Eight Agri-Food Tech Entrepreneurs from Around the World to Compete for $250k in Funding from Radicle Growth at World Agri-Tech Pitch Day 2019

The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit partnered with acceleration fund Radicle Growth on the second annual Radicle Challenge taking place at the upcoming World Agri-Tech Pitch Day on March 18 in San Francisco. Today, eight startups from around the world have been announced as the finalists to compete in the Pitch Day competition: US-based Agrospheres, Aromyx, Napigen, Traive, Brazil-based AgTrace, Australia-based EscaVox, Turkey-based Tarfin and Kenya-based Tulaa. All eight finalists will benefit from pre-pitch coaching ahead of the summit from Radicle Growth, who will invest $250k in the Pitch Day winner.

Hundreds of seed-stage startups representing diverse technology offerings for the agtech and foodtech sectors applied to participate in the Pitch Day. A panel of judges, including Radicle’s Kirk Haney, Arama Kukutai (Finistere Ventures), Geoff Kneen (Bayer, Crop Science), Mai Komatsu (Corteva AgriScience) and Adrian Percy (Independent Advisor), evaluated the submissions and selected the finalists. The Pitch Day winner will be announced on the first day of the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit (March 19) and will present within the start-up Technology Showcase on March 20 to over 1,200 global agribusinesses and investors, unlocking powerful opportunities for growth.

Commenting on the entries, Kirk Haney, Managing Partner of Radicle Growth, said: “Once again, we saw a fantastic response for participation in the Pitch Day competition, with hundreds of entries from innovators around the world. Now is an exciting time for agtech innovators and investors, and we’re delighted to support their route to market with this platform to showcase their solutions and to benefit from our $250k investment and mentoring. We look forward to the presentations and to working with the selected winner.”

The eight finalists:
Agrospheres (US) has developed a platform technology for encapsulation of biomolecules and synthetic chemicals. It is developing biological-based crop protection products for the control of thrips and fungi, also working with partners to improve the delivery and efficacy of pesticides and the delivery of double-stranded RNA.
AgTrace (Brazil) is a traceability solution that ensures transparency and information reliability, reducing response time to issues within the food value chain. Based on deep knowledge of farming processes and advanced IoT and blockchain technologies, AgTrace guarantees information security about agriculture processes, using sensors and equipment to register information from inside and outside the farm.
Aromyx (US) enables the creation of quantitative digital representations of taste and smell, by isolating natural human olfactory receptors and converting them to a standardized diagnostic format.  Its olfactory database provides a basis for machine learning to analyze flavors and fragrances, offering revolutionary precise quality control diagnostics to compare crops from different locations or production times, and to resolve issues of off-flavors or contaminant.
EscaVox (Australia) has the ambition to help transform the food supply chains to allow better decisions to be made, allowing waste to be reduced and food safety increased. It uses cleverly designed software to import and connect various data sets, then analyses and identifies problem areas. It combines this with tracking data to give the full end to end impact on the product – the ‘voice’ of the product.
Napigen (US) offers mitochondrial CRISPR genome editing, with the goal to create a new platform for hybrid wheat seed production by providing elite male sterile and restoration lines that are uniquely produced by our genome editing tools, introducing robust, non-GMO, male sterile and restoration lines.  The hybrid wheat platform will stack valuable traits such as herbicide tolerance and biotic/abiotic stress tolerance without losing their value by undesirable self-propagation.
Tarfin (Turkey) provides farmers with instant, competitive point-of-sale credit terms for their farm inputs purchases. Using proprietary algorithms and an expansive retail network, Tarfin’s machine-learning-based credit algorithms instantly assess a farmer’s likelihood of repayment. Transactional as well as farm level data are taken into account, helping the company convert more leads into sales.
Traive (US) is an ag-fintech solution that unlocks credit to farmers by connecting them to lenders and providing ML-based credit risk assessment and monitoring. Traive brings farmers state-of-the-art technology to offer a novel and fair credit risk assessment, opening the door for affordable funding for their businesses. For lenders, Traive provides a differentiated analysis applied over alternative farming and individual data, while allowing access to a much larger and diversified portfolio of borrowers.
Tulaa (Kenya) is a marketplace for smallholder farmers in Africa to access inputs, credit, training and buyers. Using mobile technology and artificial intelligence, Tulaa enables farmers to buy inputs like fertilizer on credit, receive training on good agricultural practices, and to find buyers at harvest time.
For more information on the challenge, finalists and the summit please visit: https://staging.worldagritechusa.com/radicle-challenge/