Blockchain is set to disrupt AgTech—and agriculture in general—with its definitive ledger technology. Transactions, contracts, and accounts by industry players are stored in secure and immutable ledgers. This functionality not only promotes accountability and transparency among food producers, suppliers, vendors, and customers, it also cuts down on the costs and complexities that come with traditional data collection processes.
Also, because blockchain is a reliable means of storing agriculture data, it helps facilitate research and development of different AgTech innovations. Thus, blockchain can help usher in and streamline smart farming technology.
The blockchain niche in AgTech is bound for a big rise. A market report published in January 2022 has predicted that the global blockchain market in agriculture will grow from $139.6M in 2020 to $1.488B by 2026.
Among the notable blockchain firms revolutionizing the agriculture industry are:
- AgriChain: A startup utilizing blockchain to improve the facilitation of peer-to-peer agricultural transactions and processing by removing the middlemen.
- AgriLedger: A social enterprise project based in the United Kingdom that enables farmers to trace food origins, simplify access to financing, and store their transactions data.
- Ripe.io: A blockchain company that specializes in mapping the food journey and using data to create a transparent digital food supply - a blockhain of food.
There have also been a number of AgTech deals involving blockchain startups.
- In January 2022, Australia-based AgTech-Fintech startup Geora secured $1.1M seed funding from Tenacious Ventures. Geora advertises itself as the first firm to offer a SaaS blockchain platform that enables users to create records of ownership for different agricultural commodities for traceability. The data is shared with banks, insurance companies, and trading markets to help develop financing solutions.
- In December 2021, IBISA, an agricultural insurance startup that focuses on small agricultural entrepreneurs, received $1.70M in seed funding from insurance tech provider Gateway, with participation from Rockstart’s AgriFood and others. IBISA assesses damage to farms and crops caused by weather by analyzing data from satellite images. The company uses blockchain as a means to store critical farm and weather data and keeping data collection costs low.
- In November 2021, Switzerland-based Watr Foundation received an undisclosed amount from TrustToken, creator of the TUSD stablecoin. The fund will be used to further develop Watr's blockchain capabilities, including smart digital contract modules that will manage and monitor the pricing, trade and financing of agricultural and other commodities.
- In September 2021, India-based farm diversification solution provider Aqgromalin received $5.13M Series 1 funding from Zephyr Management, Omnivore, and Sequoia Capital India. The company focuses on ready-to-implement micro-farms, IoT monitoring solutions, and a blockchain-enabled tech and supply chain platform. These products are designed to accelerate and drive the grower and trader ecosystems.
- In March 2020, GrainChain raised $8.2M of venture funding in a round led by Medici Ventures. GrainChain's farm management software utilizes a tamper-proof technology to provide blockchain-based data service for organic farms or internationally certified farms which export products or food ingredients. This capability helps farmers produce eco-farm products of the highest quality.
- In February 2018, AgriDigital secured $5.5M Series A funding in a round led by Square Peg Capital. AgriDigital provides food producers with a cloud-based blockchain-enabled commodity management platform that simplifies and secures the supply chain from farmer to consumer.
Sources: AgTech, TechCrunch, AgriInvestors, Australian Financial Review, Yahoo Finance