Spensa Technologies Inc., a startup in Purdue Research Park, closed on $2.5 million in Series A funding to expand its workforce and further conduct research on its precision agriculture technologies.
“We will be able to do a tremendous amount with this infusion of growth capital including increase our sales force and further our innovations in precision pest management,” said Johnny Park, president and CEO of Spensa and a Purdue University research assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering. “The end goal is to provide growers and crop advisers data-driven insights to protect their crops from insects, weeds and disease in a way that is most economical and environmentally sustainable.”
Spensa Technologies was founded in 2009 by Park. The company has developed a number of precision pest management technologies including its most recent technology called OpenScout, a Web and mobile-enabled application to identify and document insects, weeds, disease, nutrient deficiencies and general agronomic issues so growers can strategically mitigate problems before they spread. The company’s hardware product is called Z-Trap, an electronic insect-trapping system that can automatically monitor insect populations. Both products are currently used in five continents around the globe.
The Series A funding that Spensa received came from individuals, private and public venture capital organizations and investment firms including mTerra Ventures LLC, VilCap Investments LLC, Elevate Ventures, Foundry Investment Fund and John T. Smith.
The company is located in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette and has received startup assistance through Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub in Discovery Park’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.
“We’ve worked with Spensa Technologies since its founding and the products they offer to the agricultural community are a tremendous asset both in crop productivity and cost reduction,” said Greg Deason, executive director of Purdue Foundry and Purdue Research Park. “Spensa is a real asset for Indiana and I believe the company will continue to expand in the coming years.”
The growth capital investment Spensa received follows recent support from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation in the form of $635,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $40,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans, a $630,000 SBIR Phase 2 grant from the National Science Foundation and $1.3 million that the company previously received from multiple investors and venture programs.