When agtech startup Flurosat was founded in 2016, it was headquartered in Eveleigh, New South Wales. Since then, the business has acquired Australian ProductionWise in 2018 and US company Dagan in 2021, rebranded itself as Regrow, and relocated to the US.
Hot on the heels of the US$17 million ($24 million) Series A funding it raised in August last year, the startup has now raised US$38 million ($50 million) and shows no sign of slowing down.
In fact, after chasing nearly 100% growth in the last year, Regrow is just getting started: whether it’s hiring or expanding its footprint in existing markets and venturing into relatively new territory.
With agtech slated to become Australia’s next $100 billion industry by 2030, it’s no surprise — and timely, too, given that food security, in the face of a rapidly warming and changing climate, is becoming an increasingly hot button issue.
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The recent floods in Queensland and NSW and the corresponding impact on supermarket bills are recent examples of climate change at work. This is where resilient agriculture can come in and where companies like Regrow are changing how agricultural systems are managed.
Working with both farmers and corporations, CEO and co-founder Anastasia Volkova explains that Regrow’s software platform provides science-based solutions for both groups to decarbonise and build sustainable agricultural practices.
Farmers in Australia and New Zealand were some of the earliest adopters, with large US corporations like Cargill, Kellogg’s and General Mills now working closely with Regrow to ensure sustainability right along the supply chain. With food production responsible for a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, agtech couldn’t come sooner.
Australia, however, has some catching up to do. The agricultural industry accounts for 2.2% of the economy, while the gross value of Australian agriculture was $61 billion in 2019 to 2020. In fact, during this time period, reigning drought conditions decreased total value of crops by 5%.
As Volkova notes, however, agtech has fallen behind the curve in Australia — to the point where Regrow had to re-profile and move to more progressive markets like the US.
“Australia needs to regain their position and become a climate leader,” Volkova told SmartCompany.
“They have the brainpower and they are now in a position to take on this opportunity, not merely within agtech but also renewables and hydrogen technology. It has the potential to transform itself from exporting primary goods to exporting technology. I’m hopeful, but a lot of strong steps need to be taken urgently to secure that position.”
With the new Labor government pushing for a 43% emissions reduction by 2030 and greater reliance on renewable energy, Australia may finally be poised for transformation. But Volkova says Australia needs the right agenda and “government support, or at least the removal of barriers” allowing more startups and small businesses to take up the challenge and reposition the country in the climate fight.