data from Weenat’s extensive network of soil sensors, the largest in Europe, alongside satellite imaging and artificial intelligence.

Also, it acquired Weather Measures, a data driven agtech startup, in 2021 to reinforce its R&D capabilities and remains committed to providing the farming community with cutting-edge technologies. 

The company has 60 employees, over 200 partners and agricultural distributors (cooperatives, retailers, research institutes and agribusinesses), more than 25,000 users, 25,000 sensors installed. 

“As a leading player in weather data and water management, Weenat’s ambition is to deploy its innovations throughout Europe, empowering farmers with effective and user-friendly solutions,” stated Jérôme Le Roy. “In 2023, our 10.000 soil sensors resulted in the conservation of 32 million cubic meters of water. The potential impact of scaling our solutions across all fields in Europe is truly stunning!”

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