Japan’s agricultural sensor device SenSprout takes in $10,000 in 2 days on Indiegogo



This is a combined abridged version of the first article and the second article.

Tokyo-based SenSprout has been developing hardware devices and Internet services focused on agriculture. Launching a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo with an initial goal of raising $10,000 on Monday, the company reached the goal in only two days. There are 58 days more to go until the campaign closes, so it will be interesting to see how much more money the team raises.

SenSprout is a leaf-shaped sensor that measures rainfall and soil moisture, allowing users to receive metrics with their smartphone or other devices. Sensor systems for agriculture are not a new concept but they are hard for farmers to implement because they require an average of over 10 million yen ($85,000) investment and a network for data acquisition.

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In this campaign, the team provides nine kinds of rewards for backers including the Early Bird Special craft kit for $45 and other more expensive backing options. The campaign is integrated with a recent startup competition hosted by Chivas Regal where SenSprout was chosen as one of 16 finalists out of more than 1,000 startup applications. Apart from the campaign, the top prizewinner at the competition will receive a $10,000 cash prize upon voting.

16 finalists at the Chivas Regal startup competition.
16 finalists from the Chivas Regal startup competition, including the SenSprout team

According to SenSprout CEO Kazuhito Mine, the team exhibited the product at a recent SXSW (South by Southwest) event in Austin, Texas, where they received a good response from attendees and learned that the product can meet a huge demand in kitchen garden.

Mine spoke on the successful campaign:

SenSprout CEO Kazuhito Mine

We really appreciate backers’ response. Our team will do its best to contribute to society by solving water resource problems.

Crowdfunding has been very enjoyable.

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by Kurt Hanson
Proofread by “Tex” Pomeroy