A daily newsletter summarizing recent activity & interesting start-ups globally

RECENT NOTABLE ACTIVITY – AGRITECH

  • Caribou Biosciences, a CRISPR startup, raises $30M in series B funding for its agriculture biotech business. Link
  • BioWish, a microbe based biologicals developer, raises $5M in series B funding. Link
  • Bosch injects $2.5M in The Yield, a cloud based software provider for precision aquaculture. Link
  • Connecterra, a livestock animal health monitoring startup, raises $2M in seed funding. Link
  • Agrilyst, a farm data and analytics startup, raises $1M in seed funding ahead of a planned series A. Link
  • Bayer AG proposes to acquire Monsanto. Link
  • USDA announces $100M private fund to invest in rural food and agriculture businesses. Link
  • Memphis Bioworks Foundation launches new AgTech accelerator. Link

SOME INTERESTING STARTUPS FOUND

SwineSmart (2016, Santiago) – Provides hardware and software solutions for swine farm management.
PlantID3 (2015, Kingston) – Mobile based application for crop disease identification using digital image processing.
FarmBot (2015, Vancouver) – An open source computer numerically controlled (CNC) software and hardware developer for operations on household / small farms.

LEADER BOARD – AGRITECH

Precision Ag – Decision Support System
The Climate Corporation (2006, SF, $109M, Acq.) – Hardware and software solutions provider for hyper local weather and farm data with predictive analysis for insurance products. Sold off its insurance business to AmTrust North America in July, 2015. Acquired by Monsanto in 2013.
FarmLink (2004, Kansas, $101M) – Yield bench marking tool for farmers to assess the impact of inputs. Backed by Open Air Equity Partners.

Precision Ag – Field Operations
AutoAgronom (1988, Yokneam Illit, $180M) – Sensor based measurement of physical and chemical changes in root zone supplemented with computerized analysis and fuzzy control algorithms to automatically activate irrigation and fertilization.
Novariant (1994, Fremont, $60.5M) – Sensor based auto steering hardware solutions for GPS based navigation through tablets. Backed by Sierra Ventures, Ridgewood Capital, Clearstone.
Blue River Tech (2011, Sunnyvale, $30M) – Develops automated technology solutions which use computer vision for identification and selective killing of unwanted weed. Backed by Khosla Ventures, DCVC, Innovation Endeavors, Pontifax Agtech.
Harvest Automation (2007, Billerica, $28M) – Developer of robotic machinery for farming operations. Backed by Founder Collective, Entree Capital, Cultivian, MassVentures.

BioTech – Farm Inputs
Monsanto (2000, St. Louis, IPO) – Developer of genetically modified (GM) seedlings to mitigate risks associated with biotic and abiotic stresses in crops. Went public in 2000.
Syngenta (2000, Basel) – Developer of genetically modified crops and biological agrochemicals apart from engaging in genomic research.
DuPont Pioneer (1926, Des Moines) – Developer of hybrid (non-GM) and GM seeds to mitigate risks against insects, pests and other diseases.
AgBiome (2012, Raleigh, $52M) – Developer of biological agrochemicals for crop protection against soil borne diseases. Backed by Gates Foundation, Monsanto Growth Ventures, Syngenta Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, UTIMCO, Polaris Partners, Pontifax Agtech, Harris+Harris Group.
Agrivida (2002, Medford, $43M) – Specially engineered enzymes for the nutrition of livestock animals. Backed by KPCB, Middleland Capital, ARCH Venture Partners, Cultivian, DAG Ventures, Bright Capital, Northgate, Prairie Gold.

BioTech – Infrastructure
Advanced Animal Diagnostics (2001, Morrisville, $34M) – Diagnostic infrastructure provider for real time animal health monitoring through white blood cell levels in animals. Backed by Middleland Capital, Cultivian, Kansas Bioscience Authority, LabCorp, Intersouth Partners, Novartis Venture Fund.

BioTech – Tech Platforms
Kaiima (2006, Lower Galilee, $91M) – Tech platform to enhance inherent productivity and resource usage efficiency in food and feed crops. Backed by KPCB, DFJ, Horizons Ventures, Tamir Fishman.

BioTech – Waste Mitigation
Cool Planet (2009, Camarillo, $134M) – Utilizes patented process to convert non-food biomass to gasoline and organic soil nutrients. Backed by Northbridge, UBS, Google Ventures, Energy Technology Ventures, Concord Energy, Sustainable Conversion Ventures, British Petroleum.
Wiserg (2010, Issaquah, $28.5M) – Devices to convert grocery waste into nutrient rich liquid which can be used as fertilizer for agriculture.

BioTech – Microbes
Indigo (2013, Cambridge, $63.5M) – Earlier known as Symbiota, it is building technology for delivery of selective plant microbes through seed coatings.

BioTech – Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
Oxitec (2002, Abingdon, $20M) – Develops genetically modified pests which act as anti-pests to suppress the population of disease causing pests in crops. Backed by Oxford Capital, East Hill.

ERP
Granular (2014, SF, $47M) – Farm management software for collection and analysis of data related to farm business processes and planning of resources. Backed by A16Z, Google Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Tao Capital, Fall Line Capital, Emory Investment Management.

Agribusiness
Sapphire Energy (2007, San Diego, $290M) – Cultivation of algae and using it as a biomass source for production of crude oil. Backed by Monsanto Growth Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners.
AeroFarms (2004, NYC, $20.5M) – Cultivation of leafy crops in soil-less growth medium using aeroponics. Backed by Middleland Capital, Wheatsheaf, GSR Ventures, Mission Point Capital.

Infrastructure – Hydroponics
GrowLife (1987, Seattle, IPO) – Provides urban hydroponic / soil-less farming systems, components and cultivation supply products. Went public in 2011.

Infrastructure – LED Lighting
Illumitex (2005, Austin, $71M) – Developer of LED lighting solutions for horticulture, industrial and other use. Backed by NEA, Morgan Creek, Apex, WPG, Syngenta Ventures.

Market Linkages – Inputs
CloudFarm (2013, Beijing, $26M) – Online retailer of agri inputs including seeds, fertilizers, agrochemicals, farm equipment, etc.

Market Linkages – Finance
eLoan (2007, Wenzhou) – Digital P2P lending platform focused on agriculture and rural businesses. Backed by Legend Holdings.

For latest update, visit AgriTech feed.

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