MN Drone Startup Sentera Inks Partnership With John Deere

Minneapolis startup Sentera has inked a partnership with John Deere to provide drone products and services to the agriculture industry.

Solidified last month, the deal makes John Deere a customer as well as a key dealer distribution channel to potentially thousands of farmers across the country.

“Using our aerial photography products, John Deere’s growers will be able to achieve new degrees of aerial resolution and accuracy,” Sentera CEO Eric Taipale explains. “Sentera will function as the plumbing of their systems — analyze crop health data at the field’ s edge, and easily share the data.”

Formed about 18 months ago, Sentera has roots in Lockheed Martin and United Technologies, specifically concerned with the data collecting and analytics side of things.   Precision agriculture, infrastructure, and public safety organizations are their three vertical markets.  Last November, they received FAA clearance for their own drones, and subsequently went on to raise a $5m round of external funding to start scaling sales.

“We expect that this deal will bring our company into the black this year,” Taipale says, noting that his company has already doubled in size to 21 people since this time last year.

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