Agritech startups are businesses that offer relevant and innovative solutions to a variety of problems that crop up throughout the agricultural value chain. Market connections, such as retail, B2C, and B2B marketplaces, and digital agronomy platforms, are where Agritech businesses are leveraging on Modern day technology.


Agri-tech is the application of technology to farming to increase efficiency and profitability, and it is utilized in forestry, aquaculture, and viticulture, and is most typically used in horticulture and agriculture. Agri-food technology provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to improve a vital business that has a global influence.

These enhancements may include but are not confined to:

  • • drones
  • • Sensors and satellite photography
  • • charting of the phases
  • • forecasts of the weather
  • • irrigation system that is automated
  • • control of light and heat

For pest and disease prediction, soil management, and other complex analytical activities, intelligent software analysis is used. Another sort of agri-tech is biotech. Azotic, for example, uses nitrogen-fixing bacteria instead of nitrogen fertilizers as a more environmentally friendly option.

AGRITECH STARTUPS IN AFRICA

Over the previous 6-7 years, investment for the Agritech industry has surged year after year across the African continent, with the primary hotspots being South Africa and Kenya. The agritech industry is ranked eighth in terms of the number of companies, but fifth in terms of money raised.

The following are a few African agritech startups:
  1. AgriProtein
    David Drew and Jason Drew created this company in 2008 in Cape Town, South Africa. Twynam Agriculture Group is one of the investors, and the total funding received is over USD 122 million.
    Agriprotein creates protein and feed ingredients for fish, poultry, and pigs using waste nutrient sources. Milibeter, an insect feed firm, was bought by the company in 2018, and it is developing waste-to-nutrient insect technology to recover organic waste and turn it into sustainable and quality protein.
  2. Aerobotics

    It was formed in September 2014 by Benjamin Meltzer and James Paterson and is based in Cape Town, South Africa. Among many of the investors who contributed about USD 27 million were Endeavour Catalyst, Naspers Foundry, AfriInvest, FMO, Platform Investment Partners, Paper Plane Ventures, Cathay Innovation, and AgFunders.
    Aerobotics intends to supply farmers with information by employing drones. Aerobotics customers receive exclusive information and data from satellite and drone photographs to manage farm productivity.
  3. Apollo Agriculture

    In 2015, Benjamin Njenga, Earl St Sauver, and Eli Pollak formed this organization, which is based in Nairobi, Kenya. Anthemis Group, Leap by Bayers, Flourish Ventures, Accion Venture Labs, Rabo Bank, and FMO are among the investors who invested around USD 11.2 million.
    Apollo Agriculture is an Agritech startup that assists small-scale farmers in increasing their earnings. The company has created its framework, outreach program, and app to involve and link farmers across the nation.
  4. Agrocenta

    In 2015, Francis Obirikorang and Michael K. Ocansey launched this company in Port Louis, Mauritius. AB Ventures, Rabo Foundation, Shell Foundation, Seed Star, and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office – UK are among the investors who invested a cumulative of USD 2.2 million.
    Agritech firm Agrocenta fills a gap in the post-harvest value chain, where cultivating and developing crops requires a significant amount of labor, money, and time. Farmers lose money even if there is a little delay in selling their produce. To address this, Agrocenta developed a digital food distribution platform via which producers can directly connect purchasers in the internet market.
  5. Livestock Wealth

    Ntuthuko Shezi created this company in 2014, and it is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Investors such as Mass Challenge and AlphaCode Club invested a total of USD 131 thousand to the project.
    Livestock Wealth is a startup that focuses on cattle crowdfunding and links investors with farmers that seek livestock finance. The firm’s platform recently added a shared farming venture that sells and buys grass-fed and free-range cattle to its offerings.

Before 2020 Ends here are Amazing startups of the Year

SOME AGRITECH STARTUPS IN NIGERIA

Nigerians are known around the world as industrious individuals who have been able to make the best of any situation and excel in a variety of fields, including academia, business, the arts, and a variety of other endeavors. The younger generation, particularly millennials, are taking agriculture by storm. The top five agritech start-ups in Nigeria are listed below;

1. Verdant Agritech

Nasir Yammama, a farmer from Katsina State, developed Verdant Agritech to help farmers by providing a mobile platform via which they can access market information, financial services, and assistance, as well as extension services that educate novel farming practices. The Verdant app unites all parties in the agricultural value chain, intending to maximize the benefits of agriculture for everyone, particularly farmers in various parts of Nigeria and Africa. On Forbes Africa’s list of 30 under 30, Yammama was one of five Nigerians.

2. Fresh Direct:

Fresh Direct is an organic farming start-up founded by Angel Adelaja that uses breaking technology such as vertical farming and hydroponics (growing plants without soil and with little water). Adelaja’s urban gardening method strives to make farming available to everyone so that food may be produced, even in towns. She built a stacked container farm out of shipping containers, where ones container can produce enough veggies to cover an acre and a half. Fresh Direct also develops low-tech, low-cost technologies made of natural materials to make farming easier. Adelaja took first place in the Chivas Regal Venture Search in Nigeria in 2015.

