AgUnity is a philanthropic venture helping the smallest farmers in developing countries. It provides a blockchain and smartphone solution directly to the farmer to improve trust, enabling farmers to work together in cooperatives as well as connecting buyers and sellers together to reduce food waste and inefficiency in farming.

The Solution

AgUnity proposes a solution to the in-accuracy and reliability issues of paper-based records and verbal promises in agricultural trade, particularly in developing countries. Farmer cooperatives can use the AgriLedger app to record and transact using Blockchain technology. This app allows everyone to know exactly what is being bought, sold, and shared according to an entirely unalterable ledger, thereby helping to increase small-scale farmers’ efficiency, co-operability and their transactional transparency.

The Approach

David knew that he was onto a winner, and sought to join an Accelerator program to get his product to market as rapidly as possible. For him, the SproutX six month Accelerator offered the best deal for his product. Firstly, because of the excellent high-level industry connections offered through the SproutX program and secondly, by the opportunities for collaboration with other agtech startups within the SproutX ecosystem.'Through the AgriLedger app, we have this great opportunity to take other ideas to a global market', he says.

The other main differentiating factor, says David, was Andrew Lai and Sam Trethewey’s “how can we help you” attitude. This kind of professional support contrasted sharply with the attitude of other Accelerator Directors, who wanted to take a more dictatorial approach.

Beginnings

David Davies has had a varied career, to say the least. Having successfully exited several companies, filmed world heritage sites for UNESCO, and worked for top-tier investment banks — such as Lehman Brothers, Nomura and Goldman Sachs — he decided to pursue an agtech startup.

In 2012, David and his Cofounder John (a corporate lawyer) entered a “Fintech for Good” Hackathon in London and came up with the idea that won them the singularity prize. This idea became a company - AgUnity.

Recognition

The team has received major recognition for their idea. The Gates Foundation, UNICEF, the Asia Development Bank and the IFC have all approached John and David after they took home the London competition, saying they had “nailed” the solution to a problem that the biggest organisations in the world of International Development Aid had been struggling with for decades.

The Future

Through the Accelerator, AgUnity has already begun to make some essential connections to other startups with complementary technology. Another resident company, IoTag’s tracking-sensors (see story above) could potentially be sold via the Agriledger app, adding to the app’s overall value for small-holder farmers.

The future of AgUnity looks good. They have been advised that they should aim to go straight to raising a 10 million round because their “story” is good enough to aim high. With the help on the SproutX program and a bit of luck, they feel that they should be on track for a $100 million capital raise.

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