São Paulo, September 28, 2017 – Monsanto, through the BR Startups fund, will invest R $ 1 million in Tbit, a startup of image analysis that operates in Brazilian agribusiness. In June 2016, Monsanto became part of the BR Startups investor group, managed by MSW Capital. By investing in the fund, the company aims to help accelerate innovation in national agriculture and within the company itself by interacting with innovative Brazilian entrepreneurs. In addition to contributing to the fund, Monsanto will also share agribusiness knowledge and experience with Tbit.
According to Monsanto’s digital agriculture leader for South America, Mateus Barros, technological innovation is crucial to agriculture in times of digital revolution. “Creativity and entrepreneurship in Brazil have a great opportunity. We believe that collaboration is a fundamental tool to produce more efficiently and this is a step in that direction, so we are satisfied with this partnership with Tbit,” says Barros.
Created in 2008 by entrepreneur Igor Chalfoun and three other partners, Tbit has entered the market to automate quality processes in companies through digital image processing and artificial intelligence, which have replaced manual or chemical protocols. The company has eight products and 50 customers, of which about 80% are from the agricultural market.
According to Chalfoun, the solution offered to agriculture by Tbit, is composed of equipment and software that automates the process of checking the quality of seeds and grains. Images or videos of the process are made and sent to a computer that, through artificial intelligence, generates the classification of seeds and grains. “With our product, for example, you save up to 70% in time to release the batches analyzed, because reading is done faster, and 20% less time is spent to reprocess or return lots. our startup will be a fantastic opportunity that will help the company achieve a better strategic position and open doors for us, “says Chalfoun. functional framework at its headquarters in Minas Gerais and will expand its sales and marketing efforts throughout the country.
Designed by Microsoft Participações and managed by MSW Capital, the BR Startups fund is the only multi-corporate Seed Capital fund to support companies in their development through the knowledge and global scale potential of their investors: Monsanto , Banco Votorantim, Grupo Algar, BB Seguridade, Qualcomm and Age-Rio. “The BR Startups Fund’s support for the agribusiness innovation segment is strategic to foster the creative potential of the agribusiness sector, which accounts for about 20% of Brazil’s GDP.We want to promote digital transformation in companies operating in the” , comments the COO of Microsoft Participações, Franklin Luzes.
MSW Capital partner Richard Zeiger explains that 74 startups from various areas of agribusiness have participated in the Fund’s selection process. “Tbit went through a rigorous evaluation process and was chosen to have a first-rate team and world-class technology, which was evident when we talked to the customers the startup works for.” By using artificial intelligence, startup is transforming the methodology of evaluation of the process of quality and commercialization of seeds and grains of the big agribusiness companies “, explains Zeiger.
MSW Capital works closely with Monsanto’s Ventures arm (MGV) to identify promising entrepreneurs and technologies that can help advance Brazilian agriculture. “Innovation is Monsanto’s business model, so we need partnerships with startups that bring agility and fresh looks to solve old problems. We are looking to invest and support entrepreneurs in Brazil to facilitate these partnerships,” says Mateus Barros.