Matt Gomez joins us as a new #OKGNtech columnist for Agritech News. In this edition, Matt talks about innovation from field to fork.
Did you know that you can crowdfund a cow?! It’s true. Food and agriculture are going through the most substantial and impactful revolution since the Green Revolution of the 1930’s to 1960’s and technology and innovation is at the forefront of this revolution. Across the food chain, substantial changes, improvements, and innovations are happening.
Innovation in the field.
In the field we are are seeing major innovation in the science of soil, sensors, and software. There are also some amazing advances in crowdsourced data and predictive modeling that is allowing farmers to use ‘Big Data’ to grow food. The other ‘Musk’ (Elon’s brother Kimbel) is also on a mission to change the whole food system to one based on healthy, local food grown on chemical-free farms with his project Square Roots.
Innovation at the market.
Distribution and processing of food has also become increasingly sophisticated and varied. Technology is powering these supply chains and finding efficiencies and cost savings at every turn. Even the final sale and marketing of products has been revolutionized by apps like Soil Mate that allow consumers to make informed choices, purchase products and support farmers globally. Good Eggs, a grocery delivery company, recently closed a $50 million round. This same company was on the brink of closure only a few years early.
There is an amazing array of established and startup companies now working in all areas of the supply chain. These startups are innovating from field-to-fork, they’ve raised $10.1 billion USD in 2017, with a 29% year-over-year increase. Bossa Nova, a San Francisco-based tech company and an excellent example of supply chain innovation, have created robots that motor around the store aisles, counting inventory!
Robots and Inventory tech is pretty standard in the warehouse environment. But with these Bossa Nova Robots, we could be seeing these little robots (which look like dehumidifiers on wheels, with a big ol’ strip light up its side) whizzing round as your pick out your baked beans, toilet rolls and pork rinds (we all buy those right?).
Bossa Nova just closed a $17.5 million Series B, bringing their total raised to $41.7 million. That just shows the huge cost of inventory management and the data derived from it. How much is on a shelf and how quickly it moves is what drives grocery stores and people are betting big that these little robots will aid in optimizing that data. Plus they hella cute.