The agtech startup Hectre, has attracted NZ$5 million in their latest funding round. The funds will be used for expansion into LATAM and European markets and investing in new image processing techniques to provide even greater value to industry.
More than 5000 apples per truck can be sized by Hectre’s Spectre Top Down solution.
Hectre carved a niche in the global produce industry with its comprehensive approach, offering both orchard management plus early post-harvest fruit quality AI solutions - with ease of use at the forefront of their design.
“The challenges growers face today in producing essential food is alarming. We’re leveraging data and AI to ensure more fresh produce makes it from field to table. This investment supports our next stage of expansion to take our fruit quality and AI capabilities to new crop types and markets across the globe,” says Matty Blomfield, CEO and Co-founder of Hectre.
Hectre’s high-quality technology attracted the attention of deep-tech VC Nuance Connected Capital, the lead investor in the round.
“Hectre have innovative solutions, evidenced by solid international market growth. This is just the start; Nuance is backing the high calibre, dedicated Hectre team to scale their existing platform technology to exciting future applications,” notes Mitali Purohit, General Partner, Nuance Connected Capital.
From family growers to enterprise level packers, Hectre’s customers include some of the largest packhouses and distributors in the world. Sage Fruit, Washington Fruit & Produce, Kast Farms, First Fresh NZ, Cherri Global, Adrian Scripps, Grupo La Norteñita, and Gourmet NL, have all adopted Hectre’s technologies.
The company is working with integration partners and distributors to bring even more value to industry, and in the past year alone has released more than 140 products, features and enhancements.
Jaritt Hays from Monson Fruit, one of the top five premier packhouses in the apple mecca of Washington State, says they were unsure just how good Hectre’s tech could be.
They’ve since achieved a 4,000% increase in their fruit sampling, with no touch on the fruit, and can gain results within seconds. “With Hectre, we’re able to get huge size samples now as soon as the truck arrives, and ten times faster than our previous manual process. The results are very accurate, it’s so easy to use, and the data helps us to make even stronger business decisions and keeps our packline running with fewer stops.”
WM Borton Investments LLC, use Hectre’s technologies across their 6,000 acres of orchards in Washington State, and invested in Hectre in 2021. “Hectre is building the tools and data sets that we hope to utilize on our farms tomorrow. We believe Hectre’s dedication to constant innovation provides a significant competitive advantage and aligns well with our own approach to business,” says Byron Borton, Chief Visionary Officer at Borton Fruit.