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Gro Intelligence raises $85m in Series B funding

The food security and climate solutions startup has raised $85 million in Series B funding. This will boost the startup's ambition to be the world’s leading big data firm for agriculture and climate risk modeling.

Sara Menker, an Ethiopia-born former Wall Street commodities trader, founded Gro Intelligence in Kenya in 2014 to fill a global gap in agricultural data, and so the startup collects huge data sets on the several variables that affect food production, from crop yield and soil quality to climatic factors.

Now armed with trillions of data points gathered from different markets, Gro is able to accurately forecast global demand, supply, and pricing of agricultural produce.

The startup is positioning to be the world’s leading big data firm for agriculture and climate risk modeling. Menker's plan is to scale the company up to a point where it gets to define how countries and food companies plan their entire value chain, while helping to solve global climate challenges.

And having caught investors' attention, particularly those in the aforementioned Series B round, which was co-led by Intel Capital, Africa Internet Ventures (a partnership between TPG Growth and Echo VC) and the family offices of Ronald Lauder and Eric Zinterhofer, and engaged by DCVC and GGV Capital, and Rethink Food, the new funding will be help to increase the company’s presence around the world and deliver food and climate insights specific to each location.

The startup, whose expertise on Africa came in handy during the destructive locust outbreaks across East Africa, Somalia and South Sudan, has its offices in Nairobi where it was founded, and in New York, where Menker resides, and its potential clients include governments, financial institutions, companies producing agricultural inputs, and food companies.

Kenya In Focus

Population: 52.573 million (Compared to The USA's 328.259 million)

GDP: $95.503 billion (Compared to The USA's $21.433 trillion)

GDP Per Capita: $1,750 (Compared to The USA's $65,850)