- Brazil-based Seedz is bringing its digital agribusiness marketplace that connects agribusinesses with farmers to North America.
- The company already has key leadership roles established in Boston, Massachusetts and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- It plans to sign contracts with its first North American customers in 2023.
Why it matters: Unifying agriculture across the Americas
“We see ourselves as the platform trying to connect the ag industry with the growers, and we want to do this at a very large scale,” Seedz co-founder and CEO Matheus Ganem tells AFN.
Agriculture in the Americas is “the foundation for global agriculture,” he adds.
The US and Brazil alone are two of the world’s biggest food producers. Latam as a whole is the world’s largest provider of ecosystem services like forests, renewable water and plant species that provide vital benefits to human life.
“The production of foods in Brazil and other countries together with the US and Canada makes up a significant amount of global food production,” says Ganem.
“Brazil and Latam have evolved a lot in the way we produce food and in productivity and preservation of things like forests. If we combine this with the infrastructure and technology available in the US, the combination could build a very strong foundation for the future of food, and we believe this could be rapidly replicated in other countries.”
Stronger connections online
A big part of building that foundation involves getting more farmers online and building stronger, more direct connections between those producers and large agribusiness entities.
This is where the Seedz platform comes in.
Founded in 2017, Seedz operates an online marketplace that connects agribusiness distributors, resellers and cooperatives with rural producers.
For the former, the Seedz platform generates data and intelligence that gives businesses deeper insights about their customers and more direct access to them. Seedz integrates with the dealer’s ERP system, and dealers can create customer engagement strategies on the platform and track results.
They can see, for example, who their customers actually are, what they’re buying and the average ticket size. “We make the sales process a lot more effective and help companies to address customers in the best, fastest way,” says Ganem.
Farmers and producers can transact with dealers through the Seedz platform and gain loyalty points and rewards in the form of “SDZ,” the platform’s digital currency.
Ganem says one of the biggest benefits for these producers is help in transitioning them online and giving them opportunity to try new tools and services.
Seedz currently has 15,000 agribusiness professionals and roughly 100,000 farmers on its platform, which services Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay.
A solution for all of the Americas
Setting up shop in North America is a natural next step for Seedz, as its current customers already include major North American agrifood corporations John Deere, Mosaic, and Syngenta, amongst others.
“These companies don’t have a partner like Seedz in North America,” says Ganem. “The best way to serve these companies on a large scale would be to offer them a single platform, he adds.
The impact could be huge, believes Ganem. “If you combine [these companies’] customer business in the US and in Latam, this represents about 60% of their business in many cases.”
That said, Seedz is also working to understand those pain points that are specific to the US or Canada.
“For, the distribution of inputs in the US is completely different than in Brazil,” says Ganem by way of example. “The United States has a well-established primary distribution layer with large companies and cooperatives leading in terms of volumes and market share in the sector. In Brazil, the market is not yet fully consolidated.”
“We have a natural sales cycle process for large enterprises, linked to product adaptations that more deeply reflect the characteristics of the American market,” he notes. “We are learning and exploring the best solutions for us to address, which of our products we should make available [to North America].”