Photo provided by AgriFORCE
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A few years ago, not many people used the term agricultural technology or agritech or agtech. But for some following the growth of sustainable food cultivation, it’s become not only a much-needed answer to environmental threats but a hot investment.
Venture capital firm AgFunder reports that in 2021, agrifood tech investments raised $24 billion in the first half of the year, nearly the total amount raised in 2020.
Companies such as FMC Corp. FMC, Tyson Foods Inc. TSN, and AppHarvest Inc. APPH have been some of the leading public companies focused on growing their agtech competencies.
With environmental threats continuing to create global concerns, agtech companies are attempting to create an alternative solution to replace how food historically has been grown and how the planet has been fed.
One company that in recent years has looked to set the tone for advancing sustainable cultivation and crop processing across multiple verticals is Vancouver, British Columbia-based AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd. AGRI AGRIW, an intellectual property (IP)-focused agtech company.
The company recently reported taking an important step by acquiring Delphy Groep BV, a Netherlands-based agtech consultancy firm, for $29 million in cash and stock. Delphy has developed a reputation in the agtech industry as a knowledge company in plant sectors.
AgriFORCE plans to leverage Delphy’s multinational operations in Europe, Asia, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Africa, and its 200 employees and consultants. Delphy reported more than $26 million in revenue in 2020 and expected revenues of $28 million in 2021, working with a client list that includes agricultural companies, government, universities, and leading agtech suppliers.
AgriFORCE believes the Delphy acquisition complements its industry knowledge and experience and its merger and acquisition strategy in identifying regional and international agtech opportunities.
According to AgriFORCE CEO Ingo Mueller, the Delphy acquisition affects his company’s growth and IP going forward in several ways.
“Together, AgriFORCE and Delphy aim to transform agriculture and agtech across multiple markets globally,” Mueller said. “We look forward to drawing on the decades of experience, existing customer base, and deep industry relationships that have been established by Delphy to offer truly integrated agtech consulting solutions for a variety of plants and crops.”
Other insights about the deal from Mueller included:
- Delphy has developed expertise to test and optimize crops for controlled environment agriculture, including vertical farming. AgriFORCE aspires to be at the forefront of agtech knowledge, IP innovation as well as operational expertise to support cultivators to deliver sustainable, efficient, and healthier crops.
- Delphy has generated historical financial performance and growth across the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Asia) region, and aims to build on the growth. The company plans on expanding Delphy’s consulting operations to North America and establishing a new research and development center in the U.S. AgriFORCE also plans to increase Delphy’s penetration of Asian markets.
- AgriFORCE believes that making a positive impact on agriculture requires an integrated approach. This cannot be achieved by merely piecing together off-the-shelf components. The companies will look to work together to impact agriculture from seed to table.
- Building state-of-the-art facilities isn’t enough on its own. Those facilities require strong operational systems, operational expertise, and ongoing management to realize their full potential.
- Current greenhouse and indoor growing methods have their own challenges — using too many natural resources is bad for the environment and doesn't provide ideal growing conditions. AgriFORCE’s foundational IP — the GrowHouse — is designed to address these issues.
Most importantly for AgriFORCE is the belief that the Delphy acquisition will help it continue to expand its innovative global seed-to-table philosophy of clean, green, and better and provide better plants and food for the world.
You can learn more about AgriFORCE at www.agriforcegs.com.
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