Downforce Technologies, a London-headquartered climate tech startup that provides farmers with technology tools to measure soil fertility, has raised $4.2 million to build new products focused on Africa and expand into new markets.

The funding round was led by Equator VC, an African early-stage climate tech-focused venture firm. Tiverton Agriculture Impact Fund, Dragonfly Enviro Capital, Perivoli Innovations, and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), whose investment is managed by Virescent Ventures, remain existing shareholders in the company.  

“This funding allows us to democratise access to the technology and empower a wider audience to make data-driven decisions for soil health and climate action,” the company’s CEO Professor Jacquie McGlade said in a statement. 

Launched in 2020, Downforce Technologies led by Professor Jacquie McGlade offers cost-effective remote sensing software that helps farmers measure soil health in record time.  The company also provides tools for planning and executing verified carbon projects, collecting and reporting farm emissions data as well as implementing soil health improvement projects.

Africa contributes only a small fraction of global food production. In 2021, total food exports in Africa was just over $60 billion while the U.S. exported $177 billion worth of food in the same year. While the continent has the capacity to produce more given its uncultivated arable land, the inability to measure its soil fertility also poses a great challenge. Measurements are usually expensive, time-consuming, and have a high risk for errors. 

Downforce Technologies is part of a growing group of climate tech startups—AgroCares, SoilSense, Regen Technologies, and EcoPeanut—offering various solutions for soil carbon measurement, farm management, and climate sustainability for African farmers.

“Downforce has successfully introduced a compelling software platform which should act as a catalyst for increased investment in soil organic carbon globally, and particularly in Africa, to ensure food security, promote climate mitigation, and ensure resilience to climate change,” said Nijhad Jamal, Managing Partner at Equator. 

Faith Omoniyi Reporter

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