From cannabis to corn, agriculture is a central piece of human survival. And with more people going organic and paying attention to the effect of agricultural practices on climate change and communities, agriculturally-focused companies are aiming to innovate.
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Today, a startup that has a rather interesting take on Agtech innovation, called Agricool, has picked up a $28 million round from investors including XAnge, Daphni, Kima Ventures, and Bpifrance. The Paris-based startup has developed a way to grow produce inside of its “cooltainers,” which are essentially large shipping containers. According to TechCrunch, the containers allow the company to control the growing climate using things like sun replacement lights and humidity controls. The process is designed to eliminate the need for chemical pesticides and genetically modified produce. So far, Agricool has focused on growing strawberries, but it plans to include other fruits and vegetables in the future and to launch containers in France and Dubai.
Agricool isn’t the only startup focused on farming technology. According to our own Joanna Glasner, funding for venture-backed U.S. agricultural companies spiked in the first half of 2017, with investors seeking to fund companies applying robotics, data, genetic engineering, and other technology to farming practices.
2018 has seen some sizeable deals in the agricultural space as well. In early February, Berlin-based Infarm raised a $25 million Series A to bring its indoor growing technology to supermarkets. Its hydroponic vertical farming units are meant to reduce water waste and to eliminate the pollution that results from produce transportation. Back in the U.S., Crunchbase News spoke with David Perry, founder and CEO of Indigo, about that company’s $250 million round. In addition to producing microbial coated seeds that reduce water and pesticide use, Indigo is hoping to help farmers rethink production and selling processes. Take a look at some of 2018’s notable Agtech rounds below.
It seems that as long as the companies have a focus on technology that improves sustainability, investors are keen on making a bet. Here’s to hoping that support for agricultural technology companies can contribute to reducing our overall effect on the planet.
Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias