Emerald invests in Kilimo to accelerate corporate investment in water conservation

Zürich, Switzerland: Cleantech venture capital pioneer Emerald Technology Ventures has led an investment into Kilimo. Kilimo’s services help multinational and regional corporations achieve their water security goals by connecting them with farmers who use technology to improve their irrigation practices. The USD 7.5 million round was joined by The Yield Lab Latam, Salkantay Ventures, Kamay Ventures, and iThink VC. It will support the company in further strengthening its position as a leading player in generating volumetric water benefits.

The Kilimo Team

Volumetric water benefits support local farmers and conserve water

The US incorporated company with operations across multiple Latin American countries, generates “volumetric water benefits” to support corporations in accelerating their efforts in water conservation in the hydrological basins where they operate. Through Collective Action Projects, Kilimo connects corporate players with farmers who, using technology, significantly reduce irrigation water use on their farms. To generate “volumetric water benefits” in agriculture, Kilimo implements different interventions, including AI for efficient irrigation management, Irrigation Conversion, and Regenerative Agriculture.

Kilimo is already working with companies that have announced water pledges in recent years, including Microsoft, Intel, and Coca-Cola, demonstrating rising interest in water stewardship. Experts predict that water demand by 2030 will exceed supply by 40%, and agriculture currently accounts for roughly 70% of all freshwater use. The opportunity for companies to leverage the digital transformation of agriculture to make a positive contribution to the global hydrosphere is significant.

So far, Kilimo has successfully reached over 2,000 farmers across seven Latin-American countries and saved 72 billion liters of water. To support farmers, Kilimo runs an Irrigation Academy (in Spanish only) that has reached over 120,000 farmers in the past three years.

Uplink World Economic Forum was the catalyst for Emerald and Kilimo’s collaboration

John Dutton, Head of UpLink, World Economic Forum commented, “UpLink is thrilled to have played a part in bringing together these two purpose-driven organizations. At UpLink, the early-stage innovation platform of the World Economic Forum, our mission is to connect purpose-driven startups to the networks they need to unlock funding, partnerships and global recognition. Emerald first discovered Kilimo in the fall of 2022 during UpLink’s inaugural Aquapreneur cohort selection committee and continued their discovery of their potential in subsequent ecosystem gatherings. The investment by Emerald into Kilimo demonstrates the power of developing multi-stakeholder communities committed to early-stage entrepreneur impact.”

Helge Daebel, Emerald’s head of water practice, joins the board of the company as part of this transaction. He comments: “Water efficiency in agriculture is crucial, especially in this region, as it is the leading producer of agricultural goods worldwide. And with the stellar team at Kilimo in close contact with the farmers, we are impressed by its groundbreaking work building a bridge between water consumption, technology adoption in a difficult space, and the corporations that are exposed to local water risks. This type of bridging approach is driving much needed behavioral change, leading to a more sustainable future of water use in food production. We are very excited about Kilimo, which led us to our first investment in LATAM.”

Jairo Trad, CEO and Co-Founder of Kilimo said, “At Kilimo, we are deeply committed to supporting companies’ efforts to meet water conservation goals by generating volumetric benefits through the adoption of technology in agriculture. By raising this round, we are enhancing our capabilities and expanding our global impact. Our focus on scaling the delivery of “volumetric water benefits” aligns perfectly with the growing global demand for efficient water management. We eagerly look forward to expanding our operations and continuing to bridge the gap between agricultural practices and corporate water conservation efforts.”

Jairo Trad, CEO and Co-Founder of Kilimo

Emerald has established a robust presence in the global market for water solutions, with a particular focus on optimizing industrial and municipal water use. Recent investments in this space include Aganova, FIDO, Indra and MentorAPM.

Read the media coverage: Kilimo helps farmers save water and get paid for it | TechCrunch

About Emerald Technology Ventures

Emerald is a globally recognized venture capital firm, founded in 2000, that manages and advises assets of over €1 billion from its offices in Zurich, Toronto and Singapore. The firm invests in start-ups that tackle big challenges in climate change and sustainability, with four current funds, hundreds of venture transactions and four third-party investment mandates, including loan guarantees to over 100 start-ups.

This is Emerald.

Bold Ideas. Bright Future.  www.emerald.vc


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About Kilimo

Kilimo is a Latin American Climatech that fosters climate adaptation solutions to achieve a future with available water for the communities, ecosystems, and economic development. Kilimo connects farmers seeking to improve their irrigation practices with companies that have water security goals. With these two allies, Kilimo implements concrete, measurable, and auditable collective actions that materialize in water volumetric benefits projects. For its impact, Kilimo was awarded at the World Economic Forum in Davos and won the Enterprise Global Freshwater Challenge awarded by the World Economic Forum. www.kilimo.com


Cecilia Simari: [email protected]
Lucía Machay: [email protected]