The start-up provides tech like drones for crop monitoring and is developing a blockchain-based platform to issue loans to farmers.
Greenheart CBD, a Meath-based start-up, has raised €4.5m in funding to develop a blockchain platform for issuing loans and new tech to hemp farmers.
The round was led by cryptocurrency and blockchain-focused investment firm Alphabit and will be used, according to the Irish Times, to plug gaps in financing for CBD businesses and farmers.
Greenheart provides farmers with the equipment and the seeds they need to begin growing hemp for cannabidiol (CBD) products.
With this new funding, it plans to further develop a platform for issuing loans up to €50,000 to farmers using blockchain technology, while also providing tech such as drones for automated continual monitoring of the crops.
The loans are expected to be issued through smart contracts on the platform, with the company committing to buying the hemp that these farmers grow and selling it on.
According to Greenheart, which is itself fully licensed to grow hemp, this element of the business has been driven by shortcomings in the availability of financing for hemp growers, given its association with cannabis.
The company, which was founded by Paul Walsh and Mark Canavan in 2019, told the Irish Times that it has 2,500 customers and is already profitable.
Its next step will be launching its own digital token, Greenheart Punt, that will be traded on its platform. The company plans to raise further funding by selling these tokens to users.
Greenheart believes that the model will make it easier for farmers to finance their hemp growing operations without pursuing traditional financing avenues. At the same time, the company said, it is looking to stimulate growth of the industry not just in Ireland but globally. It has eyes on providing loans and support to farmers in the developing world.