About GrainInnovate

GrainInnovate was established in 2019 by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and it is managed by Artesian Venture Partners (Artesian). We invest in start-ups to drive the future profitability and sustainability of Australian grain growers.

The partnership between GRDC and Artesian combines institutional investment with industry to collaboratively identify key challenges faced by growers and to deploy capital into start-ups that are developing innovative and commercial solutions to these challenges.

GrainInnovate is an early-stage fund, investing in the pre-seed to growth stage of start-ups from Australia, and globally, that fit GrainInnovate’s investment mandate.

GrainInnovate investments bring start-ups with unique innovations, new capabilities, passion and purpose to the grains industry. Their innovations share a common focus with us to solve grower challenges and leverage industry opportunities with innovative technology.

GrainInnovate's start-up investments can be viewed on the portfolio page.


GrainInnovate may invest in start-ups developing unique solutions to industry challenges through novel technology including software, hardware, biologicals, new genetics or new business models relevant to Australian grain growers. GrainInnovate’s mandate is fully aligned with the grains industries trends and grower priorities through GRDC’s Research, Development & Extension Plan 2023-28.


Harness existing potential

Growers hit yield and profit targets, across every paddock, every season.



Reach new frontiers

Productivity of crops exceeds what we thought possible.



Grow Markets and capture value

Growers have access to a diversity of markets and get more for the crop.



Thrive for future generations

Australia's grains industry remains a global leader in sustainability, for people, the planet and our long-term ability to farm.


Our main focus areas include:

  • Controlling weed, pest and diseases, and boosting biosecurity
  • Optimising crop nutrition and soil health
  • Delivering step changes to soil and water productivity
  • Unlocking plant potential
  • Transforming efficiency of input use
  • Adding value to the crop to increase margins
  • Lowering post-farm gate costs
  • Supporting sustainable, responsible production systems.


GrainInnovate is managed by Artesian Venture Partners, Australia's largest and most active early stage venture capital firm. Artesian is an experienced venture capital firm operating in the Asia Pacific region with offices in:

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Singapore
  • Shanghai
  • Jakarta
  • London
  • New York.

The Investment Committee combines the industry awareness of GRDC with the investment expertise of Artesian Partners to support start-ups with industry impact and growth potential. Investing activities are coordinated by Rob Williams – Director AgriFood and Portfolio Manager.

What GrainInnovate offers

GrainInnovate invests in Australian and international start-ups in the pre-seed to early growth (Series A/B) stages. Start-ups must meet GrainInnovate’s mandate and investment criteria. Typical investments range from $250,000 to $2,000,000.

As a portfolio start-up, GrainInnovate will work with its partners including the GRDC, industry bodies corporates, venture capital firms and other investors to facilitate further investment, distribution and partnership opportunities.

GrainInnovate will work with portfolio start-ups to identify potential exit opportunities via its broad network of industry contacts.

drone operator in farm paddock
Why us

Extensive agri-food industry network

As a cornerstone investor in GrainInnovate, GRDC provides access to the most extensive network of connections in the Australian grain industry including:

  • Growers
  • Logistic providers
  • Research institutes
  • Government authorities
  • Corporates
  • Industry bodies.

What do we seek in our portfolio companies?

GrainInnovate is looking for start-ups that;

  • Create value and sustainability for Australian grain growers
  • Deliver novel solutions to today’s challenges in agriculture, with a focus on the Australian grains industry
  • Include innovative and committed founders to execute a credible path to impact for their technology.

GrainInnovate is positioned as an early-stage investment fund. As such, it supports companies going through the earlier part of the growth journey and undertaking activities such as developing, validating and refining product-market fit and business models as well as initial geographical expansion, with a focus on Australia.

Start-ups may be founded anywhere, but as part of GrainInnovate's investment due diligence, international start-ups will demonstrate their commitment to help create value and sustainability for Australian grain growers.

GrainInnovate likes to engage early. In addition to traditional entrepreneurs, GrainInnovate is keen to engage with scientists, students, producers, and technology transfer professionals to discuss the potential fit of their innovations to the grains industry and investment mandate. Even if you are not a fully formed company yet but in the process of spinning-out from a research institution or just taking the first steps in forming a company, reach out for a chat.

A trusted industry partner

GrainInnovate is a partner and investor for the world's best agri-food technology start-up founders. Our aim is to deliver value via technical expertise, industry knowledge and networks, specialist advice and support. Our goal is to be a valued, trusted adviser assisting you to navigate through challenges and opportunities.

The investment by GrainInnovate in DataFarming has been fundamental to delivering value to the Australian grains industry - the value goes well beyond the dollars invested. Whilst this is a completely new method of investment, it clearly demonstrates that industry can benefit from alternative investment approaches

We saw it as a critical step because it gave us strategic support from the industry. It helped us validate the idea and knowing that GRDC was supportive of FarmLab meant we knew we were solving a valid problem

GrainInnovate investment has helped us scale our product to new geographies like Australia and focus on building local partnerships