The initiative is in line with the Institute’s promotion of dynamic and inclusive digitalization in the agriculture sector, as a means of contributing to production development and global food security
San Jose, 23 August 2022 (IICA) -- The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) spearheaded a meeting between a group of Latin American and Caribbean startups that currently offer digital solutions for agriculture and Vista Alta Management Solutions (VAMS), an investment advisory firm that has created a financial platform to support businesses that are spurring the digital transformation of this production activity in the region.
The initiative is in keeping with IICA’s commitment to promote dynamic and integrated digital agricultural transformation in the Americas and to facilitate linkages between agtechs (technology-based businesses with an agriculture focus) and investment funds or other financial leveraging organizations.
The Institute expressed this commitment at Digital Agriculture Week - an event that it organized this year, bringing together 15 startups and other stakeholders from the technology and agriculture sectors of the region.
“By way of this initiative, we are building bridges between stakeholders in the new technology innovation ecosystems, with a view to promoting development and the use of digital solutions in agriculture”, said Federico Bert, Digital Agriculture Specialist at IICA.
Eleven agtech startups attended the VAMS meeting, which took place over two sessions: Bloomspal, Incluirtec and Rice Observatory from Colombia; Agroconsultas, Appi.ar and GBot from Argentina; Neltume Agro and FrescaPesca from Chile, AgtechApps from Guatemala, Hola Tractor from Bolivia and AGP Geoservicio from Ecuador.
These agtechs provide solutions, such as digital technical assistance, based on a combination of expertise and artificial intelligence; remote phytosanitary monitoring; crop irrigation tools to boost output and water use efficiency; mobile apps for medium- and large-scale agricultural export companies; technology applications to improve profitability and efficiency in the beekeeping sector; and an online market for fresh and frozen seafood products that supplies various distribution chains, among others.
The meeting was the first step in an evaluation process by VAMS for possible investment in some of the startups.
“VAMS offers an impact investment platform that seeks to generate competitive financial returns for businesses that provide solutions for the most pressing challenges in Latin America”, explained the company’s CEO, Francisco Guia.
“Attending these meetings with investors that have been spearheaded by IICA is a valuable experience. They are providing us with a concrete opportunity to gain the attention of partners that could leverage growth in our companies. The Institute’s support is a major asset that we will manage responsibly. It is a vote of confidence and a reflection of the scouting process in which the startups that are here have been involved”, said Nicolás Santinelli, CEO of GBot from Argentina.
Danilo Miranda, CEO of Colombia’s Bloomspal, agreed that IICA has played a key role for all of them, “both in the process of raising capital, as well as in facilitating cooperation with other companies in the Latin American agtech ecosystem”.
IICA signed a cooperation agreement with Vista Alta Management Solutions in June 2021. The latter has extensive experience in the North American and Latin American markets and is made up of a group of leaders in the region in sectors such as financial services, agriculture, electricity, construction, consumer goods, technology and others.
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