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16 Climate Adaptation Startups from Asia and Africa Selected for New “ASAP” Accelerator

Village Capital and The Lightsmith Group will accelerate 16 startups that are providing climate adaptation and resilience solutions in Asia and Africa.

Washington, DC & New York, NY (April 12, 2022) — Village Capital and The Lightsmith Group (“Lightsmith”) announced today that 16 startups were selected to participate in a new environmental accelerator called “ASAP”, or the Adaptation SME Accelerator Project, focused on innovative climate adaptation ventures in Asia and Africa. The 16 startups were selected from more than 300 applicants and have developed technologies in water, agriculture, risk analytics, supply chain, infrastructure, and insurance that can support adaptation and resilience to climate change.

ASAP seeks to build a global ecosystem for small- to medium-sized companies in emerging markets that have technologies, products, and services that can be used to adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. During the ASAP accelerator program, the 16 companies will work with industry experts, investors, and ecosystem partners to develop the networks and tools they need to attract investment, grow their businesses, and increase their climate adaptation impacts. More information can be found here.

"We’re excited to announce this cohort of companies, all of whom are providing their customers with an array of climate adaptation solutions across Africa and Asia,” said Brian Parham, ASAP Program Director at Lightsmith. “Through the ASAP Accelerator, we aim to give these entrepreneurs the tools to scale their impact and connect to a global network working to develop solutions that address the impacts of climate change."

ASAP is a grant-funded initiative led by The Lightsmith Group, in partnership with Village Capital, and with the support of the Global Environment Facility’s Special Climate Change Fund.  Additional support is provided by Conservation International and the Inter-American Development Bank. 

"We are delighted to see these startups get support through the ASAP Accelerator, and look forward to continued connections between climate resilience innovators in developing countries and financing for them. There is tremendous promise in identifying and funding local ventures whose successes can be scaled to meet climate adaptation needs around the world,” said Gustavo Fonseca, Director of Programs at the Global Environment Facility.

The 16 startups in the cohort were selected out of more than 300 applicants, representing 10 countries across Asia and Africa. The cohort is composed of:

Asia

  • Absolute Water (India) increases the availability and quality of water in areas projected to experience water stress by organically treating and converting raw sewage wastewater into potable water through a system that naturally degrades pollutants and converts it into nutrients. Builds resilience to: increased drought and water scarcity that affect residential and commercial water use. (Water Management)
  • Agtuall (India) provides affordable crop price risk management solutions for smallholder farmers across the world. Their end-to-end data analytics platform increases the resilience of smallholder farmers by assessing the frequency and intensity of natural calamities and their impacts on crop yields and price. Builds resilience to: extreme weather events and weather volatility that affect crop yields, crop prices, and farmer incomes. (Agriculture, Risk Analytics/Management, Insurance)
  • Aumsat Technologies LLP (India) provides satellite-based, AI-enabled hydrological analysis for locating, predicting, and forecasting groundwater resources. Their services help detect groundwater zones remotely, without fieldwork, helping farmers identify the optimum location for digging a well with high precision, less effort, and at lower cost. Builds resilience to: increased drought and water scarcity that affect crop irrigation. (Water)
  • Crop2X Private Limited (Pakistan) is a precision agritech startup that provides weather forecast and water information that can help farmers increase production while minimizing inputs. This enables farmers to adapt to changing climatic conditions due to climate change. Their solution is used by agricultural economists, agricultural engineers, financial institutions, farmers and more. Builds resilience to: extreme weather events and weather volatility that affect crop yields and farmer incomes. (Agriculture, Risk Analytics/Management)
  • EF Polymer Private Limited (India) produces a naturally biodegradable water retention polymer for soil conditioning. The technology can absorb water up to 150 times its weight and release it over a long period of time to maintain soil moisture. Builds resilience to: increased drought, water scarcity, and heat stress that affect crop yields and farmer incomes. (Water)
  • Hiraya Water (Philippines) provides AI-driven smart water management products and services for developing markets, helping water utilities optimize their operations – reducing water loss, reducing power consumption and improving service levels. Builds resilience to: increased drought and water scarcity that affect drinking water availability and price. (Water Management)
  • Komunidad Global Pte Ltd (Singapore) is an environmental intelligence platform which helps businesses and governments use earth observation data and analytics to accurately assess physical risks and improve resilience. Their clients are in agriculture, insurance, ports and harbors, construction companies, schools, and government. Builds resilience to: extreme weather events, flooding, and other climate-related events that affect governments and businesses in various sectors. (Risk Analytics and Management)
  • Ship60 (Vietnam) is a fulfillment services platform for small businesses that offers a distributed warehouse network to reduce shipping time and cost. The company manages warehousing/storage, logistics, and delivery of products to end customers in Vietnam, including offering same day delivery. Its distributed warehouse network and e-logistics platform can help to improve the resilience of supply chains in Vietnam, especially during natural disasters like floods or other disruptions. Builds resilience to: extreme weather events, flooding, and other climate- (or non-climate-) related events that disrupt supply chains. (Logistics Services)

