18 January 2021, New Delhi, IN: CropIn, a leading global artificial intelligence and data-led agri-tech organization empowering stakeholders to reimagine agriculture with data, has raised US$20 million in a Series C funding round led by ABC World Asia, an Asia-focused private equity fund dedicated to evidence-based impact investing.
Existing investors Chiratae Ventures, Invested Development and Ankur Capital also participated in this funding round. Other new investors in this round include CDC Group and Kris Gopalakrishnan’s family office Pratithi Investment Trust.
CropIn will use this capital infusion to focus on its global expansion, while continuing to innovate on its machine learning-based predictive analytics platform, SmartRisk to further strengthen its artificial intelligence capabilities. CropIn is also investing to penetrate deeper in its target markets globally. Recently, CropIn opened an Amsterdam office, and will be hiring local leaders to drive growth in the European market.
CropIn’s data-driven farming solutions enable agri-enterprises and growers to ‘maximize per-acre value’. Its farm data and agronomy management platform, SmartFarm, empowers stakeholders to improve efficiency, productivity, predictability, and sustainability of their crop value-chains. SmartFarm enables agri-enterprises to adhere to food safety standards thereby ensuring farm-to-fork traceability. The platform helps growers adopt sustainable farming practices to build long term economic viability and resiliency for local farming communities. CropIn has partnered with several global players in agriculture, including development finance institutions and government entities in 52 countries, to drive their digital and sustainability goals.
CropIn’s SmartRisk platform improves underwriting and risk assessment, enabling banks, insurance providers and other financial institutions to make informed underwriting decisions, identify new markets and expand product portfolios to service high-volume low-ticket opportunities. By analyzing and interpreting farm-centric data for over 388 crops with nearly 9,500 variants across trillions of data points that grow every day, SmartRisk helps achieve high prediction accuracy at a plot-level. It does this by combining computer vision with deep-learning algorithms, on multispectral imagery derived from aerial scouting (satellites and drones), field scouting data, and hyperlocal weather.
The SmartRisk AI has processed more than 160 million hectares of land area, and has the potential to impact 70 million farmers globally in the next 3-5 years. Thus far, CropIn has positively impacted 13 million acres and 4 million farmers through the SmartFarm and SmartRisk platforms. Smallholder farmers associated with CropIn’s clientele also observed their crop yields increasing by nearly 25% in the first year and subsequently experienced optimised yield improvements in the following years, by integrating the recommended advanced agricultural techniques and quality inputs into their farming practices through CropIn’s agri-tech platforms.
“The robust, predictive power of digitalisation offers tremendous potential for the agriculture industry to leapfrog its many challenges in the coming years. The industry is capturing more data than ever, on everything from agronomy, weather and logistics to market price volatility, which has helped reduce acute data gaps throughout the value chain. In order to improve yields, optimise production and improve resilience and sustainability, agri-businesses are increasingly relying on innovative agri-tech solutions like artificial intelligence, data analytics, and the internet of things. We, at CropIn, are excited to advance the ‘AI-Culture’ for Agriculture,” says Krishna Kumar, Founder and CEO of CropIn.
Based in Singapore, ABC World Asia invests in companies that demonstrate commitment to generating positive and measurable social or environmental impact, alongside the ability to deliver compelling risk-adjusted returns.
“Sustainable food and agriculture is a core investment theme for ABC World Asia. The agriculture industry is an important pillar of the global economy, in particular driving Asia’s growth and feeding the region’s rapidly increasing population. The industry now faces challenges more pronounced than before, with the COVID-19 global pandemic highlighting the vulnerability of global food supplies and impacting the livelihoods of many smallholder farmers. CropIn’s digital solutions will enable farmers to utilize real-time data for better decision-making and improved farm productivity. This investment underscores our support of such smart and sustainable agri-tech solutions that can build resilience in agriculture,” said David Heng, Founder and CEO of ABC World Asia. Ms Sugandhi Matta, Managing Director of ABC World Asia, will also join CropIn as a board member.
Existing investors of CropIn include BeeNext and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Strategic Investment Fund (London and Seattle). Over the last year, CropIn has established an advisory board comprising Barrett Mooney (Chairman of Board at AgEagle), Ranveer Chandra (Chief Scientist at Microsoft), TVG Krishnamurthy (Member of the Board of Directors at Ola), and Dr Iya Khalil (Global Head of the AI Innovation Center at Novartis).
According to Karan Mohla, Partner, Chiratae Ventures India Advisors, “As active investors in the agri-tech space as well as in companies pioneering deep-tech and AI, we are truly excited about the innovative models that CropIn is building out in farm management and predictive analytics. In creating and building out a platform for multiple participants in the agriculture ecosystem, CropIn has established itself as a true global leader. With the leadership of Krishna and co-founder Kunal Prasad, they have built out a tremendous world-class team and advisory board and are on the precipice of achieving massive scale as a global company.”
Ambit Corporate Finance acted as the financial advisor to CropIn for this funding round. With this new round of investment, CropIn has raised a total funding of US$33.1 million to date.