NI entrepreneurs raises $3m in seed funding to support farmers globally

Northern Ireland agtech startup CropSafe opens U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles

By Claire Cartmill
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 11:00 am

CropSafe, a platform revolutionizing the future of farming, has raised over $3m in seed funding and have opened U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles. Venture Capital firm Elefund led the fundraise, with participation from Foundation Capital, Global Founders Capital, V1.VC and Great Oaks Capital. Angel investors in this round of funding included Cory Levy, Josh Browder and former head of strategy at Microsoft, Charlie Songhurst.

Farmer’s sons John McElhone and Micheal McLaughlin from Northern Ireland created start-up CropSafe as part of a Magherafelt High School project.

CropSafe allows farmers to create alerts and enable real-time modules from their marketplace to monitor the condition, health, and weather on their farm, which is monitored remotely through CropSafe’s network of global weather stations and orbital satellites. CropSafe helps growers take action on data, rather than leaving the complex job of interpretation to farmers.

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Founders of CropSafe, John McElhone and Micheal McLaughlin, secured $3m in seed funding

John explained: “Growing up on farms in Ireland, Michael and I saw how farmers were having trouble integrating new technologies. Reading thousands of data points, satellite imagery, and financial records every day to maintain a profitable farm isn’t ideal. CropSafe acts as an interpretation engine, making sense of millions of data points daily from the likes of satellite data from NASA, or weather stations across the globe. Our platform does all the interpretation - without farmers needing to open a single spreadsheet.

“We built the first version of CropSafe while in high school which we initially bootstrapped with our own funds to help our own family farms and neighbors. With our new investors and partners, we’re excited to roll out CropSafe to even more farms here in the U.S and around the world.”

Nathan Rodland, GP at Elefund, who led the funding round for CropSafe, added: “John and Michael make an incredible set of young founders in the agtech space. Their families have been in farming for generations, and they care deeply about easing the burden on today’s farmers by helping them harness the power of real-time data in simple, actionable ways through the CropSafe operating system.”

CropSafe plans to use the seed funding momentum to accelerate growth in the U.S. and expand their teams that focus on software engineering, product management, and design.