Aegro team
Aegro's management team. Image credit: Aegro

EXCLUSIVE: Brazilian farm management platform Aegro scores seed funding, eyes fintech opportunity

July 9, 2021

Brazilian farm management platform Aegro has raised 12 million reals ($2.22 million) in a seed round led by existing investors SP Ventures and ABSeed.

Also participating in the fundraise were local VC firms SLC Ventures — the corporate venture capital arm of agribusiness company SLC Agrícola — and Banco Rendimento affiliate ADM Venture Capital, in addition to family offices and angel investors from the agricultural sector including Luis Felipe Carchedi and Nizan Guanaes.

Headquartered in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil, Aegro was founded in 2014 by computer engineers Francisco de Borja, Pedro Dusso, Thomas Rodrigues, and Paulo Silvestrin. Today, it employs a team of 92.

According to the startup, its app connects “the field to the office,” giving farmers more control across the whole breadth of their operations.

“Through Aegro, the producer or farm manager can carry out all their agricultural, financial, and operational planning, in addition to having easy access and control of the property’s stock and assets,” CEO Dusso told AFN.

The software is aimed at farms ranging from 100 to 10,000 hectares, and is used by growers of soybean, corn, rice, coffee, sugarcane, cotton, citrus, and grape.

Aegro’s services cover close to 4,700 farms, totaling over 2 million hectares, the startup says.

The app has a free version and a freemium version that can be tested for free for seven days and is available to iOS and Android users. Customers take out a subscription and have the option of paying on a monthly or a yearly basis.

It also features its own ‘app store’ where users can subscribe to additional solutions, such as weather forecasts, pest monitoring, normalized difference vegetation index imaging, and digital accounting tools.

“We recently launched the Aegro Máquinas application in our store, which makes it possible to integrate Aegro with different systems. The integration is already available with Climate FieldView and will soon include John Deere Operations Center,” Dusso says.

SP Ventures adds World Bank in third close, exits fintech startup Brain Ag – read the AFN exclusive here

According to Dusso, the seed round was structured so that there was a combination of capital with deep strategic knowledge of the sector. The idea of bringing in this diverse investor base is to accelerate Aegro’s entry into financial services, as well as leveraging and software and branding expertise, he says.

Adding financial solutions to the platform represents an effort to “democratize rural producer access to credit, insurance, and digital accounts,” he adds.

This is one of the main problems and obstacles in Brazilian agricultural production today, as financing for agriculture remains highly centralized with government-linked institutions. By the 2025 harvest, Aegro’s goal is to make 1.5 billion reals ($285 million) in loans to rural producers through its platform.

“We have a rich vision for the [future] financial life of the farmer and their farm. We want to empower rural producers so that they can competitively access financial services,” Dusso says.

For now, the startup has raised “enough cash to look at fundraising only in the long term,” he adds.

“New funding will depend on our success in integrating credit into our platform, so at the moment our focus is completely on that […] We will continue to listen to our customers and understand where the worst problems of bureaucracy and analog processes are, and we will continue to digitalize them to make agriculture more and more efficient.”

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