The Launch Place announces $200,000 investment

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Danville-based The Launch Place said Monday it has made a $200,000 seed investment in, which provides agriculture-based businesses with automated data tracking and analytics.

As part of the deal, the Chapel Hill, N.C.-based company has opened an office in Danville, where it plans to create several new jobs. The Launch Place also has an equity stake in

This is the 13th company that The Launch Place has invested in since its launch in 2012. Its investments have totaled more than $3 million. The nonprofit group seeks to stimulate economic growth in Danville, Pittsylvania County and Caswell County, N.C.

The latest investment recipient,, provides customers with in-ground sensors that collect data on ground conditions. This information enables customers to manage their turf or crop, reduce labor costs and maximize output. Users can receive recommendations on water consumption, fertilization, and potential threats.

The concept was born from the struggles of the company’s co-founder and chief technology officer, Mike Prorock, who bought a farm in Carrboro, N.C. As he cultivated his land, Prorock searched for a tool that would show him what was going on below the surface of the soil. With no suitable device on the market, he decided to create one.

The company’s technology has been used for golf and turf management as well as small farms and gardens. Mining and vineyard management are possible future applications. 

“Our core focus is to help the small to mid-size farmer,” Tom Rump, the company’s CEO, said in a statement.

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