Enowa announced on November 11 that it had raised ¥100 million (about $960,000) in a Series A round of funding. The funding comes through a third-party allocation of new shares to Monozukuri Ventures, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital, Skyland Ventures, and other companies. The cumulative funding amounts to ¥170 million ($1,620,000).
Enowa manages the development and operation of the smart paddy service "paditch." This agritech venture company from Toyama aims to address issues such as the increase of people giving up farming and declining number of workers due to the aging of the population with next generation agriculture employing technologies like IT, IoT, AI, and robotics.
"paditch" is a system that remotely and automatically controls the water management process, which is the most time- and work-consuming part of the farming process, and enables the opening and closing of sluices and hydrants at the same time from a smartphone. Sluices can also be opened and closed automatically according to the water level or water temperature, or using a timer, and the Agricultural Research Institute (National Agriculture and Food Research Organization) published results demonstrating that labor needed for water management was reduced by 80% after introducing paditch. Paditch has been installed in 490 locations nationwide (as of November 2020). It is also suggested that it prevents farming accidents because farmers do not need to take the risk and go out to adjust sluices and hydrants during heavy rain or high temperatures in summer.
With this funding, Enowa plans to utilize the data collected through its "paditch gate02+" service to strengthen its agricultural cultivation guidance, and develop "paditch drain 01," a drain valve that enables remote damming of rice fields.