Hortau Corp., an industry leader in precision irrigation management systems since 2002, has secured $5 million in financing from Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, LP (ACAP).
The investment comes during a critical time in the agriculture industry, which is facing severe drought in California and water issues throughout the U.S.
Hortau CEO Jocelyn Boudreau said the timely investment will allow Hortau to continue growing its U.S. operations, including its technical support team and best-in-class service for its mobile platform and in-field irrigation management systems.
"This investment will help us grow the business during a critical time here in California and the U.S., where water issues are becoming the norm, Boudreau said. "Agriculture is currently going through an evolution phase, using data-driven technologies to bring more precision and insight to the daily decision processes. Our technology is right in line with this trend, enabling growers to make better use of water resources and of various ag inputs while optimizing their return. This new partnership with Advantage Capital will allow us to make our system more affordable and accessible to our growers, accelerating adoption and creating a true win-win situation for the industry.
Hortau's smart irrigation management system, combined with its easy-to-use mobile software, reports to growers how crops are faring in real time – before stresses such as drought or lack of aeration can have a negative impact on the crop.
This proprietary, plant-centric approach helps detect plant stress using soil tension, ensuring optimal crop growth, and reducing water and energy consumption, as well as environmental impacts such as fertilizer leaching.
"Hortau's proven soil sensing technology provides farmers with a tremendous value proposition in terms of both crop yield improvements and water conservation, which is driving strong growth in the business, said Timothy Hassler, Principal at Advantage Capital. "We are very excited about partnering with Hortau and supporting its continued growth.
Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, LP (ACAP) is a $154.5-million fund, licensed as a Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), focusing on businesses involved in the production, processing and supply of agricultural products.
It is a partnership between Advantage Capital Partners and nine Farm Credit organizations. The Farm Credit System is a nationwide network of banks and lending institutions federally chartered to serve agriculture and the U.S. rural economy.
"We're excited to be working with Advantage Capital Partners, and align with the fund's mission to create more jobs in agriculture and improve irrigation technologies in the field, Boudreau said. "The Advantage Capital team has been a great partner to work with. They're well connected, know what it takes to be successful in the agriculture sector, and bring a lot more than capital to the table.