AgriTech Startups that are Transforming the industry
Volodymyr Kryvko, Managing Partner, Chernovetskyi Investment Group
As the population of our planet grows exponentially, the brightest minds across the globe are cooperating on the matter of organic farming and optimal protection of crops from environmental factors. Ukraine is among the most proactive and advanced players in the global agricultural market; around 70 percent of the country’s land is devoted to agricultural processing, making this industry the state’s largest exporter, contributing 9 percent to GDP annually. Moreover, Ukraine has the highest production volume of sunflower soils of any country, was ranked fifth in the world in corn production with 28.5 million metric tons in the past agricultural year, and became the seventh-largest producer of wheat in the world, growing around 27 million tons per year.
Not only do local farmers compete in this valuable market industry, but global holdings have alsoexpanded their businesses into Ukraine due to excellent conditions, regulations, and government support in conducting such enterprises. Given the importance of agribusiness to the country's economy, many Ukrainian entrepreneurs have devoted themselves to founding agri-tech startups to help farmers and corporate organizations optimize their processes and help them keep track of their precious harvest. At present, there are over one hundred prosperous startups creating innovations in all the different areas of farmers’ requirements: from farm management solutions to drone-based and remote sensing solutions. Therefore, it is our honor to introduce you to some of the most ambitious companies in the agricultural industry that are currently shaping the Ukrainian economy and are ready for global expansion.
Tradomatic, founded in 2017, is a marketplace, connecting grain growers and oilseed producers with agricultural traders. To guarAgriantee the highest success levels for these deals, the company offers exclusive use of their platform only to trusted and verified users and organizations. More than 500 market players already cooperate with Tradomatic, including the largest enterprises and holdings. In January 2021, the Company expanded its service to the United States with a Facebook Messenger chatbot which attracted over 1.1 thousand users to test this system only in two weeks in from the launch date.
Kray Technologies, founded in 2015, is the world-first digital and fully unmanned drone crop sprayer that delivers on-demand fertilizers and pesticides right to farmers’ fields. The device has a coverage speed of up to 1200 acres per day in fully automated mode and is 10 times lower OPEX and capital cost. The Company has already closed five rounds of investments, from which the latest tranche of $50,000 was provided by the Ukrainian Startup Fund in 2020.
BIOSens, founded in 2016, is a mobile agri-tech laboratory, which has made it possible to carry out vital harvest tests in around 20 minutes. The device is the first product in the world to automate these processes of sample preparation and analysis, after which all the data is stored in the cloud, since it connects to a smartphone or tablet on which the corresponding program is installed. This startup won 1st place at the Intercontinental Startup Battle, was supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and received financial support through the SME Instrument Phase 1 grant Horizon 2020 selection by the European Commission. So far, the Company has raised more than 100 thousand US dollars from two European investors, including the Ukrainian Startup Fund.
Cropwise Operations, founded in 2013, provides services for remote control of agricultural lands, such as operational monitoring of the state of sown areas, auto-documentation, forecasting, and planning of agricultural operations. The functionality of the program helps to monitor the state of crops in real-time, predict and plan agricultural operations, and calculate a yield forecast. This system is actively used in 50 countries, including Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Uruguay, Paraguay, as well as many African countries.
While expecting the number of startups to grow rapidly, we also assume that there will be more and more technologies used in the agricultural industry in future. Artificial intelligence, machine learning as well as big cloud, and data are amongst these nascent technologies, and these tools will have true potential in this field of assisting farmers to develop their enterprises. We believe that Ukraine is the perfect market to unleash these startups and expand them globally; therefore, our top priority is to assist with any issues on the exciting and dynamic pathway to new innovative tools, devices, and solutions.
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