3. Farmcrowdy:

In 2016, Akindele Phillips, Christopher Abiodun, and Tope Omotolani formed this company in Lagos, Nigeria. Farmcrowdy is a Nigerian Agritech firm that focuses on food security and increasing African food production. The overarching goal is to ’empower farmers through technology. Farmcrowdy provides farmers with market analysis tools and data, as well as cutting-edge electronic pricing, decision-making, weather data monitoring, and GPS solutions.

4. Releaf:

Releaf was formed by Isaiah Udotong, Ikenna Nzewi, and Uzoma Ayogu to accelerate agricultural-based industrialization in Nigeria through technology. Its current major initiative is the production of palm kernel oil (PKO), which is in short supply among industries that use it as a raw ingredient. It has a “smart” facility in Ikot Ukana Village, Obot Akara LGA, Akwa Ibom State, with a daily processing level of 25 tons and a weekly goal of buying and purchasing 60 tonnes of palm kernels from farmers. The factory employs a variety of algorithms in its operations, resulting in a highly efficient digital-industrial facility, Releaf was chosen for the Y Combinator accelerator in Silicon Valley in 2017 and got US$120,000 in investment.

6. Farmfields Agro-Allied Services

Zanau Hassan Maikasuwa launched Farmfields Agro-Allied Services to help local farmers and agricultural investors with crop and animal development. The start-up provides extension services, quality seeds, access to funding, access to automation, and general advising services on new and creative farming practices to farmers who want to scale up from peasant farming to industrial agriculture. Maikasuwa also assisted in the establishment of a Network Agropreneur program for female farmers.

Read Also about How Agricorp a Nigerian Agritech startup raised their funding

THE IMPORTANCE OF AGRITECH STARTUPS IN AFRICAS FIGHT AGAINST FOOD INFLATION

Releaf (Nigeria), AgriProtein (South Africa), and Apollo Agriculture Kenya) are among the technology-enabled firms which have sprung up to address the problem of food inflation, just as they have in other areas of the economy. As the prices of food rise in Africa, it is evident that something must be done, and quickly.

According to Statistics, food insecurity has progressively climbed from 6.6 percent in 2014 to 21.4 percent in 2018 and 2020. Simply put, the number of Africans who go days without eating has risen.

While agritech startups are doing a fantastic job, there is still much more to be done, the most evident of which is a large infrastructure investment to help with product transportation. Other options for funding infrastructure, such as public-private partnerships, must be considered in addition to infrastructure repair.

Food is a basic necessity, and a hungry nation can have disastrous economic and social consequences.

Here are a few examples of how Agritech has aided Africa in combating food inflation:
  1. Food Supply Source.
  2. Employment Opportunity Creation.
  3. Providing Raw Materials to Other Industries.
  4. Foreign Exchange Source.
  5. Income Contribution to the Nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
  6. The Economy’s Diversification.
  7. Strengthen Food Security.
  8. Contributes to Industrialization.
  9. Put an end to Poverty.

7 INNOVATIVE AGRITECH STARTUPS

The application of agricultural technology with the purpose of improving sustainability, performance, and profitability is referred to as agritech. It is a tiny but rising section of the startup community that aims to enhance or disrupt the global food and agriculture sector.

With that in mind, here are 7 innovative agritech startups to watch out for in 2022;

1. AGERpoint

Using cutting-edge information solutions and knowledge for growers of trees, vine, and bush-based crops, AGERPoint is defining a new technology area for the agricultural business.

This company creates nut and citrus orchard software solutions based on satellite data that is granular capable of providing tree-specific information such as canopy size and trunk diameter. Agerpoint has raised a total of $7.2 million in four rounds of fundraising, their most recent round of fundraising, a Series B round, was completed on July 26, 2019, with Blackhorn Ventures and The Yield Lab as investors. As of July 11, 2016, it has a post-money valuation of $10 million to $50 million.

The company’s platform can geolocate every single tree on geo-located grounds, as well as geo-rectification of fused data sets delivered as a data service platform, and translates information into data using laser and other optical detection equipment, resulting in meaningful intelligence, comprehensive GIS-based asset inventory, data, and precision agriculture details, allowing farmers to achieve optimal crop yield.

2. BrightFarms

BrightFarms is constructing and managing greenhouses in cities and suburbs to suit the increasing demand for hyper-local products. It creates, finances, constructs, and runs hydroponic greenhouse farms near markets, reducing time, distance, and expense in the supply network. To enhance produce freshness, the company partners with supermarkets such as Giant, ACME, and Pick-n-Save and places the farm at or near the store.

BrightFarms has raised a total of $212.9 million in fundraising over eight rounds, with the most recent round taking place on October 20, 2020. It is backed by six investors, the most recent of whom being catalyst Investors and Cox Enterprises. As of October 21, 2020, BrightFarms has a post-money valuation of $500 million to one billion dollars.

