AgriWebb, the agtech start-up that has built the world’s leading livestock management platform, is now valued at over £55 million, following a £17 million investment round.
The company, founded in Australia, is backed by high profile UK investors including the Duke of Westminster’s agtech investment fund, The Wheatsheaf Group, and private investors such as Jim Dobson, co-founder of Dunbia.
It launched in the UK last year and is now used by a wide range of farmers, from small businesses to larger, enterprise operations, digitising record keeping and providing actionable insights from farm data, helping to increase productivity, traceability and sustainability.
New investment in this round confirms AgriWebb as the global market leader.
Led by corporate multinational and NYSE-listed telecommunications leader TELUS; supported by the Australian government-backed greenhouse emission reduction fund CEFC (Clean Energy Finance Corporation); and represented at the UK industry level by investment from Jim Dobson.
TELUS recently launched TELUS Agriculture, a division to address food security by leveraging its technology expertise.
It has also recently invested and acquired major players in the UK agricultural sector, including remote sensing startup Hummingbird Technologies, and Muddy Boots, a specialist in farm-to-food traceability and supply chain management.
The capital from this round will help AgriWebb – which has UK offices in London and Belfast – to amplify efforts on existing products and customer service and accelerate growth in the UK and the Americas. AgriWebb also intends to invest in ground-breaking product features, including an unprecedented individual animal management platform, alongside tools to manage the carbon footprint of livestock production.
The platform, ground-tested and proven in the hands of 100 early adopter British beef and sheep farmers prior to UK launch, has been developed to meet the demanding requirements of the UK industry.
For example, AgriWebb integrates with all government databases across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Data entered into the app automatically syncs with the user’s government account, removing the need to regularly log in, and simplifying potentially stressful audits.
Commenting on the new investment round, Jim Dobson said: “I was exposed to AgriWebb as a corporate client at Dunbia where they are helping supply chain predictability in the integrated beef scheme.
“I then became a customer on my home farming operation where we can gain greater clarity on the efficiency of our own cattle.
“Measuring our carbon footprint is something every UK farmer will be required to do in the near future and AgriWebb will be the tool that will make this easy for both the farmer and the regulator. From those viewpoints it was natural to see the global potential for this technology to innovate the industry. I work regularly with the strong leadership team to access and progress key initiatives in the UK and Irish market.”
Following its inception six years ago by co-founders Justin Webb, Kevin Baum and John Fargher, AgriWebb now manages over 14 million head of livestock across 100 million acres around the globe, including Australia and the UK.
In the context of the UK’s 10 million cattle and 35 million sheep, this means that AgriWebb can now deliver the best features to forward-thinking farmers in the UK.
The CEFC investment, through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund and on behalf of the Australian government, is designed to enable AgriWebb to further develop tools that track methane emissions from livestock as well as carbon sequestration levels in soil.
The Australian government has identified soil carbon as a priority investment area in its Technology Investment Roadmap.
AgriWebb’s mission to ‘Deliver the digital future of Agriculture’ not only benefits individual farmers and their operations, but also strengthens the predictability of the global food supply chain, ensuring adherence to the complex and changing world of biosecurity measures.
Enabling robust traceability serves to help secure marketable premiums for national exports in trade negotiations.
Data-driven provenance also facilitates individual producers with a competitive advantage, and satisfies increasing consumer demand to know more about the origins of food.
“The validation of high profile UK agricultural investors, and multinational and government-backed institutional partners who are aligned with our vision is tremendously exciting for AgriWebb.
“We now look forward to executing on-going product development and expanding our existing operations in both Europe and the Americas,” said Justin Webb, co-founder and Executive Chairman.
“AgriWebb has become part of the daily fabric of operational decision making for thousands of farming families and businesses across Australia and more recently in the UK and US.”