Agrando closes Series-A financing round with €12 million investment
Agrando has successfully completed its Series A financing round with an investment of 12 million Euros. The Munich based start-up raises the highest amount ever in a Series A round in agribusiness across Europe. yabeo Impact AG, the impact fund of the early-stage investor yabeo from Munich, leads this round. Sony Innovation Fund and Investbridge are also new on board. Existing investors such as the technology VC June Fund and the London family office JLR Star are also investing again. The fresh capital enables Agrando, which is on its way to becoming the European market leader, to invest in internationalisation and scaling as well as research and development.
Agrando, founded in Munich in 2017 by the team around Jonathan Bernwieser, is an independent platform that connects all players in the agricultural trade regionally and nationwide. Agrando supports farmers, agricultural retailers and producers with the help of technically optimised trading processes, data-based analyses and trade-specific, personal advice in everyday business. Agrando gives farms access to extensive market knowledge and the largest online catalogue for agricultural inputs in German-speaking countries.
CEO and founder of Agrando, Jonathan Bernwieser, says: "For a sustainable value chain we need strong agricultural businesses in Europe." As a farmer's son and business information scientist, he knows both the agricultural needs and the opportunities through process optimisation: "Only if farms have access to the market information relevant to them at all times can they make good business decisions and position their farms for the future despite increasing complexity."
Saskia Becker, Board Member of yabeo Impact AG, confirms: "We want to actively shape the transformation of agriculture and Agrando has exactly the right solutions for the future of agriculture. The company plans to digitise European agricultural trade and make small-structured farms in particular more efficient. In addition to the content component, we were convinced by the traction already achieved and the passion with which Jonathan Bernwieser and his team are building up and managing the company."
Vision and mission of Agrando
Agrando networks all market participants along the value chain: Farms can buy inputs such as seeds and crop protection products – precisely tailored to their business and region. Retailers and producers of inputs, use Agrando, for example, as an additional sales channel or to enter the online trade. The entire agricultural trade is currently facing digital transformation: 10.5 million farms in Europe supply 510 million consumers (2016, EU-28, Eurostat). Studies assume that online agricultural trade will be worth up to ten billion Euros by 2025.
With its business model, Agrando meets a market need and has been growing dynamically for years: Around 1,000 new farmers register on the platform every month (total number of registered farmers: almost 20,000). The Agrando team has tripled in terms of staff since it was founded. In 2020, the expansion to Austria was completed and in spring 2021, the company launched in France.
Gen Tsuchikawa, Chief Investment Manager for Sony Innovation Fund: “We, at Sony Innovation Fund, believe in the benefits of digitizing the farm. Agrando enables farmers to analyze and understand what they need in order to make the best decisions and connects them with trusted suppliers, forming a network which will allow the participants to more swiftly adjust to the changing environment and overcome various challenges they may face. We believe the benefits to the participants will continue to evolve as more data is gathered and various measures are taken based on the data to benefit the farming process.”
Sustainable Agriculture: AgTech investment with an impact factor
Following a seven-figure seed funding in early 2020, Agrando gains a new lead investor, yabeo Impact AG, who invests specifically in innovative, technology-driven start-ups that create both a financial return and a social or environmental impact.
Agriculture has a major impact on nature and its resources. Agrando supports farmers in meeting the high demands that come with this responsibility by giving them scope for future-proof investments.
"Climate change, scarcity of resources, globalisation as well as the pressure for sustainability and reduction of CO2 emissions pose new challenges for agriculture," says Saskia Becker, yabeo Impact AG. "The digital transformation of agriculture has already begun and innovative companies worldwide are flocking to the AgTech and FoodTech segment to help shape the agriculture of the future."
Kieran Francis, from Investbridge Capital: “We are investing in agriculture and AgriTech as we see a concerning trend of increasing population and demand for food, meanwhile the food supply is compromised with the damage to our soils, oceans and global warming. We believe that technology must fill this gap in supply and demand, as it has done with every other major industry in history. Within AgriTech Agrando stood out as a company with it’s disruption in traditional supply chains, and it’s proven ability to expand rapidly both within Germany and across borders.”
Agrando as an Employer
From the start, Agrando has been a bi-lingual firm at least. With the two locations in Munich, Germany and Prishtina, Kosovo, the start-up has always been a diverse company. Knowing of the different talents of a multinational company, they invested in developing the offices in Munich as well as in Prishtina. As of today, the company is looking for new talents and people who are interested in shaping tomorrow’s agricultural landscape.
The successful closing of the Series-A Funding allows for a wider range of investments in regards to the European focus the company had from the beginning. Knowing of the strengths and advantages of a multilingual office, Agrando is planning to continue investing especially in the location in Kosovo.