SproutX nominated as agtech world leader, expands startup search to Asia

Australia’s leading agtech accelerator nominated in the Agfunder Innovation Awards and launches the Asia Pacific Agri-Food Organisation

Singapore, 29 January 2018 —  SproutX, Australia’s leading agtech accelerator has been recognised as a leader in agtech innovation, announcing its nomination in the Agfunder Innovation Awards as it sets its sights on Singapore, seeking local startups to fund while on an agtech delegation to Southeast Asian capital cities.

With more than 200 startups completing its programs and 11 teams receiving over $400,000 of early stage investment in 2017, SproutX has a target to double its investment portfolio into both traditional and new areas of cutting edge agriculture in 2018.

“The agricultural conditions in Asia are vastly different than those in Australia and the startups we invest in these regions should reflect that,” says Andrew Lai, Accelerator Director of SproutX. “For example, vertical farming is a strong urban focus in Asia and the use of drones for pesticide spraying is commercially viable in smallholder farms unlike in larger Australian farms. Agricultural e-commerce is also a booming trend we want to further invest in.”

Agtech financing deals more than doubled in 2017 with an average of 65 per cent year-on-year increase internationally.

The boom in agtech is driven by a growing awareness of the fragility of food security, which has become a distinct focus within the Asia Pacific region.

“Australia has a strong competitive advantage in food and agri technology and innovation,” said Prerana Mehta, acting Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner in Singapore. “This is particularly important for countries in the APAC region that are looking to build capability in this sector.”

To help increase awareness of agriculture as a technology focus, SproutX has launched a new Singapore based initiative known as the Asia Pacific Agri-Food Alliance.

In collaboration with the Australian Government’s Landing Pad program, the SproutX team and seven of its portfolio companies are currently visiting Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh city to meet with local agtech ecosystems including senior government and corporates, on how to promote and grow the agtech sector regionally.

“We’ve helped to grow Australia’s agtech entrepreneur community into one of the fastest growing in the world, which has been great in supplying us with startups to invest in. We have the same hopes for Asia and are excited about the opportunity to develop and work alongside a generation of successful agricultural entrepreneurs,” says Lai.

Companies in the delegation range from Farmgate MSU, creators of a mobile slaughtering unit through to Farmapp, a cloud based horticulture pest management system.

In total, SproutX portfolio companies have raised over $2.5 million in funding and are hoping the tour will provide a platform for the companies to expand its budding enterprises into South East Asia, a region of over 670 million consumers.

SproutX’s 2018 accelerator program is currently open and accepting applications from Australian and overseas startups.

 

L-R: Cameron Leeson, Rob Hulme, Prerana Mehta, Bruce Gosper, Kim Khor, Sam Trethewey, Julia Waite, Andrew Lai, Roei Yaakobi, Angus Keck, Carlos Gonzales, Christopher Howe, Damian Zammit, Adam Lyle, Amir Nissen

 

Media contact

Amelia Banks

Sling & Stone

+61 410 591 134

[email protected]

About SproutX

SproutX is a national agtech innovation hub and accelerator, with a coworking space in Melbourne. A joint initiative between Findex and the National Farmers’ Federation, SproutX brings together innovators, investors and the agri-community with the aim of establishing Australia as a global leader in agtech.