series A interview: Agflow

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AgFlow is the world’s largest network of agricultural commodities data suppliers within grains, oilseeds, and vegoils. They are currently looking for series A funding to invest in their operations and improve their user experience. 7startup founder Amit Khanna spoke with Nabil about everything AgFlow, including what they see in store for themselves in the future.

Words from the CEO

Nabil Mseddi

 

“To build a successful global business, I need to understand two things: people, and the world.”

“When I was 17, I committed to once build a successful global business. To do so, I believe that I need to understand two things: people, and the world. Hence an outside-the-box journey started for me when I went on and lived extreme experiences in multiple geographies, cultures, and ethnic groups.

“The values that drive my work are humility, care, grit.”

I believe in three values driving each of my actions: humility, care, and grit. These are critical success factors in any context of life, and that applies even more in a business ecosystem that strives for creativity and performance.

Our AgFlow team is built on these values, our team is made up of 16 different nationalities, 7 different religions, and speak 10 different languages . We also have 30 women in a heavily male-dominated industry.”

Interview with the founder

“Our vision is to lead the advent of a transparent and resilient global agricultural supply chain. To become the undisputed market data leader in the entire Ag value chain.”

Amit: So tell me about AgFlow – when and where did it all begin?

Nabil: AgFlow began in September 2019. It’s made up of three co-founders and a team of ardent agriculture and digitalization supporters. We’re based in Geneva, Switzerland, in the heart of the commodity trading sector, but we also have a global boots-on-the-ground remote team.

Amit: Explain AgFlow to me in two sentences.

Nabil: AgFow collects data straight from the source through our network of data collectors on the frontline. This data is sifted through so that only the relevant data for consumers is left and is accessible to the user either through API or through their web/mobile platform.

Amit: And so what are your goals and visions for AgFlow?

Nabil: Our goal is to digitize agricultural markets and pave the way for a more transparent and robust global agricultural supply chain. Our vision is to lead the advent of a transparent and resilient global agricultural supply chain.

“Agricultural markets are fundamentally broken… [we] empower smaller players with transparency.”

Amit: I really believe that Aglow can become a category-defining company. In your own words, though, why does the world need AgFlow? And why now?

Nabil: Agricultural markets are fundamentally broken. What we do is empower smaller players with transparency. This not only benefits them in terms of value capture but also helps make the market as a whole become more resilient.

Currently, two separate commodity vendors or buyers, independent of their location, could trade the identical goods at the same time, in the same quantity, but with vastly different profit margins, and not even realize it. This is the process of transfer arbitrage where others benefit from the fact that farmers do not have up-to-date technology or facilities.

Resulting in an unfair advantage for larger corporations, they have access to information and the opportunity to capitalize on the seller’s lack of current market knowledge.

“Our collection of agricultural market data is currently the largest in the world!”

The distressing situation we are currently seeing play out in Ukraine is sadly a prime example of why the world needs Agflow right now. The opacity and volatility created because of the war will benefit some large players in terms of transactions arbitrage practices and makes our solution even more relevant for smaller, ungeared players.

Amit: AgFlow definitely solves such a prominent need in the market. But has the journey been easy as an agricultural startup founder? Tell me about your journey so far.

Nabil: So since 2019, AgFlow has grown leaps and bounds and has caught the eyes of multiple market leaders in our meteoric rise. The market for digitalized agriculture data services has been relatively small in the past but AgFlow is helping to make it a prominent market. Our collection of agricultural market data is currently the largest in the world!

Last year we introduced our ‘Boots On the Ground’ scheme, which is a form of collecting data that no one else is doing on a large scale. AgFlow has people in local operation areas and they are constantly collecting and feeding back data so that AgFlow can keep up and we can adapt our platform to react to real-time events.

Amit: So what sets you apart from your competitors in this space?

Nabil: I think that our main USP is our local data. We have data for a lot of areas in digital form all in one place, and this is what sets AgFlow apart from the rest. We target and map out key territories, connecting physical markets to digital with a unique and bold approach. I believe this is why we have the potential to be a powerhouse in the agricultural industry.

Our platform provides users with the most up-to-date information on price discovery and supply and demand. It’s a well-rounded one-stop shop for customers to easily access any physical Ag markets dataset, regardless of how unique their target markets are. 

This allows those at a local level to move away from being a ‘price-taker’ and open their eyes to the opportunity they were not previously aware of without AgFlow.

We also have large datasets that we collect, which worldwide data providers buy and in turn sell to the end-user. This represents another scalable revenue stream available for us, granting us with both additional turnover and visibility on the data vendors’ platforms.

“The current market for fundamental raw data in agriculture is worth $18.5 billion and is predicted to grow to $120.2 billion by 2026.”

Amit: So AgFlow is a fantastic idea, but how about the business side of things. Firstly, tell me about your target market.

Nabil: In a nutshell – our target market is nice but large! Did you know that 12% of the world’s population work in the agricultural value chain for a living? This means that there is a huge opportunity for growth as the consumer base is already there. However, there are just over 12,000 players in the agricultural market that we can easily target and they would find tremendous value in using either of our platforms.

The agriculture market is on the cusp of heavy investment into IT technology and data. Currently, only 0.04% of agriculture commodity value is spent on raw data collection, and with the current struggles that we have seen throughout COVID within supply chains, this will be a focal point for major companies in the future and AgFlow are ahead of the curve. 

The current market for fundamental raw data in agriculture is worth $18.5 billion and is predicted to grow to $120.2 billion by 2026.

Amit: And your traction?

Nabil: We currently have 69 customers in 30 countries and we’ve achieved $750k ARR (annual recurring revenue), 60% of which is generated by flagship customers including Bloomberg, BayWa, Gavilon, Nord, and Cargill. We believe we can expand these accounts by up to 5X and have the potential of an unlimited LTV (lifetime value) with our API solutions. We’re ready to scale and own the market!  

Amit: Fantastic! What does the future hold for you and AgFlow?

Nabil: We have some really exciting plans for AgFlow in the future. We have the potential to become a leading and unparalleled source of live supply & demand data and achieve +20% global penetration.

We plan to introduce dynamic S&D (supply and demand) data which uses both AgFlow’s ‘boots on the ground data’ in tandem with clients’ open-sourced data to help create raw supply and demand via API.

In the next few years, we plan to aggressively grow our ‘boots on the ground’ network.  

The Series A raise

7startup is excited to be working with AgFlow on their $7million Series A funding round. 

AgFlow has the biggest warehouse of privileged agricultural data globally. The data is collected through a unique Boots on the Ground network, then is cleaned thanks to a smart process and made accessible either on a pragmatic, all-in-one user-friendly interface or via API translating into the following benefits. 

AgFlow plan to use this series A funding to grow exponentially by:

  • investing in sales and operations, 
  • creating an even better user experience,
  • broadening supply chain coverage within current and new territories. 
  • hiring 10 senior IT and data engineers, 2 UI/UX engineers, and 19 trading managers,
  • And targeting key territories that would increase their data collection network and allow them to provide more insightful data in areas such as East & West Africa, the Middle East etc.

Interested investors can get in touch with Amit, Founder of 7startup to discuss an investment in AgFlow.

Amit Khanna is the founder of www.7startup.vc and has 19 years of experience with Startups and the Enterprise, holds an MBA, focusing on Growth and Investments. Amit supports AgFlow as an Advisor in their drive for series A funding.

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