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  • AgTech Weekly: Funding Surges, Innovations, and Sustainable Farming Advances

AgTech Weekly: Funding Surges, Innovations, and Sustainable Farming Advances

Exploring Key Investments and Collaborations Driving the Future of Agriculture Technology.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Funding Round: Aigen raises $12M for AI-driven sustainable farming solutions; Kuva Space’s €16.6M for advanced agricultural monitoring; Lucent Bio's $3.6M funding for sustainable seed technology & McCain Foods' $6.9M Grant for implementing soil health and climate-smart practices.

  2. Partnerships: Vision Bioenergy and ADAMA's Partnership to enhance Camelina crop protection; Trace Genomics and EarthOptics in Carbon Measurement for advanced soil carbon assessment; OCP Group, UM6P, and Regrow's Strategic Alliance to Develop an MRV system for African soils.

  3. Sustainable Agriculture: Netafim's Launching the ReGen™ AgVantage Certification Program; ADM's Report on regenerative agriculture highlights consumer-driven sustainability trends.

  4. Financial Results in AgTech: Insights from Syngenta Group and Corteva Agriscience.

green and yellow field during daytime

Funding & Investments

Aigen's Series A Funding

Aigen, an innovative AI-driven robotics company, has raised $12 million in Series A funding. This round, led by ReGen Ventures with notable participants like NEA and Cleveland Avenue, is a testament to investors' confidence in Aigen's mission to transform farming with sustainable solutions. The funding will boost the production of the Aigen Element, a groundbreaking solar-powered autonomous robot, addressing the high pre-order demand. With total funding reaching $19 million, Aigen is set to inaugurate a new 7,500-square-foot facility dedicated to manufacturing and R&D, furthering its commitment to sustainable and scalable farming technologies.

Kuva Space's Breakthrough Funding

Finnish innovator Kuva Space has secured €16.6M in funding in a significant move for sustainable agriculture. This investment propels the development of a unique microsatellite constellation equipped with advanced hyperspectral imaging. This technology promises to revolutionize agricultural monitoring by offering detailed insights into crop and soil conditions, fostering improved crop yields and sustainable farming practices.

Lucent Bio's Funding Milestone

Lucent Bio, a leader in AgTech innovation, has announced an impressive funding of over $3.6 million from PacifiCan. This investment is dedicated to developing Nutreos, Lucent Bio’s pioneering seed treatment technology. Nutreos, a biodegradable, microplastic-free seed coating, is designed to enhance germination and crop vitality, signifying a shift towards more sustainable agricultural inputs. The funding will enable Lucent Bio to expand its market presence, offering this eco-friendly technology to a global farming audience.

McCain Foods' USDA Grant

McCain Foods USA has received a $6.9 million grant from the USDA for its “Improving Soil Health in Potato Supply Chains” project. This grant supports implementing soil health and climate-smart practices across 6,000 acres in Wisconsin and Maine. In collaboration with Campbell Soup Company and the Soil Health Institute, McCain Foods is committed to adopting sustainable farming practices that benefit the environment and the economy. The company’s goal to implement regenerative agricultural practices on all its potato acreage by 2030 is further bolstered by this funding.

Partnerships

Vision Bioenergy and ADAMA's Joint Development Agreement

Vision Bioenergy Oilseeds (VISION) and ADAMA have announced a Joint Development Agreement focusing on enhancing crop protection for Camelina, a key renewable fuel crop. This collaboration aims to expand the range of crop protection products for Camelina growers, filling a significant market need. A central aspect of this agreement is the development of Camelina strains tolerant to specific herbicides, improving weed control and crop yields.

Trace Genomics and EarthOptics' Pioneering Partnership

Trace Genomics and EarthOptics have entered into a multi-year agreement to revolutionize carbon measurement in agriculture. This collaboration introduces the C-Mapper, combining EarthOptics’ GroundOwl Sensor data with TraceCARBON data from Trace Genomics. The C-Mapper, a part of the EarthOptics SoilMapper™ platform, sets a new standard in soil carbon measurement accuracy, offering invaluable tools for farmers and ranchers in managing soil carbon levels.

OCP Group, UM6P, and Regrow's Strategic Alliance

In a landmark move, OCP Group, University Mohammed VI Polytechnic (UM6P), and Regrow have formed a strategic alliance to develop an innovative MRV (Measuring, Reporting, and Verification) system for African soils. This initiative focuses on adapting the DNDC model to the unique conditions of African soil, aiming to enhance carbon storage and promote fertile grounds for agriculture. This system offers African farmers an accessible, user-friendly tool for improving soil health and generating additional income through carbon credits.

Sustainable Agriculture

Netafim's Sustainability Initiative

Netafim, part of Orbia’s Precision Agriculture business, has launched the Netafim ReGen™ AgVantage Certification Program, a pioneering effort to set a new sustainability standard in agriculture. This program aims to recycle used dripline materials, creating a circular process that reduces environmental impact and landfill waste. Since 2007, Netafim’s California facility has been at the forefront of recycling used plastic dripline materials, demonstrating a commitment to sustainable agriculture practices.

ADM's Regenerative Agriculture Report

ADM , a leader in sustainable agricultural supply chains, has released a significant report, “Farming for the Future: The State of Regenerative Agriculture Program Adoption.” This research highlights the growing influence of regenerative agriculture on consumer choices and corporate strategies. With insights revealing that most consumers trust and prefer brands implementing regenerative agriculture, ADM underscores the importance of sustainability as a dual moral and business imperative.

Financial Results

Syngenta Group's Financial Performance

Syngenta Group, a leading agribusiness company, reported a decrease in sales and EBITDA for the first nine months and third quarter of 2023 compared to 2022. This reflects a broader industry trend of cautious inventory management following supply chain disruptions. The company's sales for the first nine months stood at $24.3 billion, a 6% decrease year-on-year, with EBITDA declining by 22%. Q3 2023 sales were $6.8 billion, down 13% from Q3 2022.

Corteva Agriscience's Earnings Update

Corteva Agriscience reported a 1% decrease in net and organic sales for 2023 YTD compared to last year. However, gains in North America and EMEA were offset by declines in Latin America and Asia Pacific. The Seeds segment saw a 7% growth in net sales, while the Crop Protection segment experienced a 10% decrease. The company's performance reflects varying regional market conditions.

CNH Industrial's Steady Growth

CNH Industrial N.V. reported a resilient financial performance for Q3 2023, with consolidated revenues reaching nearly $6 billion despite a slight decrease in net sales for Industrial Activities. The company's gross profit margins improved, indicating effective strategies in price realization and operational efficiency. This performance showcases CNH Industrial's ability to navigate fluctuating market conditions.

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