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The Agreena team. Image credit: Agreena

Brief: Agreena acquires Hummingbird Technologies to ‘strengthen the integrity of carbon farming’

July 28, 2022

  • Following years of collaboration, Danish carbon market startup Agreena has agreed to acquire UK-based remote-sensing startup Hummingbird Technologies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • The purchase will see Agrerena channel financial and commercial resources into further developing Hummingbird’s remote monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) technology, which it will bring in-house and use to strengthen the validity of its carbon credits.
  • The two companies will continue to operate from both Copenhagen (Agreena) and London (Hummingbird), with more than 80 combined employees.
  • The acquisition will enable Agreena to bring its operational capacity to Australia and the Americas.

Why it matters:

Agreena, which mints, verifies, and sells carbon certificates from regenerative ag farmers, is one of Europe’s trailblazers when it comes to soil carbon certification in the agricultural sector, and the company says it operates its program in 13 countries across the pan-European market. Itself still a startup, Agreena secured $22.5 million in Series A funding this year.

A major challenge Agreena and any other voluntary carbon market faces today is that quality verification of credits is a slow process with no standard methodology. As a recent McKinsey report noted, today’s voluntary carbon market is “characterized by low liquidity, scarce financing, inadequate risk-management services, and limited data availability.”

Hummingbird, whose investors so far have included SALIC (Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company), BASF, and Canadian telecommunications company TELUS, merges data science with regenerative agriculture. The company uses AI and low-orbit satellite imagery to automatically recognize and reports on-farm regenerative agriculture practices such as cover crops, tillage, and crop rotations to continuously monitor field activities. This type of technology can support on-field data to help farmers prove they have transitioned to more sustainable practices.

“Agreena is on a mission to enable an international regenerative agriculture movement, and this market-leading MRV solution can deliver a massive scalable impact,” Simon Haldrup, co-founder and CEO of Agreena, said in a statement. He added that in addition to scale, the acquisition can also help the company enhance “the integrity of carbon farming.” “Agreena will be able to “build its operational capacity” for Australia and the Americas thanks to the acquisition.

The two companies have collaborated in the past, and note that bringing Hummingbird’s MRV tech in-house at Agreena is just the start of many “innovative new tech solutions for the agriculture industry and soil carbon markets.”

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