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TPG Growth Leads Series A-2 for Ag Data Analysis Provider

October 25, 2017

TPG Growth, the middle market and growth equity platform launched by alternative asset firm TPG, announced it has led a Series A-2 round for Gro Intelligence – an agricultural data analytics business based in New York and Nairobi. Also included in the round were Data Collective and strategic family offices.

Founded in 2014, Gro Intelligence states that it is “bridging the data gaps across global agriculture”.  The company’s technology collects and analyzes trillions of data points from various and often difficult-to-access sources to synthesize a clear view of whatever point on the ag supply chain its customers are interested in.

Gro Intelligence sources data from trade groups, public organizations, industry publications, and satellite imagery which comes in various formats: spreadsheets, PDFs, emails, images, or data sets, as well as different languages.  Gro Intellgence’s technology has the ability to normalize the disparate information into a comprehensive bank that supports real-time, critical decision making. Gro has also developed new algorithms, analytic tools, and predictive models that employ machine learning that can offer users insight into the future of the global food and ag sector.

“Gro Intelligence is reimagining how data can be used in global agriculture,” said Sara Menker, CEO and founder of Gro Intelligence. “Agricultural data is complex and messy, historically requiring teams of analysts and huge amounts of time to sort and process. Our product solves this problem and simultaneously opens up a level of analysis previously unavailable to entire sections of the agriculture supply chain. Gro offers unparalleled insights and predictive analytics for our customers. We want to be a leader in the $5 trillion global agricultural industry.”

Connecting the Dots

During Global AgInvesting 2017 this past spring, a panel of leaders in the agtech space discussed the challenge before the agtech space of needing uniformity and standardization so that connections can be made more readily.

Karl Gutbrod, CEO of meteoblue AG, said, “Our job as an industry will be to take the tech from each of these boxes and transform it into something useful. This is the first thing that has to happen – standards between us. And there is going to start being some very big players that are good at making these connections.”

This is what Gro Intelligence is doing in a sense for ag data – normalizing very disparate data sets, formats, and languages into a unified, level field.

“People across the entire value chain must become more data-driven and innovative, which is why we have built the data infrastructure necessary to support and facilitate this innovation across the global food and agriculture industry,” stated the company in a recent blog post on its website.

For Gro Intelligence, the deal gives the company the opportunity to capitalize upon the advantages that TPG Growth and Data Collective bring to the table.

“The combination of working with TPG Growth and Data Collective is particularly powerful for us,” stated the company. “TPG Growth have an impressive track record of partnering with and scaling global businesses, while Data Collective offers extensive experience investing in all stages of big data, deep compute, and technology infrastructure companies that are disrupting traditional industries.”

“TPG Growth has a track record around the world of identifying and building disruptive, market-leading companies,” said Yemi Lalude, managing partner, TPG Africa. “Gro Intelligence is transforming how data is used across the agricultural sector and is a natural partner for TPG Growth, given our experience with companies specializing in data, analytics and machine learning. This deal highlights the rich opportunities that exist to invest in early-stage technology companies that have a presence in Africa but can also operate successfully on a global level.”

-Lynda Kiernan

Lynda Kiernan is Editor with GAI Media and daily contributor to GAI News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@globalaginvesting.com.

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