ZoomAgri, a global agtech firm specializing in varietal recognition and quality testing via artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), has secured a $9 million investment in a funding round co-led by GrainCorp and GrainInnovate, a venture capital fund partnership between Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC) and Artesian. Additional participation came from existing investor SP Ventures.
ZoomAgri is known for its advanced AI-powered solutions that expedite and improve accuracy in agricultural commodity testing. The agtech firm has already made inroads into the Australian barley testing market and is using the Series A investment to scale its operations and expand commodity coverage.
Robert Spurway, GrainCorp CEO, is enthusiastic about ZoomAgri’s potential. The company has been trialling two ZoomAgri units at its receival sites on the east coast of Australia for the past few years. “They have developed advanced prototypes during the last three years for variety testing and physical quality determination, and our investment will support more product development into new commodities, such as wheat,” Spurway stated.
ZoomAgri’s cutting-edge technology could also address other industry challenges, such as labour shortages, result accuracy, and the delay associated with getting results. “We’re backing solutions that will add value to the grower’s business and drive a consistency of standard testing-outcome tolerances on site,” added Spurway. “We are supporting the continued modernisation of the grains industry with the use of AI.”
Jaap Rommelaar, ZoomAgri co-founder, says that the idea for the technology was inspired by the challenges in grains and oilseeds trading. He recalls the difficulty of assessing the quality of commodities upon arrival at the silos, and the delay in receiving quality reports from export vessels. To address these issues, ZoomAgri devised an AI-driven scanning system capable of analyzing grain kernel quality and variety in a single scan.
Today, ZoomAgri operates in 25 countries, leveraging a blend of technology, agronomy, and commercial industry experience to fuel its growth. The company recently earned the approval of the Central European Commission for Brewing Analysis (Mitteleuropäische Brautechnische Analysenkommission e.V., or MEBAK) for its technology, which can analyze the varietal purity of malting barley throughout supply chains.
The agtech firm is planning to use the latest investment to expand its team in Australia and develop more solutions that will add value to the entire Australian supply chain, from growers and handlers to processors and exporters.
Fernando Felquer, GRDC’s Head of Business Development, underlines the significance of AI technology for the research corporation. He sees the development of new technology that can complement or even replace current quality assessment methods as a critical area of investment that will boost efficiency across the supply chain. “This is why GRDC, through GrainInnovate, is pleased to continue supporting the company’s technology development program and roll-out in Australia,” Felquer stated.
Image provided by Graincorp