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WGCIT Update: AgTech Startup Successes

Posted on September 25, 2019 14:57 PM by elyons

Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology opened its doors in December 2015, with only 6 start-up companies. Today, the WGCIT houses 60 startups who are developing innovative solutions to solve agriculture’s most pressing issues. These companies are working on everything from robotics and food safety traceability to rural connectivity and data management.


Below is a snapshot of some of the latest successes from our startups:


Fieldin Technology: Israel-based agtech startup, Fieldin, has secured $12 million in funding. The latest round brings the company’s total funding to date to around $18 million.Fieldin, who has a desk at the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology in Salinas, uses IoT technologies and analytics software to monitor and manage in-field activities, offering real-time location-based insights.


Agrosmart: Agrosmart just raised a Series A worth approximately $5.5 million. Brazil-based agtech startup, Agrosmart, is also a resident of the Center in Salinas. Capital came from Bradesco’s Inovabra Fund as well as Positivo’s corporate VC arm. Going forward, the funds will go towards international expansion and launching new features, such as farmer insurance programs in case of crop disease.


ApisProtect: ApisProtect is making international news. Irish-based agtech startup, ApisProtect, has announced that they will double their global bee monitoring to monitor 20 million honey bees across the world.  


FarmWise: FarmWise has raised $14.5 million to advance technology that replaces herbicides with roving robots. FarmWise has now raised nearly $21 million in funding. They created an autonomous robot that that uses machine learning to meticulously survey plants and pick weeds, eliminating the need for herbicides. After years of research and development, their robot was deployed commercially for the first time at the beginning of this year. Western Growers has played a significant role in providing the founders with opportunities to promote their technology and meet potential customers through a series of one-on-one interactions with WG members and showcasing their product at numerous WG agtech events. 


MagGrow Global: MagGrow has been chosen as a Trimble select partner for agriculture. MagGrow’s innovative spraying technology is now available through Trimble’s agriculture distribution network. The MagGrow system is a patented, proprietary technology for droplet formation that yields superior spray drift-reduction and spray coverage performance. The startup’s state-of-the-art products align with Trimble's mission of providing growers with precision agriculture technology that helps reduce cost, improve yield and protect the environment.


MagGrow & ApisProtect: MagGrow and ApisProtect have been named as two of the top 10 agritech companies in Ireland. These two WGCIT startups were recently selected as two of the top 10 agtech companies in Ireland by AgriInsider Magazine.    


GroGuru: GroGuru raises $2.9 million in seed funding. San Diego-based startup, GroGuru, announced that it has raised $2.9 million in seed funding. This was a direct result of investments from The Yield Lab, Longley Capital, Mentors Fund, the San Diego Angel Conference, Right Side Capital and other angel investors.


Bear Flag Robotics: Bear Flag Robotics was featured in New York Times “How High Tech Is Transforming One of the Oldest Jobs: Farming” According to the New York Times, “Of all the out-of-the-box products a Silicon Valley tech start-up could offer, Bear Flag Robotics may be delivering the most unexpected: plowed fields.”


Concentric Power: California’s Concentric Power expanding its reach throughout North America. Many of the company’s projects are tied directly to the ammonia refrigeration systems, taking waste heat from the co-generation system and driving refrigeration processes.


Hazel Technology: Hazel Technologies has completed a successful pear packing study. Chicago-based agtech startup, Hazel Technologies, has recently announced the conclusion of its commercial study of pear packing and storage. Hazel Technologies is a solutions company dedicated to developing new, USDA-funded post-harvest technologies to extend the shelf-life of fresh produce. The study was completed with Oregon State University’s Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center located in Hood River, Oregon. 


SWIIM Systems: SWIIM expands distribution with San Joaquin Valley-based ag service consortium. Agricultural water accounting leader SWIIM System recently entered into a long-term, strategic sales and distribution agreement with Merced-based Central Irrigation and Water and Land Solutions, trusted companies that deploy irrigation equipment and services for growers, water districts and Groundwater Sustainability Agencies throughout the San Joaquin Valley of California.