Oct. 14, 2014
Spensa Technologies Inc., a precision agricultural startup, received $1.3 million from multiple investors and venture programs to further develop an online pest management program, an electronic insect trapping device and to expand its business capabilities.
"We currently have a strong niche market in five continents around the globe, but we are ready to expand our brand and market share across the board," said Johnny Park, president and CEO of Spensa and a Purdue research assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering. "This funding will enable us to hire sales reps in targeted areas such as California, and help us create strategic marketing partnerships in Australia, Brazil and other locations."
Spensa has previously received $1.2 million in funding and was named the top company in the 2013 BioCrossroads New Venture Competition.
Spensa is launching a new scouting app called OpenScout that helps growers and crop advisers easily record scouting notes and photos as they walk in their fields. Spensa also upgraded its online pest management program called MyTraps that tracks insect populations to better control crop damage caused by pests and reduce the amount of insecticides released into the environment. A third product by Spensa is the Z-Trap, an insect trapping device that automatically counts the number of targeted insects and sends the data remotely to a mobile phone or computer.
"Automatic insect data collection is one of the fastest growing fields in precision agriculture because it helps growers and consultants make more educated pest management decisions," Park said. "It is a big business. In the U.S. in 2010, crop growers lost $20 billion to insect damage and spent $4.5 billion on insecticides."