Africa

  • Agromyx (Ghana) helps smallholder farmers reduce food waste and generate additional income by turning non-marketable post-harvest crops into shelf-stable and nutritious food products. Reducing post-harvest food losses helps to build a more resilient agricultural system and global food supply chain. Builds resilience to: drought, heat stress, and extreme weather events that reduce crop yields, harm farmer incomes, and increase food insecurity. (Agriculture/Food Waste)
  • Cadel Consulting Ltd (Burkina Faso) produces phospho-compost, an organic fertilizer that helps in restoring degraded land, a problem faced by 85% of farmers in Burkina Faso. The company also distributes improved seed from other companies and trains farmers on smart farming practices. Builds resilience to: drought, heat stress, and extreme weather events that reduce crop yields and degrade arable land. (Agriculture)
  • Congretype (South Africa) provides an e-weather platform that provides accurate, geo-located weather and agronomic information in local languages to smallholder farmers so they can make time sensitive management decisions and align their cropping calendar. Builds resilience to: extreme weather events and weather volatility that reduce crop yields and harm farmer incomes. (Agriculture, Risk Analytics)
  • Freezelink (Ghana) delivers cold chain logistics services to reduce food waste and enhance food security and to increase the availability of medicine in Africa. Builds resilience to: extreme heat and extreme weather events that reduce crop yields, worsen food waste, and increase food insecurity. (Cold Chain Logistics Services and Infrastructure)
  • Kitovu Technology (Nigeria) provides smallholder farmers with data about soil and crop health, storage and market links, through a digital farm productivity platform. Builds resilience to: drought, heat stress, and extreme weather events that reduce crop yields and harm farmer incomes. (Agriculture)
  • Rwanda Bio Solution (Rwanda) produces organic fertilizers using Effective Microorganism (EM) technology. The process recycles crop waste into organic fertilizer, helping farmers improve soil fertility, reduce disease, and increase their yields. Builds resilience to: drought, heat stress, and extreme weather events that reduce crop yields, degrade arable land, and harm farmer incomes. (Agriculture)
  • Worldtech Consult (Ghana) designs, manufactures and installs solar powered walk-in cold rooms to extend the shelf life of agricultural products and temperature-sensitive materials, enhancing food system resilience and minimizing losses. Builds resilience to: extreme heat and extreme weather events that reduce crop yields, worsen food waste, and increase food insecurity. (Agriculture, Supply Chain, Transportation, Logistics, and Infrastructure)
  • ZR3I (Egypt) is a precision agriculture platform-as-a-service that offers crop monitoring, management, and insurance services to the agriculture sector in Egypt and the Arab world, helping farmers to mitigate risks due to climate change. Builds resilience to: extreme weather events and weather volatility that reduce crop yields and harm farmer incomes. (Agriculture, Risk Management, Insurance)

For more information, reach out to Ben Wrobel at Village Capital or Brian Parham at Lightsmith.

About the Partners

About Village Capital

Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,400 early-stage entrepreneurs through our investment readiness programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 110 program graduates. 

About The Lightsmith Group

The Lightsmith Group is an investment firm pursuing superior returns by investing in companies that address critical societal needs. Lightsmith invests in growth-stage companies providing technology-enabled business services and solutions in the areas of energy, water, food and agriculture, and climate resilience. For more information on The Lightsmith Group, please see: www.lightsmithgp.com. Lightsmith manages the Adaptation SME Accelerator Project (ASAP), an initiative supported by the Global Environment Facility, Conservation International, and the Inter-American Development Bank. For more information about ASAP, please see: www.climateasap.org.

 

About Conservation International

Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, for biodiversity and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples and local communities to help people and nature thrive together. Go to Conservation.org for more, and follow our work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.

 About the Global Environment Facility

The Global Environment Facility was established 30 years ago to tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, it has provided more than $21.7 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $119 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects and programs. The GEF is the largest multilateral trust fund focused on enabling developing countries to invest in nature and supports the implementation of major international environmental conventions including on biodiversity, climate change, chemicals, and desertification. It brings together 184 member governments in addition to civil society, international organizations, and private sector partners. For more information please see: www.thegef.org  

The GEF-managed Special Climate Change Fund has two decades of experience helping vulnerable countries adapt to a changing climate, focusing on bankable, innovative solutions that can be scaled. Since 2001, the SCCF has invested more than $360 million in adaptation measures that have benefited more than 7 million people and increased private sector engagement in climate resilience products and services. Through the SCCF, donor governments have supported the training of more than 200,000 people, expanded access to climate information services, and provided flexible solutions to enable developing countries including small island states to adapt to a fast-changing climate.