Forbes has recognized ag tech startups Apeel Sciences, BrightFarms, FoodLogIQ, Plenty, Produce Pay, SWIIM, Soft Robotics, Trace Genomics and Understory as being among the most innovative in the field.
All have applications for the fresh produce industry. Forbes named its top 25 startups during its fourth annual ag tech summit in Salinas, Calif.
The most familiar names on the list include greenhouse growing companies Plenty and BrightFarms, the latter of which just announced the closure of a $55 million funding round. Apeel offers a shelf life-extension solution that is currently being tested on avocados at Costco and Harps Food Stores.
Soft Robotics outfits companies with robots designed for use with soft, unstructured objects like those often found in a produce packinghouse. The company’s customers include Salinas-based Taylor Farms.
Trace Genomics conducts soil analysis with an eye to maximizing yields and preventing diseases, and FoodLogIQ specializes in traceability solutions.
SWIIM allows farmers to better manage water usage, and Understory offers solar-powered sensors that give farms hyperlocal weather data. Produce Pay links wholesalers and produce sellers and facilitates faster payments to provide liquidity.
At the Forbes AgTech Summit, more than 60 startups exhibited at the Innovation Showcase. Some of them also pitched to investors at the Radicle Automation Challenge, which took place June 26.