Bill Gates’ VC arm, Wavemaker, Temasek to set up SEA agritech venture


Wavemaker Impact and Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, along with Temasek and its subsidiary fund GenZero, are forging an agritech venture that will focus on accelerating rice decarbonization in Southeast Asia and the rest of Asia.

The startup, whose name is still undisclosed, will build a platform that will identify the most effective strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in certain paddy fields. It will also be responsible for developing economic incentives to drive adoption of the technique.

According to the partners, solutions to cut emissions and increase yields of rice cultivation are already available. However, the adoption of those techniques has lagged due to different farming practices, challenging infrastructure, and a lack of access to good input and incentives.

Along with the deal, Wavemaker Impact, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Temasek, and GenZero will also pour an undisclosed amount of seed funding into the new company. The money will be used for conducting experiments and hiring staff.

“To incentivize adoption, carbon financing could be a potential economic lever that can improve farmers’ income,” said GenZero’s Frederick Teo.