Singapore's agritech platform Rize raises $14 million in Series A funding to expand into Vietnam and Indonesia

May 09, 2024 | 14:21
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Pioneering agritech platform Rize is aiming to make sustainable rice cultivation viable through innovative and data-driven practices following its $14 million Series A funding round.
Singapore's agritech platform Rize raises $14 million in Series A funding to expand into Vietnam and Indonesia
The Rize team in Vietnam

This investment will enhance Rize's technology stack including its measuring, reporting, and verification technology and support further expansion into Vietnam, Indonesia, and across South and Southeast Asia. The funding round was co-led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, GenZero, Temasek and Wavemaker Impact.

Rize’s technology stack captures vital agricultural data essential for implementing sustainable farming practices, making rice farmers more climate resilient, increasing their crop yields, lowering costs, and facilitating efficient access to finance. This step advances Rize's goal to eliminate 100 metric tonnes of carbon emissions whilst significantly improving farmers' livelihoods.

“We are confronted with the challenges of addressing the high levels of methane emissions and the water-intensive practices prevalent in rice farming, which accounts for 10 per cent of global methane emissions, a figure that is set to rise if unchecked,” said Dhruv Sawhney, CEO of Rize.

He added, “Another hurdle is the lack of precise data, particularly among the numerous smallholder farms across South and Southeast Asia, as well as the increasingly high cost of farming due to increased input prices and a changing climate. Our technology stack seeks to tackle these challenges. By doing so, we are not just aiming to cut down 100 million tonnes of carbon emissions, we are also enhancing the economic stability of farmers, ensuring that improved livelihoods and reduced emissions go hand-in-hand.”

In addition to technology stack development, the funds will enable Rize to expand its operations deeper into Vietnam and Indonesia and help strengthen its team of agronomists to over 100 by the end of 2024, potentially reaching over 20,000 farmers. Rize also has plans to expand into other rice producing South and Southeast Asian countries in 2025.

These initiatives are projected to lower emissions by 50 per cent and reduce water usage by 20 per cent.

Rize is also aiming to improve over 7,000 hectares of rice farming, demonstrating a practical path to environmental sustainability and increasing farmers' incomes by up to 30 per cent, making sustainable rice farming a viable and attractive option.

“Our platform, and the data it captures, is pivotal in modernising rice farming, leveraging technology to sustainably enhance yield and efficiency,” said Sawhney. “Given that producing a single bowl of rice requires over 200 litres of fresh water, and considering that the entire rice industry accounts for more than a third of the world's irrigation water, the urgency to adopt sustainable methods is clear.”

“As global rice demand is projected to double by 2050, mitigating the environmental impact of rice cultivation is essential in the fight against climate change,” said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “Rize’s data-driven technology and expert team of agronomists are a powerful combination for tackling this challenge and scaling viable sustainable rice farming across Asia and globally.”

“We are proud to continue our investment in Rize. The outcomes that Rize achieved in the last 18 months is testament to the robustness of its collective value proposition and business model,” said Marie Cheong, founding partner of Wavemaker Impact. “With this round of capital injection, we have every confidence in Dhruv and team to scale the adoption of sustainable farming techniques across the region, scaling the impact of decarbonisation and livelihood improvement of smallholder farms.”

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By Thanh Van

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