Emerald Technology Ventures Leads USD 7.5 Million Investment in Kilimo

Emerald Technology Ventures has announced its lead investment in Kilimo, a company dedicated to helping multinational and regional corporations achieve their water security goals by connecting them with farmers who utilize technology to improve irrigation practices. The USD 7.5 million funding round included participation from The Yield Lab Latam, Salkantay Ventures, Kamay Ventures, and iThink VC. This investment aims to bolster Kilimo’s efforts in generating volumetric water benefits and solidify its leadership in the sector.

Kilimo, a US-incorporated company operating across multiple Latin American countries, focuses on creating “volumetric water benefits” to aid corporations in water conservation within their hydrological basins. Kilimo facilitates collaboration between corporate entities and farmers through Collective Action Projects, which employ technology to significantly reduce irrigation water use. The company leverages various interventions, including artificial intelligence for efficient irrigation management, irrigation conversion, and regenerative agriculture, to achieve its goals.

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Kilimo has established partnerships with corporations such as Microsoft, Intel, and Coca-Cola, all of which have made recent water stewardship commitments. Given that water demand is projected to exceed supply by 40% by 2030, and agriculture accounts for approximately 70% of global freshwater use, the digital transformation of agriculture represents a significant opportunity for corporations to contribute to global water conservation efforts.

Jairo Trad

To date, Kilimo has engaged over 2,000 farmers across seven Latin American countries and saved 72 billion liters of water. The company also operates an Irrigation Academy, which has reached over 120,000 farmers in the past three years, providing crucial education on efficient irrigation practices.

As part of the investment, Helge Daebel, Emerald’s head of water practice, will join Kilimo’s board. Daebel highlighted the critical need for water efficiency in agriculture, particularly in regions that are major producers of agricultural goods. He praised Kilimo’s efforts in bridging water consumption with technology adoption and corporate water risk management, which he believes will drive essential behavioral changes toward sustainable water use in food production.

Kilimo’s CEO and Co-Founder, Jairo Trad, expressed the company’s commitment to supporting corporate water conservation goals through technological adoption in agriculture. Trad stated that the recent funding will enhance Kilimo’s capabilities and expand its global impact, aligning with the increasing global demand for efficient water management. The company aims to scale its delivery of volumetric water benefits and continue bridging the gap between agricultural practices and corporate water conservation initiatives.

In a LinkedIn post this week, Jairo Trad noted, “Many see investment rounds as the end of a journey. But in reality, it’s just the beginning. This milestone marks the start of a new phase filled with challenges and opportunities to continue reshaping the Value of Water in Food production.”


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