Kenyan data startup Gro Intelligence, which pulls global agricultural data from thousands of data sets, and then uses artificial intelligence to create forecasts for supply, demand, and pricing has received an investment of $85 million in Series B round of funding.
According to the Founder and CEO, Sarah Menker, the latest funding will help Gro Intelligence further develop indexes to measure conditions like drought, floods, temperature, and more. Menker also added that Gro’s bigger ambition for these indexes include promoting a new array of financial instruments, like swaps which companies and investors can use to hedge climate risks, catastrophe bonds and even exchange-traded funds.
Gro Intelligence, which only launched in 2014, reports it has already raised $135 million in total funding as the company’s work continues to be at the centre of food security and climate change. The startup uses agricultural data from all over the world has built a discovery engine for all data related to food and agriculture, and the engine connects trillions of data points related to global crop production: weather, consumption, infrastructure, transportation, trade flows, prices, socio-economic indicators and environmental measurements, among others.
The $85million funding round was led by Intel Capital, with participation from TPG Growth and EchoVC, and the family offices of Ronald Lauder and Eric Zinterhofer
Wendell Brooks, Senior vice president and president of Intel Capital – the leading investor in the startup’s recent funding round said, “Intel Capital identifies and invests in disruptive startups that are working to improve the way we work and live. Each of our recent investments is pushing the boundaries in areas such as AI, data analytics, autonomous systems and semiconductor innovation. Intel Capital is excited to work with these companies as we jointly navigate the current world challenges, and as we together drive sustainable, long-term growth.”
Managing Partner of TPG Africa, Yemi Lalude, also commented that “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.”
Following the investment round, Gary Cohn, Ex-Goldman Sachs president and Trump economic adviser, will join the company’s board.
Gary, who was initially asked to fond weaknesses in the startup’s indexes was quoted saying: “Universally trusted and transparent data is important as companies are required to disclose more about their climate risks.”