Kenyan data analytics company Gro Intelligence raises US$85m in Series B funding round

Use of the open data exchange platform will also make it easier for farmers to track and report information based on local regulations.

KENYA – Kenyan-founded data analytics company Gro Intelligence has raised US$85 million in a Series B funding round, aimed to take the company to the next level.

Gro Intelligence is an AI-powered insights firm providing decision-making tools, solutions and analytics to the food, agriculture, and climate economies and their participants.

The financing will mostly be channeled to grow and accelerate the adoption of its Gro Platform, enhancing the platform’s machine-learning capabilities and delivering localized insights on food, agriculture and climate risk.

“Gro Intelligence is one of the most exciting AI companies and is tackling two of the world’s biggest challenges: food security and climate risk.”

Trina Van Pelt – Senior managing director of Intel Capital

The Gro Intelligence platform aggregates, normalises, and models complex data to illuminate the inter-relationships between food, climate, trade, agriculture, and macro-economic conditions, integrating over 40,000 data sets and processing north of 650 trillion data points for customer segments.

The targeted clientele ranges from governments to financial institutions, agricultural input companies, retailers, food and beverage companies, and various other industry participants.

“Food security and climate risk represent existential global-sized opportunities for our AI-powered decisions and insights platform. We see a tremendous need for the market knowledge provided by the Gro Platform,” said Sara Menker, Gro’s founder and chief executive officer (CEO).

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“Our customers have come to rely on Gro as a unique source of actionable data-driven insights about our food supply and models to measure and manage associated climate change risk to physical and financial assets across the globe.

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome our new investors and continue to be grateful to our existing investors for their support,” he added.

The US$85 million Series B funding round, which by Disrupt Africa’s estimates is the largest yet raised within the African tech startup ecosystem.

It was co-led by Intel Capital, Africa Internet Ventures, and the family offices of Ronald Lauder and Eric Zinterhofer.

They were joined by previous investors DCVC and GGV Capital. Participating new investors include Schusterman Family Investments, Dick Parsons, Rethink Food and various strategic family offices.

“Gro Intelligence is one of the most exciting AI companies and is tackling two of the world’s biggest challenges: food security and climate risk.

“Their software-based platform will drive computer-powered cross-border knowledge to surface meaningful insights and enable better informed agricultural decisions,” said Trina Van Pelt, senior managing director of Intel Capital.

Intel Capital is a strategic partnership between TPG Growth and EchoVC. TPG Growth led Gro’s Series A-2 financing round in 2017.

“Gro Intelligence has had a remarkable journey so far and demonstrates the growing importance of AI in driving a more sustainable food supply,” said Yemi Lalude, managing partner of TPG Africa.

“TPG Growth is proud to have supported the company from its beginnings in Nairobi to the forefront of today’s efforts to make companies and institutions across multiple industries around the world more resilient to climate change and climate risk,” Yemi added.

Founded in Nairobi in 2014, Gro Intelligence has expanded its operations to have offices in New York.

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