15 AgTech Startups Reshaping the Food Landscape

The challenges facing farmers today are massive. Labor shortages. Trade wars. Maintaining soil health. And the world population is projected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations. That’s where Agtech comes into play. Agtech (agriculture technology) developed as a response to the increasing concerns about food security for the growing global population and the diminishing viability of farming.

Just a few years ago, we didn’t even know the term Agtech. Skip forward to today, and we are seeing startups popping up in everything from farm drones, vertical farming, to satellites and in-field sensors that monitor soil conditions and indicate optimum planting times.

According to the recent report by Agfunder, global agri-foodtech funding reached $19.8bn in 2019. Although the report shows a slight drop in funding this past year (4.8%), it’s hard to ignore that there has been an outstanding 250% growth in the past five years. The drop is due to troubling global economic issues such as US-China trade war, Brexit, and a weakening Chinese economy.

The largest growth in funding includes meat alternatives, indoor farming, robotic food delivery, and cloud kitchens.

European tech funding doubled, and Latin America is the big star in this sector raising $1.4 billion in agri-foodtech startup money, more than its entire venture capital industry in 2017 (up 32% year-over-year).

15 Agtech Disruptors

There are approximately 1,600 global Agtech startups reshaping the global agriculture industry. Next-generation farming is here and there is no shortage of fascinating new tech companies in this space. Check out these 15 industry disruptors:

1. Aerobotics

Aerobotics combines aerial imagery obtained from satellites and drones with its machine learning algorithms to provide early problem detection services to farmers, helping them monitor their crops, get early warning of potential risks, and optimize yields.

2. Farmdok

FARMDOK is an agricultural software used for taking field records in agricultural farming. They have a smartphone app that records tasks directly in the field and a WebClient for the creation and evaluation of reports. Farmdok is helpful for legally-required documentation reports for plant protection and fertilization; it also provides farmers with proper records for decision making. 

3. Kray Technologies

Kray Technologies developed a fully unmanned drone crop sprayer that delivers on-demand fertilizers and pesticides right to farmers’ fields. Their drones are built to replace agriculture planes and ground sprayers.

4. Artemis

Artemis provides enterprise Cultivation Management Platform solutions. Their software enables growers to optimize their facilities for profitability and helps growers manage people, plants, processes, and compliance all in one place.

5. Clear Labs

Clearlabs is a 3-1 solution for Listeria detection, persistence monitoring and environmental mapping. Clearlabs is a  genomics testing company that conducts high-throughput DNA sequencing tests to determine if food samples contain the genetic materials of specific pathogens.

6. FarmLead

FarmLead is an online grain marketplace that enables people to buy or sell grain. The platform allows farmers and credit-approved buyers to negotiate and transact directly with one another.

7. Ceres Imaging

Ceres Imaging is an aerial spectral imagery and analytics company that serves farmers and agribusinesses. Using proprietary sensors, analytics, machine learning models, and plant science, Ceres delivers university-validated imagery-based intelligence to farms. This enables customers to identify pest, disease, water, and fertilizer issues weeks before they are visible to the naked eye.

8. Root AI

Root AI is a research company aiming to create intelligent robots that will help growers build the farms of the future. This robotics and artificial intelligence startup has built autonomous harvesting robots. Root AI just introduced Virgo, a self-driving robot designed to pick tomatoes. Virgo has inbuilt sensors, cameras that serve as its eyes, and artificial intelligence software that analyzes whether the tomato is ripe, and an arm with delicate “fingers” that swings out and snags the fruit right off the vine.

9. Stable

Stable came to life to redesign the way the food and farming industry could manage the risk of volatile commodity prices; one of its biggest problems. With over 3,000 commodity indexes from 40 countries, we have an unparalleled ability to help our global clients cover their risk in a simple and targeted way.

10. KisanHub

KisanHub is an Enterprise SaaS platform providing actionable insights across the supply chain for the agri-food industry. The platform connects enterprises with their growers to provide crop intelligence through crop-specific apps and is focussed on in-season agronomy advice on pest/diseases, fertilizer application, irrigation management and yield prediction to reduce the input costs and improve profit margins.

11. Trapview

TRAPVIEW is an automated pest monitoring system that monitors all kinds of insects, which can be lured into insect traps. It works on all continents in any area covered by the GPRS or 3G network. With significantly raising accuracy and decreasing costs of pest control TRAPVIEW provides an innovative solution for farmers, advisers and researchers.

12. Taranis

Taranis uses its digital agronomy solution to help growers protect their crops with submillimeter resolution aerial imagery and analysis at the most critical growth stages. Their precision agriculture intelligence platform uses computer vision, data science and deep learning algorithms to generate granular insights for the prevention of crop yield loss from diseases, insects, weeds, and nutrient deficiencies.

13. Earth Sense

EarthSense is creating dramatic new possibilities for crop breeders, plant protection products developers,  crop scientists, and field agronomists. Their robot, TerraSentia, improves the quantity, accuracy, cost, and speed of in-field plant trait data collection, especially for under-canopy traits that cannot be obtained by other technologies. 

14. Rootwave

RootWave is a sustainable and scalable organic alternative to herbicides and is improving the environment by reducing the use of chemicals. They designed professional hand weeders for growers, gardeners, and groundskeepers to spot weed and treat invasive species. 

15. Infarm

Infarm builds and distributes highly efficient vertical farms throughout cities to grow fresh produce right in your neighborhood. They remotely control all Infarms through their cloud-based farming platform. It learns, adjusts and improves itself continuously, so each plant grows better than the last.

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