From crop-sharing platforms to fresh produce delivery services, it’s clear that Asian startups are bullish on putting AgriTech front and center.
It’s no secret that the agricultural industry is one of the most important, yet undervalued, sectors in the global economy. But what you may not know is that a growing number of startups in Asia are putting this vital sector in the spotlight and shaking up the status quo in the process. Whether it’s using innovative new technologies to improve crop yields or creating more efficient supply chains—these startups are paving the way for a brighter future for agriculture across the region.
So if you’re looking for some exciting new investment opportunities or just want to learn more about how Asian startups are changing the game, then be sure to check out this post!
Indonesian startup TaniHub Group enables farmers to earn more money for their crops by simplifying distribution routes, limiting the number of middlemen between farmers and their customers. Over the last couple of years, TaniHub has started exporting several types of fruits and spices to the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and South Korea. Recently, the startup bagged funding of US$65.5 million in a Series B round led by MDI Ventures and others.
Indian company CropIn’s data-driven agricultural solutions help agri-businesses and growers maximize per-acre value with artificial intelligence. The company aims to offer insights on weather and disease prediction, crop health and yield estimation by digitizing farm data. Recently, the Indian AgriTech startup secured US$20 million in a Series C round of funding led by ABC World Asia. It has also partnered with True Digital Solutions to streamline supply chain management so that farmers can trace their product sales and thus facilitate the digital transformation of Southeast Asia’s agriculture economy.
Japfa, a pan-Asian agri-food firm formed in February 2019, recently revealed the five winners of its project funding competition named “Feed the Future”. The goal of the challenge was to use technology to enhance animal feed, farming, processing and food across five protein groups: poultry, aquaculture, swine, beef and dairy. The company was founded with the goal of improving protein output, food resilience and agricultural sustainability in Asia. The funded pilot schemes’ winners include IT businesses Beakbook, Rakr and Sea Warden, which are headquartered in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, respectively. These initiatives will be developed and scaled out throughout Asian markets under the new plan. Beakbook works in the poultry business; Rakr assists farmers in lowering operating expenses; and Sea Warden uses satellite surveillance to improve transparency in the seafood supply chain.
These are just a few examples of startups that have gained funding due to their innovative business concepts. Other companies, such as HappyFresh, an Indonesian e-grocer, have secured US$65 million to expand across the country. Aruna Online, a fisheries e-commerce business located in Jakarta, has bagged US$35 million, which is the country’s largest Series A funding in the AgriTech and marine industries. Further, another analysis from Inc42 Plus data, India’s addressable AgriTech market potential is estimated to reach US$24.1 billion by 2025, of which India’s AgriTech startups have touched just US$204 million in 2020.
So why are startups focusing on agriculture now?
Asian agriculture has come across multiple challenges, including a growing demand for food due to population growth and urbanization; tightened supply-related problems in terms of aging farmers and restricted access to capitals; and reduced natural resources because of climate change and diminishing arable lands. Hence, turning to technological solutions only seems natural for the industry to sustain growth. This is where startups have hit the bull’s-eye. Sensing the opportunities, startups in Asia have started to cater to the sector by using technology as their key driver.
Asian startups are shaking up the agriculture industry with their innovative ideas and fresh approaches. This is good news for the agriculture industry, which can benefit from the innovation and creativity of startups. The rise of Asian startups in this space is definitely something to watch, and it will be interesting to see how they continue to shape the future of agriculture.
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