WorldCover raises $6M round for emerging markets’ climate insurance

WorldCover, a New York and Africa-based climate insurance provider to smallholder farmers, has raised a $6 million Series A round led by MS&AD Ventures. Y Combinator, Western Technology Investment and EchoVC also participated in the round. WorldCover’s platform uses satellite imagery, on-ground sensors, mobile phones and data analytics to create insurance options for farmers whose […]

Grainchain, a blockchain-based platform for commodity sales, launches in Mexico

In the two years since GrainChain launched its distributed ledger-based transaction platform for bulk dry goods, the company has brokered thousands of contracts on everything from corn, sorghum, wheat and soybeans to even sand from its headquarters in McAllen, Texas. Now the company is expanding its services to Mexico, partnering with the government of Tamaulipas […]

MIT’s ‘cyber-agriculture’ optimizes basil flavors

The days when you could simply grow a basil plant from a seed by placing it on your windowsill and watering it regularly are gone — there’s no point now that machine learning-optimized hydroponic “cyber-agriculture” has produced a superior plant with more robust flavors. The future of pesto is here. This research didn’t come out […]

AgroStar gets $27M Series C to give more Indian farmers increased crop production with data analytics

Indian agriculture tech startup AgroStar announced today that it has raised a $27 million Series C for its platform, which helps farmers increase crop production, manage orders and buy supplies online. The round was led by Bertelsmann India Investments, with participation from returning investors Accel, Chiratae Ventures and Aavishkaar Bharat Fund. AgroStar bills its app […]

VCs have growing appetite for ‘AgriFood’

Venture investors are pouring billions of dollars into feeding their hunger for food and agriculture startups. Whether that trend line is due to enthusiasm for the sector or just broader heavy investing in the VC space is much less clear. According to a recent report published by AgFunder – a VC and investing marketplace focused […]

Tech investors see bugs as a big business as Ÿnsect raises $125 million

A company using advanced technologies to grow and harvest mealworms (larval beetles) at scale is on track to become one of the venture capital industry’s oddest billion-dollar investments. Ÿnsect, (pronounced ‘insect”) is a Paris-based producer of insect protein that has just closed on $125 million as the company looks to expand into North America selling […]

How to decarbonize America — and the world

Ramez Naam Contributor More posts by this contributor The Ultimate Interface Is Your Brain The Green New Deal has burst onto the American stage, spurring more conversation about – and aspiration for – ambitious climate policy than at any point in at least a decade. I’m glad to see it. Suddenly, climate is on the […]

SeeTree raises $11.5M to help farmers manage their orchards

SeeTree, a Tel Aviv-based startup that uses drones and artificial intelligence to bring precision agriculture to their groves, today announced that it has raised an $11.5 million Series A funding round led by Hanaco Ventures, with participation from previous investors Canaan Partners Israel, Uri Levine and his investors group, iAngel and Mindset. This brings the […]

Precision farming startup Taranis gets $20M Series B for its crop-monitoring tech

Taranis, an ag-tech startup that uses aerial scouting and deep learning to identify potential crop issues, announced today that it has raised a $20 million Series B led by Viola Ventures. Existing investors Nutrien (one of the world’s largest fertilizer producers), Wilbur-Ellis venture capital arm Cavallo Ventures and Sumitomo Corporation Europe also participated. Tel Aviv-based […]

Iron Ox opens its first fully autonomous farm

For the last two and a half years, Iron Ox has been working on perfecting its agricultural robots to tend its indoor farms. After first testing its systems on a small scale, the company is opening its first fully autonomous production farm, with plans to start selling its produce soon. The farm is currently growing […]