Monsanto and Microsoft seek agribusiness tech startups in Brazil

The biotech giant will provide funding and expertise to Microsoft's vehicle destined to supporting local ventures.

Monsanto and Microsoft have formed a partnership to invest in technology startups focusing on the agribusiness segment in Brazil.

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The biotech giant will invest an undisclosed amount in Microsoft's BR Startups fund, as well as knowledge and experience in the Brazilian agribusiness. The fund focuses on companies that have gone through an acceleration process but are not big enough to access series A venture capital funding.

"We will be Microsoft's agribusiness arm," Rodrigo Santos, Monsanto's president for South America, told journalists at the Global Agribusiness Forum earlier this month in São Paulo.

"We believe that collaboration is a key tool to ensure that the world can feed 9.7 billion people by 2050, and this is a step in that direction," Santos added.

The process to select the startups that will qualify for funding ranging from R$250,000 ($76,757) to R$1.5m ($460,000), will run until August 7.

To participate, agritechs must have at least two members and annual revenues between R$300,000 ($92,108) and R$10m ($3m), and they must register online.