Number of startups in Brazilian agro sector rises in full pandemic
Nov. 25, 2021
A document released by “Radar Agtech Brasil 2020/2021”, which was brought out jointly between Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation), SP Ventures and Homo Ludens Research and Consulting, with the support of the Map (Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply) has revealed that the number of startups in the agribusiness sector grew during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the document, the number of active startups totaled 1.574, which is 40% higher compared to the previous edition, pre-pandemic.
In addition to agtechs, or companies that promote innovations in the agribusiness sector through new technologies, the new version of "Radar Agtech Brasil" detected 78 institutions that bet on the market through incubation, acceleration and investment, with the Southeast region reporting 62% of such type of organizations.
The report "Distrito Mining Report - Agtech 2021", by the open innovation platform Distrito, mapped 298 startups focused on agribusiness and revealed that investments in these companies exceeded US$160 million (about R$ 886.9 million) since 2009, with a more significant contribution in the last three years.
Givago Alvarenga, an engineer specializing in infrastructure and organic agriculture, founder and CEO of Goyás Fazendas, a startup and real estate company specializing in farms, points out that the number of Brazilian agribusiness startups has been growing every year, working in sectors both inside and outside the farm.
“Outside, with the sale of products, marketplaces and trading platforms for agricultural products, and inside, with biotechnology and precision agriculture. This technological innovation increasingly encompasses all stages of agribusiness,” he explained.
The “Radar Agtech” survey also showed that 657 companies in the sector work from the “gateway in”, with investments in rural property management systems, drones, machinery and equipment, solutions and data. In the category called “before the farm”, there are 199 companies that work with fertilizers and agricultural pesticides, inoculants and plant nutrition.
Agro-sector companies must specialize
Alvarenga believed that the significant number of startups in the agro market is in line with the great importance that the segment represents for the country's economy. "The agtechs complement each other and help the producer to generate more and more savings and productivity in each process."
Specifically concerning the rural real estate, the CEO of Goyás Fazendas states that this has become an area with intense competitiveness, but that it still involves brokers and companies that are not very professional and technological.
The CEO cites data from a survey conducted by WGSN (Worth Global Style Network), a global trend forecasting company based in New York, in partnership with Google Trends, which says that consumers are looking for personalized products on the Internet.
"The technological factor is important, but it is not enough to be on the internet or in app stores: it takes specialization to work in agro. Today, several urban real estate platforms have joined rural ones, but nothing is specific and 100% focused on real estate from camp. However, the farm market is very specific and technical, which requires a very different kind of work from the companies involved in what is done in cities,” he pointed out.
According to Alvarenga, to succeed in a scenario of recovery, "startups and other companies operating in the agribusiness need to invest efforts, considering the competitive and still challenging environment, due to the economic crisis."
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