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

RECENT NOTABLE ACTIVITY – AgriTech

  • Protix, an insect based edible protein manufacturer, rasises $50M of Series C funding from Aqua-Spark, Rabobank, BOM and other private investors. Link
  • AeroFarms, an aeroponics based soil-less vertical farming company, raises $34M of its $40M planned Series D funding from Meraas, ADM Capital, Alliance Bernstein, Wheatsheaf Group and GSR Ventures. Link
  • Bowery Farming, a developer of autonomous aeroponic cultivation system, raises $20M in Series A funding co-led by General Catalyst and GGV Capital with a participation from GV (formerly Google Ventures). Link
  • FarmFriend (Nongtian Guanjia), a mobile-only marketplace for connecting farmers with agricultural drone service providers, raises $7.3M in Series B funding led by Gobi Partners with a participation from GGV Capital, Shunwei Capital, the Zhen Fund and Yunqi Partners. Link
  • Freight Farms, a manufacturer of hydroponics based smart shipping containers to grow food, raises $7M in Series B funding from Spark Capital. Link
  • Illumitex, a manufacturer of LED lights for horticulture, industrial and architecture use, raises $4M in Series C from WP Global Partners and NEA. Link
  • BayoTech, a manufacturer of modular, on-field fertilizer production system, raises $2M in Series A led by Cottonwood Technology Fund with a participation from the state of Mexico. Link
  • Yofumo, a manufacturer of automated post harvest storage solution for cannabis, raises $1.5M in Seed funding led by MedScience Ventures with a participation from other angel investors. Link
  • American Robotics, provider of drone based monitoring and mapping for agriculture, raises $1.1M in Seed funding from Brain Robotics Capital. Link
  • Pine Biotech, a technology platform for biotech companies to integrate the omics data types and data analysis to provide insights, raises $1M in Seed funding. Link
  • AgroCenta, a digital market linkage platform for smallholder farmers for selling their produce, wins $20k grant prize at the Fincluders Startup Challenge. Link
  • Cultivando Futuro, an online marketplace for farmers to sell their products directly to wholesalers and retailers, wins $10k grant prize at The Thought For Food Global Summit. Link
  • Apse, a developer of RNA sprays for crop risk mitigation against pest infestations, raises undisclosed amount of Seed funding. Link
  • Forager, an online marketplace for local farmers to sell their products to urban consumers, raises undisclosed amount of funding from Coastal Enterprises. Link 
  • Vertical farming startup Plenty acquires Bright Agrotech, a manufacturer of indoor vertical farming systems for an undisclosed amount. Link
  • Trimble, a provider of advanced positioning technology and mobile solutions for productivity enhancement, acquires Müller-Elektronik, a developer of control devices for farm machinery, for an undisclosed amount. Link

SOME INTERESTING STARTUPS FOUND

Finless Foods (2017, NYC): Uses synthetic biology to culture fish meat.
Stem Shock (2016, Surrey): Develops RNAi based precision herbicides.

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 and 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, $90M) – Cultivation of leafy greens in soil-less growth medium using aeroponics. Backed by Middleland Capital, Wheatsheaf, GSR Ventures, Mission Point Capital, Meraas and GSR Ventures.

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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