3. CropX

CropX is an Israeli firm that sells cloud-based software that attempts to increase agricultural yields by focusing on water and energy conservation. Instead of watering an entire field at once, the system uses in-field sensors to give the exact amount of water to each plant. The startup, which was founded in 2013, has raised $10 million in funding.

Through its irrigation maps, the firm’s software enables farmers to make cultivation more lucrative by combining smart soil sensor technology with cloud-based agricultural inputs that interact with top irrigation systems to assist farmers to enhance crop output and reduce water loss. CropX has raised a total of $24.3 million in funding over ten rounds, the most recent of which was a Series B round on August 21, 2019. It is backed by 14 investors, the most recent of whom are GreenSoil Investments and Armada Capital. CropX has purchased three companies, the most recent being Dacom Farm Intelligence on August 10, 2021.

4. Granular

Farmers can use granular’s software to organize their staff, evaluate profitability, estimate revenues, and more, just as big retailers do use data-driven software to help them monitor everything. Andreessen Horowitz, Tao Capital Partners, and Khosla Ventures have together invested over $24 million in the company.

Granular has raised a total of $24.9 million in two rounds of funding, the most recent of which came on July 22, 2015, from a Series B round. It is backed by eight investors, the most recent of whom being Emory Investment Management and H. Barton Asset Management.

5. Sample6

Sample6 is committed to updating food safety by delivering new solutions that change the industry’s focus from reaction to prevention, as outlined by the FSMA and HACCP efforts in the United States. The company wants to be the main hub for all food safety-related statistics and deliver value-added analytics, providing goods and information to players across the food value chain that will help them overcome problems and decrease risk. It bills itself as the “world’s fastest food pathogen detection system,” claiming to be able to detect a bug in as little as 6 hours, and its devices can detect diseases like listeria in plants.

It has acquired more than $30 million from investors including Campbell Soup’s VC Acre Venture Partners and Sam Kass, President Barack Obama’s previous policy advisor, and personal chef. Sample6 has raised a total of $41.7 million in funding over six rounds, the most recent of which was a Series C round on August 22, 2016. It is backed by a group of ten investors. The most recent investors are Acre Venture Partners and Valley Oak Investments. As of August 22, 2016, Sample6 has a post-money worth of $100 million to $500 million.

6. Augmenta

It has developed the “Field Analyzer,” a smart, robotic system that is designed to help farmers fertilize and spray their fields precisely. The device consists of a piece of gear that connects to field equipment and controls the amount and timing of field treatments. The farmer oversees development from a table using Augmenta’s web platform. It claims that their technique can increase crop yields by up to 12%, improve crop quality by up to 20%, and cut fertilizer usage by 15%.

It has raised a total of $11.2 million in fundraising over four rounds, with the most recent round taking place on March 23, 2021. HCVC and CNH Industrial are the two most recent of the five investors.

7. Root Artificial Intelligence

The company sells intelligent robots that are designed to support smart farms with features such as food security and quality, as well as AI applications such as vision systems that can ascertain when produce is ripe and ready to pick, allowing indoor growers to be more productive and grow chemical-free food products.

It is a research firm that develops artificial intelligence and robotics to aid the indoor farming industry.

The business is currently developing Virgo, a gathering robot for controlled temperatures such as greenhouse and glasshouse farm operations. The Virgo robot from Root AI is supposed to be nimble and harvest like a human. The company’s bot has only learned to pick tomatoes so far, but the hardware, according to Root AI’s CEO, can be utilized for a variety of crops.

Root AI is an Agritech company in the United States of America and has raised a total of $9.5 million in three rounds of funding, the most recent of which came on September 20, 2020, from a Secondary Market round. Jason Calacanis and First Round Capital are among the ten investors who have invested in Root AI.

FAQ

What is agricultural financing?

Agricultural finance is the study, examination, and analysis of financial elements of the agriculture business, which is India’s core sector. Money concerns connected to agricultural product production and disposal are included in the financial elements.

What are the latest agricultural technologies?

Robotics, precision agriculture, artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and other innovative agricultural technologies are only a few of the emerging technologies that have been developed.

What are three examples of agriculture-related technology?

Agriculture now routinely makes use of advanced technologies such as robotics, weather and humidity sensor, aerial photography, and GPS technology.

What are some of the most recent agricultural innovations?

Hydroponics, Aeroponics, and Aquaponics.

In agriculture, what is the transfer of technology?

Technology transfer is explained in the context of agricultural research and development as an approach that allows and expedites the creation and distribution of technology for user acceptance.

Conclusion

Agriculture/Agritech plays a critical role because it is a driver of economic development, and as previously stated, survival will be unthinkable without it. Agriculture/Agritech not only feeds the mouth, but it is also a source of revenue for both government and its citizens, and it plays a critical role in the growing economy.

If the government is concerned about the country’s agricultural industry, it is providing the country with another possibility to get wealthy.

REFERENCES

Our Writers most times refer to other reputable publishers source to bring in more facts especially when it has to do with stats

Techpoint Africa:

Erica Ofure

I am an expert in Tech Journalist Writing, passionate in deep search and keeping myself inform.

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