Investment Notes: Geora

We believe that digitally native agrifood supply chains are the future. They will unlock low-friction provenance and sustainability credentials, and the introduction of novel finance and risk solutions tailored to, and triggered by, real-time events.

Despite the benefits promised, this digital transformation has been challenging to deliver. More information is available at high resolution and high accuracy than ever before, and yet its passage through the supply chain is hampered by poor value capture and software integration challenges. Much has been written about how applying blockchain to supply chains will solve these challenges. And yet, adoption remains low given the technical complexity and rapid pace of change.

There is a major opportunity in solving these challenges to enable provenance and sustainability credentials to flow along value chains. Product premiums and sustainability recognition will be embedded in supply chains and easily shared with counterparties. Further, when key lifecycle events relating to individual assets can be recognized and verified, new opportunities for the financialization of agri commodities will emerge.

Introducing our 9th investment: Geora - digitally native supply chain infrastructure

Our 9th investment, Geora, provides the building blocks for a new generation of supply chain finance solutions. A simple and secure technology platform for farmer networks to trace and finance global agri-supply chains.

We led Geora’s AUD 1.5M seed round, joined by NAB Ventures and Flying Fox Ventures. The round will be used to expand their blockchain platform for farmers and agri- supply chains.

Why we love it: building blocks for digitally native agriculture

Geora has a vision of a rewired agri supply chain that is digitally native, highly adaptive, and focused on maximizing farmer value. As the importance of fine-grained provenance in meeting the needs of climate-focused consumers and investors grows, things need to be done differently.

Blockchain has promised much and delivered little in agri supply chains. The reasons for this are largely non-technical and that is why we love Geora’s approach.

Co-founders Bridie Ohlsson and Cadel Watson have direct experience in both the underlying technologies and agriculture value chains. Their vision is to bring decentralized finance technology to market differently so that supply-chain specialists can enjoy the benefits without the technical complexity.

Security and simplicity through low-code and no-code tools

The cryptography space is fast-moving, and has some challenges of its own to face. Geora’s low-code and no-code approach means that traders, financiers, and farmers can get on with business and let Geora take care of the underpinnings.

Their drag-and-drop approach to smart contract development will deliver the best of both worlds:  providing the security and non-repudiation of the blockchain, whilst enabling business people to work directly with the platform to design and implement the rules that satisfy commercial and contractual milestones.

Sustainability and liquidity

Digitally native supply chains will have access to a far greater level of detail about individual assets and commodities. Critically, this will include detailed and specific information that will directly support sustainability claims about how and where goods were produced. High-provenance, high-integrity data flow is a much needed cornerstone for building supply chain solutions that recognize and reward sustainable production.

In addition to improving the flow of sustainability information, Geora-powered supply chains will create entirely new opportunities for asset-backed financing. The same attributes that support high-integrity environmental performance create an opportunity to decouple finance from the requirement for physical custody of an asset.

This combination of decoupling and fractionalizing will enable the provision of new finance products and encourage novel sources of finance to participate in the provision of credit for agri-supply chains.

Providing these building blocks for new, agile, secure supply chains sits at the core of our investment strategy: enabling digitally native agriculture and unlocking financial incentives for climate-positive transformation in the food production system.

There is a huge amount of work to do in supporting global agriculture to become digitally native and we are so excited to be partnering with Geora to provide some of the critical infrastructure that will be needed for that transition.

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Key takeaways

  • a great investment
  • a great team
  • a great opportunity

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