NZ Agritech Start-Up has Raised $3.5m

Orchard management start-up Hectre has raised $3.5m to help fund its expansion.

Spectre, the company's latest technological development, provides data for growers on fruit size and colour and helps estimate crop yields.

The technology also helps with decision-making in fruit pack houses regarding storage, packing, sales, and reducing waste.

First developed for apples, the technology is now being applied to citrus.

Existing investors increased their shares, and new investors have lined up as the company grows.

Among the new investors were Borton Fruit, Count Maximilian Kolowrat-Krakowsky and Ivan Seselj, founder of Promapp.

Borton Fruit implemented the Hectre app on its orchards across Washington State, as did the Kolowrat-Krakowsky's, ahead of their investments.

Kolowrat-Krakowsky said digital innovation is the key to overcoming challenges in the industry and is excited to support Hectre's transformation.

Chief executive Matty Blomfield said the level of support and interest, Hectre's market position and future strategy was exciting and humbling.

The capital raise will help Hectre expand its team from 21 to 31 staff within the next six months and will further support more innovation.

Hectre's technology is now used in 11 countries worldwide.

The app uses computer vision artificial intelligence run on Amazon Web Services.

Hectre was recently announced as the winner of the global AgTech Breakthrough Awards programme.