Monsanto and Microsoft Partnering to Invest in Brazil Agriculture Tech Startups

This sugar cane-based biofuels business in Brazil will be one of the businesses folded into Shell's new unit.
Photograph by Paolo Black Shell International Ltd

U.S. biotech company Monsanto and Microsoft announced on Monday a partnership to invest in agricultural technology startups in Brazil.

Monsanto (MON) will join a Brazilian investment fund with up to 300 million reais ($92 million), managed by Microsoft (MSFT), evaluating ideas for new digital tools to be applied to agricultural production in the country, executives said.


Selected ideas will receive initial funding of up to 1.5 million reais ($459,000) for early development. Project owners will have the option to pay back the investment after three years or convert the money into equity.

“We want to foster new startups in the agricultural sector. There is a vast area for research and development,” Rodrigo Santos, head of Monsanto in Latin America, told reporters on the sidelines of the Global Agribusiness Forum (GAF 2016).

Technology company Qualcomm (QCOM) is also investing in the fund.

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