SWARM Engineering, Inc, the next generation of cognitive software for the food supply chain, announced today it has closed funding for a $2.7 million seed round.
SWARM Engineering is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform specifically for the food supply chain, rapidly solving complex problems such as supply & demand forecasting, optimizing inbound and outbound logistics, or maximizing yield in controlled environment agriculture. SWARM is a ‘no-code’ solution, so end users do not need data science expertise, knowledge of machine learning, or a degree in math to use the software. Business users simply define their problem, and SWARM matches their definition with a curated library of algorithms (which can be added to by customers or 3rd parties) to rapidly deliver a solution via the cloud.
S2G Ventures, a Chicago-based investment firm focused on food and agriculture, led the seed round, which included participation from Serra Ventures via their new AgTech fund, Harvard Business School Alumni, Wells Street Capital, VTC Seed Fund, and Rinvest. Angel investor and former CEO of Bunge, Soren Schroder, also participated in the round. The capital will support continued technological innovation and team growth, to support an expanding list of customers, ranging from growers through to dedicated logistics firms.
SWARM are anticipating continued growth in ag-data, combined with an ongoing scarcity of data scientists, especially those with agricultural expertise. They aim to simplify the use of AI and advanced Machine Learning in the food supply chain, so that organizations can reap the rewards of the huge advances being made, at affordable price points, using existing team members’ skills and knowledge.
Anthony Howcroft, CEO and founder of SWARM Engineering said, “I’m excited to have the capital to continue SWARM’s exciting journey in solving real-world problems for food supply chain organizations, but I’m even more thrilled to be partnering with investors who are so knowledgeable and committed to this space.”
Sanjeev Krishnan, Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director of S2G Ventures explains, “COVID-19 exposed the fragility of our food system, in particular the food supply chain, resulting in impacts to farmers, producers, food businesses and ultimately consumers. We are excited to lead SWARM Engineering’s seed round and support them as they help food and agriculture companies solve these increasingly complex supply chain challenges in a scalable way.”
Serra Ventures Managing Partner, Steve Beck, said, “AgriFood businesses are faced with remarkable challenges from a rapidly changing landscape in both consumer expectations and new business demands. Those businesses that leverage the benefits of the most advanced AI for logistics will have an unfair advantage. SWARM’s no-code solution empowers companies to focus on what they do best – making great food products, while SWARM provide the best logistics solutions from today’s rapidly evolving machine learning capabilities – a win for all.”
“SWARM has developed a truly disruptive technology which harnesses AI & ML to drive massive efficiency gains across multiple verticals within the broader food supply chain. Part of what makes SWARM’s approach so revolutionary is that it democratizes AI & ML by making it both useful, and useable for its clients in the ‘real world’.” said James Ramey, Managing Member of the VTC Seed Fund.
Soren Schroeder, former CEO of Bunge a global agribusiness and food company says, “The Ag-Food supply chain is all about optimization and prediction. Often the biggest challenge is to define a problem very precisely. SWARM can help companies – large and small – define and solve very complex problems quickly, using the latest in data technology.”
The global pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of supply chains, and food has frequently made headlines – in many cases, for all the wrong reasons; who can forget seeing dramatic images of milk being poured away because of logistical challenges? “In the next few years, we have a tremendous opportunity to make a step change in efficiency and sustainability in food production and transportation,” says Howcroft, “We need to give the right tools to the people at the heart of the food supply chain to help them deliver this transformation.”