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Agrilyst Adds Horizons Ventures to New Round with Eyes on China

February 2, 2018

Indoor farming software startup Agrilyst has raised an undisclosed strategic round, bringing in new investors with the aim of expanding the scope of its product offering and entering the Chinese market.

Agrilyst offers a software-as-a-service platform to help indoor agriculture operations maximize their efficiency. The platform offers workflow management tools, inventory tracking, and pest and nutrient management. The company analyzes data about these metrics to provide growers with recommendations on the best way to fine-tune their growing plans and increase profitability.

New investors in the round include iSelect Fund, Argonautic Ventures, Horizons Lab and Onlan Capital Ventures, with existing investors Compound and New York State Innovation Venture Capital Fund joining also participating.

Horizons Lab is the seed fund of Hong Kong-based Horizon Ventures, the VC fund belonging to billionaire Li-Ka Shing.

The firm is invested in major tech startups like Slack, Facebook, and Skype, but also several agrifood tech startups such as algae-based food company Algama, as well as alternative protein startups Impossible Foods, Modern Meadow, Hampton Creek, and Perfect Day Foods.

“We see a world where computation cost is driven to zero and we now have the resources to monitor the growth, health, and biology of every single seed,” says Phil Chen, Advisor at Horizons Lab. “I see Allison and her team at Agrilyst as the interpreters of this data to secure future food sources.”

Agrilyst CEO Allison Kopf told AgFunderNews that the company currently has customers in Singapore, but is looking to expand into the Chinese market.

Kopf said that iSelect Fund is also a strategic investor to her company’s growth as the St. Louis firm’s other agtech portfolio companies could be ideal partners. iSelect is also invested in Agrible and Benson Hill Biosystems among others.

This year Agrilyst will ad an app to its web-based suite of tools, which will allow growers to use traceability tools in their growing environments without ideal connectivity.

The company will also release a new inventory management module in the coming months that will eventually help  growers to get better pricing on inventory items.

Kopf says the ultimate goal is for Agrilyst to be a central platform aggregating other data and services that indoor farmers might need.

“Our API has been open from day one. We are definitely trying to build an ecosystem with our growers and with our partners on the technology side. The more people we bring in, the more profit we can push back to the farmers,” said Kopf.

Agrilyst added more than 100 new customers in 2017 and has seen 500% growth in terms of both revenue and customers since 2016. The platform is currently available in 10 countries and its customers grow 800 different crop varieties, including cannabis, flowers, and insects, which are relatively new additions to the platform.

The company raised $1 million in seed funding in 2016 led by New York seed stage investors Brooklyn Bridge Ventures with participation from NYC early-stage tech investors Metamorphic Ventures as well as a group of angel investors.

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