It’s another exciting day here at Rockstart as we announce that we have completed our first exit from the Rockstart AgriFood fund only 20 months after the initial investment in Agranimo. With the exit, Nector Holdings, a global fresh produce player, is investing €2 million in Agranimo to accelerate growth and strengthen Agranimo’s technology platform. Rockstart’s investment in Agranimo was one of the fund’s first batch of investments in agtech and foodtech startups in 2019, further emphasizing its experience in scouting and investing in the best purpose-driven founders. Agranimo will use the funds to create a more targeted offering for different customer segments, from smallholder farmers to large corporate growers and the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry.
This investment allows Agranimo to further develop its data analytics to better use on-farm data downstream in the supply chain, and to expand the suite of tools to address the needs of corporate clients looking for streamlined plant-relevant soil and climate data analysis. The company will also invest in increasing its geographical presence, and expanding the number of data integrations, such as integration with SAP to provide climate intelligence for risk evaluation, certifications and benchmarking.
Founded in 2016 in Santiago, Chile, Agranimo is offering micro-climate intelligence for the fresh produce supply chain, helping to improve profitability and reduce food waste. The company supports fresh produce growers, food producers in areas of irrigation management, frost forecasting, integrated pest management, and yield forecasting. Their services consist of connecting different sources of soil and climate information, including installing patented soil and environment sensors, and providing data standardisation, software analytics and visualisation dashboards as well as agronomic support. Agranimo Platform automates climate analysis – it combines sensors, weather forecast, satellite and drone images to determine the impact of micro-climate on plant growth.
Commenting on the exit, Mark Durno, Managing Partner AgriFood, Rockstart states:
“We are very happy for Nikita, Sergio and the entire team at Agranimo. Since Rockstart invested in 2019, we have been consistently impressed by Agranimo’s speed of commercial deployment and dedication to drive greater transparency and forecasting to growers and stakeholders throughout the supply system. The investment enables Nector Holdings and Agranimo to scale their impact and technology even further. Congratulations to all the parties involved!”
Nikita Gulin, Co-Founder and CEO, Agranimo stated:
“We are very excited to have Nector as an investor and partner for a variety of reasons! They are a team of great people with a similar set of values and vision of the industry. We can access a lot of knowledge and expertise from HL Hall & Sons, which operates across all stages of production and distribution in the fresh produce value chain, thus helping us refine existing products as well as rapidly develop and trial new product ideas. The investment also allows us to accelerate our efforts to create more efficient and sustainable food production and distribution.”
Richard Franklin, MD of Nector Holdings, the agritech arm of HL Hall & Sons also commented:
“We are delighted to announce our investment in Agranimo. Over the last 12 months we have developed a strong partnership, one that is based on a shared vision for technology in the food value chain, as well as a common culture and set of principles. The Agranimo leadership team has built a dynamic, forward-thinking business that tackles some of the core challenges in agriculture today. We look forward to working together with Nikita and his team as we develop innovative digital solutions for the food industry.”
The AgriFood fund is Rockstart’s first fund launched in 2019. In May 2021, Rockstart announced the closing of the fund at €22m with the participation of Vaekstfonden’s Green Future Fund, alongside informal investors and global dairy cooperative Arla Foods. Rockstart AgriFood has invested in 20 startups since its launch in mid-2019, making the fund one of the most active AgriFood investors in the world. The Rockstart AgriFood portfolio companies have collectively raised >€10m in total thus far. Rockstart AgriFood received more than 600 applications in the last three months and is planning to make new investments this summer.