Science & Technology

Temasek-Backed Agritech Rize Raises $14M Series A Funding

Rize has an ambitious goal to eliminate 100 metric tonnes of carbon emissions while decarbonising rice cultivation with its robust technology stack.

Temasek-Backed Agritech Rize Raises $14M Series A Funding

Singaporean agritech firm Rize focused on sustainable rice cultivation has secured $14 million in the Series A funding round, co-led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, GenZero, Temasek and Wavemaker Impact.

The startup aims to use the fresh funding to boost its tech capabilities including its Measuring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) technology as well as support the company’s expansion into Indonesia, Vietnam, and across South and Southeast Asia.

Rize’s technology uses vital agricultural data to make rice farming more climate resilient, increase crop yields, lower farming costs, and facilitate access to finance for Asian farmers.

The firm addresses rice cultivation practices leading to high levels of methane emissions and water use like the age-old practice of flooding the fields. At present, rice farming causes 10% of global methane emissions and accounts for more than a third of the world’s irrigation water.

The use of tech solutions and expert knowledge should help rice farmers efficiently implement more sustainable farming practices, such as Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) and Direct Seeding Rice (DSR). Rize aims to eliminate 100 metric tonnes of carbon emissions with its technology, while also improving the economic situation for local farmers.

The startup’s initiatives are projected to lower emissions by 50%, reduce water usage by 20% and increase farmer incomes by up to 30%. This season alone, the firm plans to improve over 7,000 hectares of rice farming.

Rize is a joint venture of Wavemaker Impact, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, GenZero, and a global investment company Temasek founded in 2023 to decarbonise rice cultivation in Asia.

“As global rice demand is projected to double by 2050, mitigating the environmental impact of rice cultivation is essential in the fight against Climate Change. Rize’s data-driven technology and expert team of agronomists are a powerful combination for tackling this challenge and scaling viable sustainable rice farming across Asia and globally.”

Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures

Rice has become commonplace in many cultures worldwide, but over 90% of the world’s rice (which was 776 million metric tonnes in 2022) is produced and consumed in the Asia-Pacific Region. Rice is grown in flooded fields, which create perfect anaerobic conditions for bacteria to grow on decomposing organic matter and release methane. In addition, poor rice absorption of nitrogen-based fertilizers leads to nitrous oxide emissions.

Innovative technologies like GPS, drones, and satellite imagery allow for precise mapping of rice fields, enabling farmers to understand the variability within their crops, and efficiently use resources such as water, fertilizers, and pesticides, which leads to not only more sustainable practices but also higher yields.

Another technology revolutionising the global agriculture industry is blockchain. It addresses the issues of traceability within food supply chains, mitigating food fraud, improving food quality and safety, etc.

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.