Embedded finance and retail go hand in hand and this is no different in Ag retail. Correct Agriculture Retail.
This is important as this sector is worth $56bn in North America alone and some estimates claim
90% of payments are still made using paper checks.
However, a recent SPAC proposition to combine an ag retail footprint in Brazil (Lavoro) with The Production Board (TPB), an agtech investment holding company, based in Silicon Valley, brought embedded finance in the sector into sharp focus. Why?
The business combination is centred on three main pillars - acquisitions, organic growth and increased service revenue, with the latter dominated by financial services, including lending, insurance, risk management and payments. Embedded Finance 101.
The financial services play wasn’t surprising exactly - to me at least - but it was the moment when it seemed like ag retail and finance was everywhere. As combines harvesters roll out across the American Midwest to harvest corn and soybeans, financial providers
are already planning for next season and agrifintech companies such as Growers Edge,
Traive or Agree were busily announcing partnerships, green bonds and regional expansion respectively.
I refer to this as the end of the beginning for agrifintech. Even if the SPAC does not happen as proposed, the mere publication of the roadmap points to where ag retail and agricultural finance is going.
It is digital and it is embedded.
AgriFintech companies are lining up to be the first point of contact in the embedded lending experience. Banks, bizarrely, are not. Where will this end up?
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