The Trendlines Group Ltd. (“Trendlines”), is pleased to announce that its fund, The Trendlines Agrifood Fund Pte. Ltd., has invested in AgriG8 Pte Ltd. (“AgriG8”) as its first foray into the thriving agri-fintech space.
Co-created in Q3 2021 with Golden Sunland Singapore Pte Ltd (“GSS”), AgriG8 leverages on the diverse experiences of its founders and their in-depth knowledge in the smallholder agriculture sector to transform and set new standards in agri-financing.
Smallholder and family scale farms are the backbone of our global food system, yet many of them do not have access to financing. Globally, financial institutions have yet to efficiently access and accurately appraise these farmers as borrowers. However, given the right data and insights, financial institutions would be able to radically transform the sector, setting it on a more sustainable path. “AgriG8’s mission is to be the bridge between financial institutions and the enormous market of 475 million smallholder farmers globally,” said Mr David Chen, CEO of AgriG8.
Better farmers make better borrowers
Driven by big data and AI, smallholder farm advisory apps have advanced exponentially in the last decade. However, getting farmers to act on these insights remains a challenge. “Good advice has no real value unless the farmer decides to act on it,” said David. AgriG8’s edge lies in its ability to use the data and insights to drive behavioural change in the farmers by encouraging sustainable agricultural practices through a gamification mechanism that creates real-world incentives in the form of differentiated borrowing rates and discounts on raw materials.
AgriG8 integrates real-time monitoring with proprietary farmers’ behavioural analysis to provide financial institutions the MRV (measurement, reporting and verification) capabilities to reduce their lending risk. These features further validate the socio-environmental impact of their sustainability-linked loans (e.g., reduction of carbon footprint). AgriG8’s sustainable loan origination and credit assurance platform is designed to unlock urgently needed capital for millions of previously untapped borrowers. This platform also provides financial institutions the means to quantify and validate the new portfolios’ ESG performance – a market rated benchmark gaining significance across all industries.
CEO of The Trendlines Agrifood Innovation Centre (“AFIC”), Mr Anton Wibowo, commented: “Trendlines sees a big gap in farmers’ access to sustainable financing especially for smallholder farmers in developing countries. We believe that AgriG8 brings a unique and creative approach to solving this problem. Their agronomy knowledge and innovative approach to farmer onboarding and retention will help financiers gain confidence in farmers’ performance and unlock an entirely new market segment.”
Together with Garuda Robotics as their key technology partner in platform and Artificial Intelligence development, AgriG8 will proceed with the pilot in Q1 2022, together with lending and NGO partners. The plan is to expand to Africa and Indonesia by Q3. According to David, “We are planning to add a carbon emissions measurement tool into our platform, allowing both farmers and lenders to further quantify their climate related mandates. Our goal is to provide new standards for agri-financing that benefits both the farmers and the lenders.”
AgriG8 is the brainchild of Golden Sunland Singapore (“GSS”) and AFIC. GSS is a certified BCorp and Inclusive Business rice value chain company where the founders have more than 30 years of experience in the rice development sector. GSS is also the brand owner of “The Little Rice Company” that sources sustainable rice directly from the fields.
About The Trendlines Agrifood Fund
The Trendlines Agrifood Fund is based in Singapore and invests in near-future agrifood companies to address the immense challenges that the global food and agricultural systems face. Powered by a team of industry experts together within the Trendlines’ global network in the agrifood ecosystem, the Fund leverages its deep and wide experience to invest in exceptional agriculture and food companies for meaningful and sustainable impact on the entire value chain, creating value for all stakeholders.
About The Trendlines Group
Trendlines invests in and incubates innovation-based medtech and agrifood technology companies to fulfil its mission to improve the human condition. As intensely hands-on investors, Trendlines is involved in all aspects of its portfolio companies from technology development to business building. Trendlines’ shares are traded on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX: 42T) and in the United States as an American Depositary Receipt (ADR) on the OTCQX (OTCQX: TRNLY).