China: Gobi leads $7m round in agri drone sharing startup Nongtian Guanjia

A farmer plants rice seedlings in a paddy field on the outskirts of Yangon. Reuters

Shanghai-based venture capital firm Gobi Partners has led a $7 million (RMB50 million) funding round in agriculture drone sharing platform Nongtian Guanjia.

Existing investors GGV Capital, Shunwei Capital, the Zhen Fund and Yunqi Partners also participated in the round, according to a report from China Money Network that was uploaded on Gobi’s website on Thursday.

The amount will be used by the Beijing-based company to enhance its research team and expand to other cities along with agricultural financing activities.

The company currently is involved in connecting agricultural drone operators with farmers that need the drone’s service, a form of sharing economy that is the latest business buzzword globally.

Last year, Nongtian Guanjia – that means farm friend – raised $1 million in an angel round from Chinese Venture Capital firm Shunwei Capital and later $3 million in a round from GGV, seed stage focused venture fund Zhen Fund and existing investor Shunwei.

The firm has over 1,000 drone operation teams registered on its platform currently and over 5,000 agricultural drones. It operates in many Chinese agricultural regions that include Heilongjiang, Hubei, Hunan, Shandong and Jiangsu, and nearly 1,000 villages.

Nongtian Guanjia’s currently has over 1,000 drone operation teams registered on its platform, with over 5,000 agricultural drones available. The company operates in more than 10 provinces, including the major agricultural regions of Heilongjiang, Hubei, Hunan, Shandong and Jiangsu.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.