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

RECENT NOTABLE ACTIVITY – AgriTech

  • Developer of alternative feed ingredients for aquaculture and livestock animals, Calysta raises $40M Series D funding led by Mitsui, with participation from Temasek Holdings, Cargill, the Municipal Employee Retirement System (MERS) of Michigan, Walden Riverwood Ventures, Aqua-Spark, and Pangaea Ventures. Link
  • An integrated cannabis grower and processor for developing pharmaceutical products, Aphria raises $25M Debt funding from the WFCU Credit Union. Link
  • A Canadian grower and processor of cannabis crops for developing pharmaceutical products, CannabCo raises $24M Series B funding. Link
  • Developer of a fruit picking robot, Abundant Robotics raises $10M Series A funding led by GV, with participation from BayWa Ag, Tellus Partners, Yamaha Motor Company, KPCB Edge, and Comet. Link
  • Provider of an online B2C marketplace to connect farmers and consumers, FarmDrop raises $8.9M Series A funding led by Atomico. Link
  • Provider of an integrated platform for real-time monitoring of farm fields, data analytics, and precision agriculture decision support, Taranis raises $7.5M Series A funding co-led by Finistere Ventures and Vertex Ventures, with participation from Eshbol Investments, Mindset Ventures, OurCrowd, and angel investor Eyal Gural. Link
  • Provider of services for on-demand aerial image capturing and data analytics, Ceres Imaging raises $5M Series A funding led by Romulus Capital. Link
  • Developer of biological livestock disinfectant solutions and crop protection solutions, Thymox Technology raises $4.6M Series B funding co-led by Cycle Capital Management and Desjardins Innovatech. Link
  • Provider of a cloud-based software platform for big data analytics and decision support to Cannabis growers, MJ Freeway raises $3M Series B extension funding from Tao Capital and Angel Investor Roger McNamee. Link
  • An integrated business for cultivation and processing of algae, Swedish Algae Factory raises $397k seed funding from Chalmer Ventures, Almi Invest, and KIC InnoEnergy. The company also won $196k grant from the Swedish Energy Agency. Link
  • Developer of an automated micro farming system for household hydroponics cultivation of fruits & vegetables, Crop Stacks wins $250k grant from Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center’s India Program. Link
  • Developer of solar-powered smart irrigation systems, SunCulture raises $150k as part of an ongoing Series A funding round from PG Impact(Verein). Link
  • Provider of services for genomic big data analytics to plant breeders for developing hybrid plant varieties, QTLomics wins $73k grant from the Government of Karnataka. Link
  • An integrated business for cultivation and processing of edible insects, Hargol FoodTech wins TLV startup challenge and $10k grant. Link
  • An integrated business for cultivation and processing of Cricket insects for developing pet foods and agrochemicals, Midgard Farms raises undisclosed PE funding from Dane Creek Capital. Link
  • Developer of an automated micro farming system for household soil-less cultivation of fruits & vegetables, Agrilution raises undisclosed Series A funding from Osram’s venture capital arm FluxUnit. Link
  • Developer of biological feed additives for livestock animals and of cultured food ingredients, Agro BioSciences has been acquired by Church & Dwight for $75M. Link
  • Cultivator of Mini apple variety Rockit, Rockit Global has sold its controlling stake to Pioneer Capital and Oriens Capital for $17M. Link
  • Provider of a cloud-based software platform for big data analytics using satellite images and precision agriculture decision support, HydroBio has been acquired by the Climate Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Monsanto. Link

SOME INTERESTING STARTUPS FOUND

Eleos Robotics (2016, Surrey): Robots for autonomous monitoring and elimination of weeds and pests in farm fields.
FarmerLabs (2016, Paris): Cloud-based software platform for automated diagnostic of plant health using various image sources.
Plant Di-Tech (2016, Rehovot): Sensor-based plant physiology phenotyping tools.

LEADER BOARD – AgriTech

Precision Ag
Farm Data and Analytics – Integrated Platforms
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.

Farmers Edge (2005, Winnipeg, $44M) – Hardware and software solution provider for continuous monitoring of farm fields and predictive analysis for management decision support.

