CerraCap Ventures Invests in Soil Microbiome Focused AgTech Firm Solena AG
CerraCap Ventures, a Global Venture Capital fund headquartered in Southern California, has announced an investment in Solena AG, a soil microbiome startup helping farmers improve agricultural yields and optimize agrarian input costs.
Solena’s proprietary, AI-powered Prometheus platform is the most extensive soil microdata repository in the world that turns diagnostics data into insights and customized microbial inoculant recommendations. Solena analyses the soil biome, identifies shortcomings and recommends custom microbial inoculants to help farmers maximize the crop quality and, hence, their RoI and profitability. Solena has covered 500 acres in California and Mexico and aims to focus on select high-value crops and global expansion next.
On the investment, Ritesh Agarwal, Partner, CerraCap Ventures, said, “CerraCap has an established track record of supporting high potential B2B startups usher in the next wave of digital innovation. Solena AG, with its competent leadership team and CEO Irving Riviera, are on a mission to help the agriculture industry solve an imminent soil crisis. Their customized approach to helping a large cross-section of farmers improve their output and quality is unique and harnesses the potential of modern technology for scale. Their pilots on high-value crops and the high repeat action of farmers before each crop cycle are great indicators of their analytical prowess and tangible value provided to farmers. We are optimistic that Solena and CerraCap will be able to greatly impact the need to provide global food security ten years in the future.”
The agricultural industry is facing multiple challenges, like the dependence of certain crops on fertilizers and pesticides, the exhaustion of aquifers, the pollution resulting from these activities, and the increasing demand for food products versus the decrease of returns due to climate change. The market demand for corrective soil action is primarily on account of the over-exploitation of soil by farmers and using a one-size-fits-all approach. The company measures, appraises and improves farmers’ biological capital and offers a sampling kit to provide measurement and valuation results for the soil, enabling farmers to access tools to achieve a sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to current-day agriculture.
Welcoming CerraCap Ventures on this mission-critical journey, Irving Rivera, Co-Founder and CEO of Solena AG, said, “We are tackling the constant degradation of the very foundation of agriculture, the soil. We hope they can reduce their dependence on inorganic chemicals and pesticides by empowering farmers and agricultural organizations to improve their soil health. Our approach is simple, affordable and yet impactful. By collating the world’s largest data set of the soil microbiome, we are confident that we can achieve scale and positively impact farmers globally. By making agriculture harmonious with nature, we will help farmers raise profits while improving the quality of food we eat every day.
Solena’s proprietary Prometheus data mining platform is an ever-growing biorepository that turns data into insights driving molecular soil health diagnosis and developing customized microbial-based bio-inoculants. Farmers receive a personalized recommendation to improve crop profitability through a functional characterization, biocontrol activities in soil, and production of solutions specifically tailored for each farm and crop type and before each crop cycle. Solena will expand its reach of soil testing centers, bolster team composition and improve R&D capabilities with this latest round of funding.