AgTech startup company in Thailand, Ricult raised $2 million in new investment, bringing its total funding to $5 million, according to Nikkei. The company uses proprietary machine learning algorithms, leveraging satellite imagery, agronomic models and weather data to provide precision agritech services to farmers. The round was led by Bualuang Ventures and Krungsri Finnovate. Among its earlier backers are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dtac Accelerate, Chanwanich Group, Wavemaker and 500 TukTuks.
“Many farmers are still using natural farming when it is impossible to assess productivity or various environmental factors.”Aukrit Unahalekhaka, co-founder and CEO of Ricult.
Currently, more than 150,000 farmers benefit from the platform in Thailand and Pakistan. Ricult helps farmers implement best practices and get better access to credit and crop buyers, helps banks in giving out loans faster, and helps food processing mills in optimizing their supply chains and promoting sustainability.
acres of farmland digitized
increase in farm yield
reduction in non-essential fertilizer usage
increase in farmer profitability
increase in farm productivity
Farmers can access Ricult’s services through either (i) a Farmer App from the Google Play Store (ii) an IVR system. Once registered, farmers can access various services as mentioned below:
- Farm specific weather through Ricult’s hyper local weather analytics
- Advanced weather analytics, such as the best time to sow
- 9-month rain forecast
- Daily spot rates of various crops from mills
- Bank loan application
- Real time agronomy advice and discussion forum
- Remote crop health monitoring through satellite imagery
The startup plans to use the fresh funds to increase product development and bolster its presence in the domestic market. It will also expand into neighboring countries like Laos, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Ricult is a US-based award-winning social enterprise founded by MIT alums that develops AI/Tech/Financial-based digital solutions for the agricultural ecosystem, focusing on smallholder farmers in developing countries. Ricult envisions a world where small farmers can be free of financial exploitation by democratizing lending for the farmers.