GrainSense Oy (Oulu, Finland), which has developed the world's first truly hand-held device for grain protein measurement, has secured 1.4 million euro of funding, topped off with a development loan from Tekes. GrainSense, which is an optical device spin-off company of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, is seeking to exploit its 1 billion plus potential on the worldwide markets with a cloud-based service offering and handheld device giving farmers greater control over the quality, cost and pricing of their crops.
The GrainSense hand-held device measures the protein, moisture, oil and carbohydrate content of cereals and other crops – i.e. key determinants of the harvest value and processing cost – while they are still in the field. The device is battery powered, requires only a few grains and takes just seconds to make each measurement, with no preparation needed. For the first time, this will allow farmers, seed producers and plant breeders to rapidly measure the key parameters of their crops and make decisions that improve profitability. The device will also enable meat producers to control and adjust the protein content of feed in real time, which can have a major impact on profitability. The device includes positioning (GPS) and cloud connection functionality, which supports a suite of value-added services for improving productivity and profitability.
GrainSense will launch its offering in 2016 and begin marketing, sales and product development cooperation with Berner Ltd in the Nordic and Baltic countries.
"With our unique concept, we will empower farmers to produce more crops of higher quality, while adding transparency to the overall grain business. We are excited about having the potential to affect the lives and wellbeing of millions of people," says Edvard Krogius, CEO of GrainSense.
"The founding team together with our investment partners, Berner and a private investor syndicate with agricultural background, gives us an excellent basis for building a global success story in this exciting new space," says Antti Sinisalo, CEO of VTT Ventures.
"This new concept reinforces Berner's comprehensive offering for Finnish Farmer's. The priority for us is to improve our customer's productivity and profitability, and we have a strong believe that this start-up concept will help do just that, continues Kalle Erkkola, Head of Division, Berner Ltd.
Founding Team; Ralf Marbach (inventor and founder), Jouni Huopana (founder), Ykä Marjanen (co-founder), Max Schulman (co-founder), Arve Lukander (co-founder) and Edvard Krogius (co-founder).
Investors; VTT Ventures Ltd, Berner Ltd and three Nordic private investors with an agricultural background.
Innovation funding; GrainSense has been granted a development loan by Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation).
GrainSense has developed the world's first truly handheld device for grain protein measurement. GrainSense, is an optical device spin-off company of VTT. GrainSense's business model is based on a disruptive technology which enables farmers and other players in the industry to engage in wholly new operating practices for controlling the quality, cost and pricing of their produce. Market potential: annual EU market worth EUR 500 million, over EUR 1 billion worldwide.