Medici Ventures Purchases Equity in GrainChain
Medici Ventures, a blockchain accelerator and subsidiary of Overstock.com, Inc. has purchased a $2.5 million equity in GrainChain, a suite of software to bring easy and secure payments to farmers, buyers, and grain elevators through blockchain. The accelerator now owns 10% of the company, with an option to add another 10% in the future.
Launched in 2013 by the founders of SiloSys, GrainChain’s software eliminates manual processes of weighing and documenting agricultural yield. The blockchain-based financial settlement system allows grain producers, buyers, and sellers to create smart contracts to secure funds throughout the grain transaction process. By using internet of things (IoT) devices that accurately measure grain weight and quality, the technology eliminates the potential for errors by humans or bad actors. In addition, the system creates documentation to track harvest from farm to table, which eliminates the potential of fraud.
“We are making the grain transaction extremely efficient, transparent, safe, and secure, and we’re giving not only the farmers but also the buyers a safe marketplace to do business in,” says Luis Macias, GrainChain cofounder and CEO. “At the end of the day, we’re just leveling the playing field for the farmer, giving them much more power and control over the selling process.”
Today, the majority of agriculture produced around the globe still comes from small- and medium-size farms. These operations largely lack the budget to implement high-level technology to modernize and secure their business transactions. GrainChain provides an affordable option to implement those tools and safeguards. Not only does this give farmers and buyers the ability to cut out brokers or other intermediaries to secure a transaction, GrainChain also equips them with the confidence to do business with entities outside their geographic area, which expands their business prospects.
“Agriculture is the backbone of our global civilization, but producers operate on razor-thin margins and are up against a host of factors far beyond their control,” says Jonathan Johnson, president of Medici Ventures. “GrainChain helps to support those producers by simplifying and securing the measuring and payment process and bringing unprecedented transparency to the industry.”
GrainChain is currently available in the U.S. and Mexico. This investment will allow GrainChain to expand its market share in Central and South America.