Korean agritech startups in spotlight for fast growth

2022.01.18 09:06:42 | 2022.01.18 09:07:12

[Source: Tridge]이미지 확대

[Source: Tridge]

South Korean agritech startups come under limelight for fast creation of new markets and sales leads by connecting farmers and consumers across the globe with innovative business models and agricultural big data, as well as providing smart farming solutions to farmers.

Tridge, Seoul-based cross-border digital trading and market intelligence solution provider for food and agriculture buyers and suppliers, is set to become Korea’s first agritech unicorn after it successfully received $60 million investment from Forest Partners in a Series C investment last year that valued the company at $500 million, up from $140 million since its last funding round in April 2020.

With Tridge’s fulfillment and market intelligence solutions backed by its own big data on global agricultural production sites, crop conditions, and price changes, food and agriculture buyers across the world can easily diversify sourcing channels and hedge supply chain risk.

For example, when Brazil, the world`s largest coffee producer, suffered a more than 30-percent plunge in coffee production last year due to drought and cold waves, many buyers approached Tridge to source coffee beans. Through its fulfillment solution in which Tridge serves as a supplier for the products buyers need, the company develops and manages supply chains for acquiring food and agriculture products, assures quality of the products and delivers the products using its own global logistics network.

The platform saw a notable surge in its user numbers in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic took a heavy toll on the global food and agriculture supply chain, and it expects its total fulfillment revenue to triple to 1 trillion won ($838.6 million) in 2022. Its average monthly fulfillment transactions currently amount to 20 to 30 billion won.

Buyers and suppliers also can have access to market trend information such as price indices for different agricultural produces via Tridge market intelligence and data service.

More than 90 percent of its customers are global retailers such as Wal-Mart, Carrefour, and Nestlé.

[Source: Greenlabs]이미지 확대

[Source: Greenlabs]

Greenlabs and Foodpang are also rapidly growing Korean agritech startups that have gained attention from investors.

Greenlabs, which brings added value to farmers, announced on Monday it raised 170 billion won in a recent series C funding round. Key investors include BRV Capital Management (100 billion won), SK Square (35 billion won), and Skylake (35 billion won). Its cumulative funding amounts to 210 billion won, the largest investment in the Korean agricultural industry.

Greenlabs is a digital platform for farmers to sign up for membership. Members receive information on weather, pests, pesticides, agricultural machinery, smart farming, and government subsidies. Members can also explore distribution channels for agricultural products through Farm Morning.

The number of its members has grown to 500,000 in a year and a half, which is half of the total number of farm households in Korea.

Foodpang, a B2B platform for food supplies, raised 11 billion won in a series B funding round held last week. Major investors included KDB, Hana Bank, IBK, SBI Investment.

By Jung Hyuk-hoon and Minu Kim

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