Irish agtech startup MagGrow raises €6m Series A round
Irish startup MagGrow, the agtech innovator that specialises in delivering crop protection products where they matter most while protecting the environment, has completed a €6m Series A round. Led by impact investor Astanor Ventures and with participation by several strategic international investors, including WakeUp Capital. A number of existing shareholders also contributed to the round. BDO assisted on the Corporate Finance Fundraise.
MagGrow is a patented, proprietary technology that significantly reduces waste associated with conventional pesticide spray applications. Incredibly, approx. 70% of crop protection products when sprayed does not hit or remain on its intended target crop and/or weed. That’s where MagGrow’s award winning science-based technology steps in. It solves the compromise between drift and coverage associated with conventional spraying.
After spending €10m to date on the Science behind MagGrow’s technology, MagGrow moved to the commercial role out phase of its key Tractor Boom product through various channel partners such as Trimble Ag. This round allows MagGrow to build on that momentum by providing some key additions to the Executive team and Board. In addition, the funding will be used to accelerate research and development of new products, IP and applications as well as building up additional manufacturing capability.
Farmers typically see a return on investment of one year or less just on chemical savings alone as well as healthier and less diseased crops due to the higher crop coverage. The increased coverage also supports a reduction in labour and fuel requirements. A key selling point for farmers is the fact that there is virtually no maintenance with no moving parts, cables, electrical wires, or power supply.
MagGrow has partnered with AMBER, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research, Trinity College, Dublin, a multidisciplinary partnership between leading academics and industry, working collaboratively to answer fundamental research questions. They also have Crop Science and Industrial Engineering, and Research facilities in the UK. MagGrow’s state of the art Agricultural Research Facility will open in the UK in early August 2020. MagGrow was also chosen as a Trimble select business partner for agriculture. The global partnership has allowed MagGrow to accelerate its global expansion through Trimble's international reseller network.
MagGrow has appointed Hendrik Van Asbroeck (Astanor Ventures) to its Board. In addition, Faye Walsh Drouillard (WakeUp Capital) and Arthur Pierse (Astanor Ventures) will attend board meetings in an observer capacity.
Gary Wickham, Founder & CEO, MagGrow, said: ‘’The MagGrow team and I are delighted to welcome our new investors who can position the company for rapid growth. MagGrow believes every person on this planet has the right to food and water. These impact investors align with MagGrow's core values and our collective desire to do our part in feeding this planet sustainably. The way to do this is to ensure farmers are profitable in the first instance and sustainable. This is where MagGrow's technology steps in as it allows farmers to achieve both simultaneously and, in doing so, supports the sustainable intensification of global food production.’’
Leading the investment, Hendrik Van Asbroeck, Astanor Ventures Partner said: "MagGrows technology is already playing a pivotal role in transforming our food system. Ambitious targets of a 50% reduction have been set across the EU to reduce pesticide use, MagGrows technology will be a crucial enabler of this transition. Their farmer friendly hardware reduces drift, increases coverage, and significantly reduces the impact pesticides have on our water, soil, and the food we eat. Governments and consumers alike are looking for innovative solutions which reduce the impact agriculture has on our environment. MagGrow’s strong traction and growing presence in countries such as the US, Australia, and the Netherlands, signals that farmers are embracing this technology. We look forward to working with Gary and the international team he has assembled, to scale this technology and build upon their growing international presence.”
Faye Walsh Drouillard, Founder, WakeUp Capital, said: "WakeUp Capital is delighted to make its first investment in MagGrow, whose pioneering technology is transforming agriculture worldwide to be sustainable. MagGrow's incredible growth trajectory in a market ripe for innovation will make an unprecedented impact on how the world grows food in the face of population growth and dwindling natural resources. Our investment in MagGrow's ambitious team, its unparalleled research, development, and scaling ability demonstrate how innovative technology combined with impact-driven investment can solve problems that matter."
Richard Duffy Director BDO Corporate Finance said: “We are delighted to have advised on the fundraise and work alongside Astanor Ventures and MagGrow’s high calibre management team. The company has an exciting future ahead given its game-changing crop spraying technology. This investment round will allow the company to accelerate its ambitious growth plans and we look forward to supporting MagGrow on its journey.’’