By Leonardo Gottems, Reporter for AgroPages
In 2019, Solinftec became the first Brazilian agtech to raise R$80 million (equivalent to US$18.6 million) in the Agribusiness Receivables Certificate (CRA). These fixed income securities are specific to agribusinesses, in which companies assign their receivables to a securitizer, who will make them available on the capital market.
Crédito: Solinftec Foto: Divulgação
The negotiation took place during the second half of last year and the amount has already been entirely received by Solinftec. The operation was structured and led by banks, Itaú BBA and Gaia Securitizadora.
Funding, according to the company itself, will be directed toward the development of new projects, geographical expansion and new agricultural crops. According to Solinftec, the objective is to allow the company to maintain its accelerated growth, both in the country and abroad, where it already operates in more than 10 countries.
“It was truly an unprecedented operation, which proves investor confidence in our business model and the quality of delivery. This reinforces our commitment to invest and better serve the rural producer and the agro sector in Brazil and in all other countries where we operate. Our solutions, which deliver real value, improve the efficiency of agricultural operations and enable more sustainable agriculture, with reduced costs and inputs and greater productivity,” said Rodrigo Iafelice dos Santos, CEO of Solinftec.
The Brazilian start-up has already received a total investment of $40 million. The main investors are the Trajano family, owners of other businesses in the electronic device trade sector in Brazil.
Founded in 2007 by seven Cuban engineers in Araçatuba, São Paulo, Solinftec uses a system that combines hardware and software to monitor farms in real time and deliver information on agricultural processes to farmers. “Our service is like a farm's Windows,” explained Santos.
The company currently operates in 11 countries, including Canada, Argentina and Colombia. Solinftec's goal is to use algorithms and intelligence to increase efficiency and reduce costs in agriculture. “We managed, for example, to optimize the sugarcane harvest with the use of data to the point of reducing the number of machines needed for the process,” said Santos.
One of Solinftec's big plans for the coming years is to expand to more countries. The process should start more aggressively in the United States. In 2018, the company opened a branch in the country, where it has already signed contracts with American customers. There is also the goal of expanding to Europe and Asia in the next two years. The start-up today has 500 employees, with 200 of them focused on technology and product development.