After a record year of funding in 2021, Solinftec is the latest agtech startup to lock down a sizable round this year. The company—with dual headquarters in both São Paulo, Brazil and West Lafayette, Indiana—raised a $60 million growth round led by the Lightsmith Group.

Solinftec’s digital farm operating system helps manage more than 27 million acres in Brazil, the US and across Latin America. The company uses sensors and AI-powered software to provide customers with real-time, in-field data on crops, equipment, weather conditions and more. The system allows customers to schedule and plan their farming operations and to make adjustments.

The company will use the new infusion of cash to further expand in both North America and South America.

Agtech has become a darling sector among investors after seemingly being an afterthought for years. Until 2020, the sector had never reached the $2 billion investment threshold in any year, according to Crunchbase data. However, in 2020 funding jumped and in 2021 it hit nearly $5.7 billion.

Thus far this year, investment is at nearly $1.6 billion—less than last year’s pace, but overall another strong performance. The biggest round this year to date was raised by South San Francisco, California-based vertical farming startup Plenty—which closed a $400 million Series E.

Investors have said changes in how people think about food and advances in technologies—like sensors and wifi—have led to more money flowing into the agtech sector.

Founded in 2007, Solinftec had raised nearly $87 million before this latest round. Existing investor Unbox Capital also participated in the round. Additional undisclosed investors are also participating in the round.

Original article by Chris Metinko via Crunchbase