- Ag supply chain company Scoular has launched a new division called Emerging Businesses that will be dedicated to early-stage business development as well as an incubator for strategic investment opportunities.
- The Omaha-based company’s new division will focus on areas like biofuels, renewable energy, carbon markets, investments in agrifoodtech, and other growth ventures.
- “Scoular can more strategically capture emerging opportunities when these business activities are aligned within the same division, which can support their unique capital, technology and talent needs,” said Scoular senior VP Ed Prosser.
Why it matters
Established agribusinesses are increasingly on the hunt for promising startups to take under their wing. Instead of developing new solutions in-house, incubating a startup and potentially acquiring it offer a faster track to maintaining an innovative edge.
Scoular has been active in agtech through Roger, which is an app that helps grain haulage drivers manage their operations digitally instead of through antiquated paper-based processes. It worked with SaaS platform Bushel to develop the app.
Other legacy players in agribusiness are making similar innovation-minded moves and creating structured programs to identify investment opportunities. In 2018, John Deere announced a new startup collaborator program to identify promising new technologies while Wilbur Ellis’ Cavallo Ventures is an active investor across a variety of sectors including robotics and animal health. Cargill also recently consolidated its corporate venture investing and partnership activity under a centralized unit.