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AgNext teams with GRAFT Challenge to bring digital solutions for food quality to Vietnam

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AgNext Technologies is an Indian agritech startup that digitizes food quality assessments with a set of end-to-end quality management solutions.

 

One of these solutions – an award-winning AI-driven platform called Qualix, which can rapidly and accurately evaluate 40+ physical parameters and composition of dozens of food commodities including milk, tea, grains, and more in real-time – is making manual food quality assessment processes obsolete. AgNext has built on the success of Qualix by developing a range of complementary offerings, including an international e-procurement platform and a lab test aggregation platform.

 

AgNext was founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Taranjeet Singh Bhamra with the mission to build trust and transparency in the agriculture value chain. So far, the company is off to a strong start, building up a client roster of grain, beverage, spice, and feed producers in its home market of India and earning $8 million in ARR as of 2021. This year AgNext also raised $25 million in Series A funding from VC firms Omnivore, Kalaari Capital, and other marquee investors.

 

In April, AgNext presented at the Indian AgTech Innovation Showcase, co-hosted by GRAFT Challenge Vietnam and ThinkAg – India’s leading corporate innovation platform – to promote the GRAFT Challenge to Indian entrepreneurs. AgNext itself then applied to the GRAFT Challenge Vietnam and was accepted into the final cohort this August.

 

“Agriculture is a strong pillar of Vietnam’s economy. With the burgeoning technology-driven interventions across pre- and post-harvest space, the agriculture sector in Vietnam is at the cusp of digital transformation,” said AgNext Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mr. Subrat Panda.

 

“The GRAFT Challenge has presented AgNext with a unique landing pad to bring our novel AI-based solutions on-ground to enable quality-based trade and help agribusinesses in Vietnam scale at speed.”

 

AgNext now receives 1-on-1 tailored strategic, advisory, and operational support from the GRAFT team to scale into the Vietnamese market, where it will address profound agricultural sector challenges such as managing production risks, improving feed-cost efficiency, and reducing post-harvest losses.

 

Soon after the Challenge began, AgNext and the GRAFT team identified Vietnam’s tea, spice, and animal feed and meat industries as ideal beneficiaries for AgNext’s end-to-end quality management solutions.

 

These industries are all supported by high-value, quality-differentiated value chains where food quality assessments are critical – but are not necessarily being performed in an efficient or cost-competitive manner.

 

AgNext and the GRAFT team have developed a strategy to bring Qualix and other AgNext solutions into these industries, with the objectives of enhancing profitability for farmers and agribusinesses, whilst lowering prices for consumers.

 

The first steps in this strategy include standing up commercial trials with potential partners. Meanwhile, GRAFT is helping AgNext set up a Vietnamese office (an AI and R&D “excellence center”) and supporting the recruitment of a local team.

 

AgNext has also been fulfilling a technological objective – accelerating the development of Qualix by feeding it samples and images, which stimulates its machine learning processes, making it more efficient for deployment in Vietnam.

 

“We are glad to partner with GRAFT to kickstart this journey and take forward our mission to ensure food quality for billions,” says AgNext CEO Taranjeet Singh Bhamra. “In the next three years, we aim to achieve $5-10 million in ARR for Vietnam. And within five years the target is that 5% of the world’s food supply will move through our Qualix suite to drive quality-based trade.”

 

After working closely with AgNext for the past four months, GRAFT Program Lead Justin Ahmed is bullish on the company.

 

“AgNext is already proving to be a leader in bringing trust and transparency to the agrifood value chain in India. The team has demonstrated a wonderful combination of ambition and humility in its first foray into Vietnam. And it’s already paying off, given the strong demand signal we are seeing from Vietnam-based agribusinesses,” he says.

 

If you or any entities in your networks are interested in partnering with AgNext on its journey to scale up in Vietnam, contact the GRAFT team at hello@graftchallenge.com.

Follow GRAFT Challenge Vietnam on LinkedIn and Facebook for updates on our agritech cohort.

 

GRAFT is sponsored by Australia’s Aus4Innovation program to contribute to promoting the testing of new models in public-private partnerships, and strengthen Vietnam’s capacity in digital, scenario building, commercialization, and innovation policy. GRAFT Challenge Vietnam 2021 is an initiative designed by Australian innovation agency Beanstalk in partnership with the Vietnam Digital Agriculture Association (VIDA), the Vietnam National Supporting Center for Youth’s Start-up (SYS), and Mekong Business Initiative for Innovation Challenges (MBIIC).

 

About Aus4Innovation: Aus4Innovation is the AUD 13.5 million, four-year (2018-2022) flagship program to help strengthen the Vietnamese innovation system and prepare for Vietnam’s economic and digital future. It is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), managed by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in strategic collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam (MoST)./.

For program enquiries, contact GRAFT at hello@graftchallenge.com

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