Farm Data and Analytics – Software Platforms
FarmLink (2004, Kansas, $101M) – Yield benchmarking tool for farmers to assess the impact of inputs. Backed by Open Air Equity Partners.

Farmers Business Network (2014, Davenport, $88M) – Precision agriculture solutions through big data analysis of data gathered from farmers and agriculture machinery. Backed by Kleiner Perkins, DBL Partners, and GV.

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.
Feedlogic (2002, Wilmar, $678k) – Automated feeding machines along with data recording platform for livestock farmers in the USA. Backed by unknown private investors.

BioTech
Farm Inputs – Seeds
Monsanto (1901, 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.

Farm Inputs – Biologicals
Indigo (2013, Cambridge, $163.5M) – Earlier known as Symbiota, it is building technology for delivery of selective plant microbes through seed coatings.

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, $61M) – 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.
Zymergen (2013, Emeryville, $174M) – Combination of synthetic biology and machine learning to engineer industry relevant microbes to manufacture chemicals and new materials. Backed by Softbank, Data Collective Venture Capital, True Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Iconiq Capital, DFJ, Innovation Endeavours, Two Sigma Ventures, Prelude Ventures, Tao Capital.

Infrastructure
Advanced Animal Diagnostics (2001, Morrisville, $36M) – 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.

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.

Waste Management
Cool Planet (2009, Camarillo, $143M) – 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, $32.5M) – Devices to convert grocery waste into a nutrient rich liquid which can be used as fertilizer for agriculture.

Cellular Ag
Impossible Foods (2011, Redwood City, $183M) – Beef-substitute made from a protein called Heme extracted from plants. Backed by Khosla Ventures, Google Ventures, UBS, Horizon Ventures, Viking Global.

Breeding Tech
Prairie Plant (1988, Saskatoon,$6.4M) – Plant breeding research to produce berry and other fruit plants for orchards. Backed by WestCap.

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.

Farm Business Management
Field Crops – Field Management
Granular (2014, SF, $23M) – 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.

Field Crops – Multipurpose
Conservis (2009, Minneapolis, $13.6M) – Cloud-based software platform for single or multi-farm management. Backed by Cultivian Sandbox, Middleland Capital, and Heartland Farms.

Agribusiness
Cultivation – Algae
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.

Infrastructure
Irrigation
Netafim (1965, Tel Aviv) – Manufactures components for drip irrigation and develops smart irrigation systems. Backed by Permira and Tene Investment Fund.

Aquaculture – Full Stack System
GFA Advanced Systems (2008, Kadima, $5M) – Developer of zero discharge intensive aquaculture system. Backed by Linnaeus Capital.

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

Supply Chain – Farm Produce
Meicai (2014, Beijing, $253M) – B2B mCommerce for fruits and vegetables. Backed by Zhen Fund, Blue Lake Capital

Finance
ProducePay (2014, Los Angeles, $9.5M) – Digital Platform for real-time tracking of produce movement and arrangement of collateral and loans. Backed by CoVenture, Menlo Ventures, Arena Ventures, Red Bear Angels, Social Leverage, and ELab

Indoor Agriculture
AgriBusiness – Cultivation
Sundrop Farms (2009, London, $100M) – Hydroponics cultivation of fruits and vegetables while using renewable energy resources in greenhouses. Backed by KKR.

AeroFarms (2004, NYC, $20.5M) – Cultivation of leafy greens 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.

Grodan (1969, Milton) – Vegetative and steerable substrates for indoor cultivation of horticultural crops.

Infrastructure – Lighting
Illumitex (2005, Austin, $67M) – Developer of LED lighting solutions for horticulture, industrial and other use. Backed by NEA, Morgan Creek, Apex, WPG, Syngenta Ventures.

Technology Providers – Data Collection and Analysis
Agrilyst (2015, NYC, $1M) – Software platform for farm data and analytics in indoor farms. Backed by Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Metamorphic Ventures.

Leader board includes all the top funded, IPO and successfully running bootstrapped companies along with their location, founding year and funding amount.

For latest updates visit AgriTech feed.

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