The collaboration between the two companies entails Holde investing in the start-up, as well as becoming the first customer to use AgroCity’s solution.
“Agriculture is a strategic sector of the Romanian economy, but it has not yet benefitted much from the digitalization. At Holde, we believe in practicing sustainable and performing farming and to accomplish that, we need to rely on technology. When we established Holde, it was clear to us that farming will be just one of the axes of our activity, with the other one being investments in companies and start-ups developing cutting edge agricultural technology. We are very excited about our investment and partnership with AgroCity because we consider it will bring numerous benefits to Holde farms as well as Holde’s shareholders” said Iulian Cîrciumaru, President of the Board at Holde Agri Invest.
AgroCity solution digitalizes all the farm operations, including production, data prediction and analysis, as well as management of leased land. The software provides a detailed analysis of how expenses and incomes are distributed on a farm as well as it improves workflows. AgroCity was established in 2019 by Marius Pasca, SAP consultant with 13 years’ experience, and Antonio Primera, an entrepreneur and full-stack web developer, with Dan Oros, Head of Marketing at Google and YouTube Romania, as early investor and advisor.
“There is a great potential to increase the productivity of the Romanian agricultural sector by using data and technology more efficiently. Holde’s team possesses an extremely valuable experience and expertise in agriculture and presents great openness to technology and innovation. We look forward to working with Holde as we resonate with their mission to develop innovative and sustainable agriculture, and we believe that technology has a key role to play in increasing the productivity of this industry" said Marius Pasca, AgroCity CEO and co-founder.
AgroCity is based on the Software-as-a-Service model, which means that the customers pay a monthly subscription depending on the size of the farm and the services they use. The simple and intuitive interface of AgroCity is easily accessible from anywhere and can also be used by users without technological background. AgroCity targets farmers who operate land of at least 500 hectares. The plan for 2020 is to reach 12,000 hectares of land managed with the help of AgroCity solution and 30,000 hectares by 2021. The current focus is the Romanian market; however, the start-up will target international expansion in the future.
Following the investment of Holde Agri Invest SA in AgroCity, Holde has a minority stake in the start-up. The companies are currently finalizing the connection of Holde’s farms to the AgroCity solution and starting with the autumn campaign, all Holde’s farms will be fully managed digitally, thus contributing to the productivity and efficiency of the operated land. Holde currently holds two farms, located in Rosiorii de Vede and Buciumeni, which boast together over 7,000 hectares. After successfully raising 12 million lei from Bucharest Stock Exchange investors in June 2020, Holde is currently in the process of further expansion and expects it will close this year with 10,000 hectares of operated land.
Holde’s goal is to become one of the most prominent Romanian players on the local agricultural market, reaching a minimum of 20,000 hectares of cultivated land within the next seven years. To achieve this objective, Holde will invest over 50 million euros in land acquisitions as well as new machinery, storage facilities as well as modern irrigation systems.