Kenyan AI startup Gro Intelligence raises $85m in Series B funding

Kenyan AI-powered insights startup Gro Intelligence announced the raise of $85 million in Series B funding to expand its adoption.

The funding was co-led by Intel Capital, Africa Internet Ventures (a strategic partnership between TPG Growth and EchoVC), and the family offices of Ronald Lauder and Eric Zinterhofer. They were joined by previous investors DCVC and GGV Capital.

Participating new investors included Schusterman Family Investments, Dick Parsons, Rethink Food and various strategic family offices.

The financing will be used to accelerate the growth and global adoption of the Gro Platform, enhancing the platform’s machine-learning capabilities and delivering localized insights on food, agriculture and climate risk.

Sara Menker, Founder and CEO, Gro Intelligence said that Food security and climate risk represent existential global-sized opportunities for our AI-powered decisions and insights platform.

“We see a tremendous need for the market knowledge provided by the Gro Platform. Our customers have come to rely on Gro as a unique source of actionable data-driven insights about our food supply and models to measure and manage associated climate change risk to physical and financial assets across the globe.

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome our new investors and continue to be grateful to our existing investors for their support.”

Trina Van Pelt, Senior Managing Director, Intel Capital said that Gro Intelligence is one of the most exciting AI companies and is tackling two of the world’s biggest challenges: food security and climate risk.

“Their software-based platform will drive compute-powered cross-border knowledge to surface meaningful insights and enable better informed agricultural decisions. We are excited to co-lead this investment round because Gro Intelligence’s technology aligns with our mission of unleashing the power of data to improve the world.”

Yemi Lalude, Managing Partner, TPG Africa noted that Gro Intelligence has had a remarkable journey so far and demonstrates the growing importance of AI in driving a more sustainable food supply.

“TPG Growth is proud to have supported the company from its beginnings in Nairobi to the forefront of today’s efforts to make companies and institutions across multiple industries around the world more resilient to climate change and climate risk.”

Julia Paliare, Managing Director, the Family Office of Ronald Lauder: “With its AI-powered platform, Gro Intelligence is solving, at scale, two of the world’s most pressing problems – climate risk and food security. Sara’s vision, leadership and experience, along with the remarkable technology and team she has assembled, have positioned the company for accelerated growth at a time when these issues are so critically important.”

Through its partnership with EchoVC, TPG Growth also led Gro’s Series A-2 financing round in 2017.