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Tuesday, 19 January 2021 11:31

AgriWebb tops up coffers with $30 million in new investment Featured

AgriWebb co-founders (l to r) Kevin Baum, John Fargher, Justin Webb AgriWebb co-founders (l to r) Kevin Baum, John Fargher, Justin Webb

Australian agtech start-up and digital livestock management platform provider AgriWebb has completed a new funding round, with a $30 million investment in the company led by the ventures arm of Canadian telecommunications provider TELUS, which recently launched TELUS Agriculture, a division to address food security by leveraging its technology expertise.

The series B funding round also includes the $10 billion Australian Government-backed Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) that joins AgriWebb’s existing share registry which includes The Duke of Westminster’s AgTech investment fund, The Wheatsheaf Group, and private investors such as the founder of the of European meat processor, Dunbia.

AgriWebb says the capital has been earmarked to amplify efforts on existing products and customer service in Australia “while empowering AgriWebb to accelerate growth in the UK & the Americas”.

AgriWebb also says it 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”.

“TELUS is on a mission to help feed the world while improving the quality and safety of our food production,” says Francois Gratton, EVP, Group President & Chair TELUS Health and TELUS Agriculture. “By leveraging technology innovation and human compassion, we believe that we can help improve the sustainability of supply chains all over the world and that together, Agriwebb and TELUS can help to accelerate this evolution in the global beef industry.”

“In support of TELUS’ growing global leadership in agriculture technology, we continue to invest in companies with technologies like Agriwebb’s industry-leading digital livestock management tool to help their technology expand its international footprint” said Rich Osborn, Managing Partner, TELUS Ventures.

“It is technologies like these that are positively transforming the food supply chain and we are excited to add Agriwebb and its exceptional leadership team to our portfolio of over 40 companies spanning seven countries.”

Following its inception six years ago by co-founders Justin Webb, Kevin Baum and John Fargher, AgriWebb now says it manages over 14 million head of livestock across 100 million acres around the globe, including Australia and the UK - and In Australia alone, “over 15% of national cattle and sheep stock are managed on the AgriWebb platform”.

The CEFC $5 million 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 the soil.

The Australian Government has identified soil carbon as a priority investment area in its Technology Investment Roadmap.

Kevin Baum said: “There are so few jobs that empower you to have a lasting impact on such a critical and everlasting industry. The opportunity to work with our customers daily while relentlessly seeking to improve for them has been the most motivating experience of my life. I moved my family to Australia seven years ago to make a difference, and am extremely excited to be returning to the US this year as we deliver a world-leading solution to new markets.

“Having aligned investors who believe in our mission and are as motivated as we are to help agriculture and expand our impact globally has been critical to our success from the beginning and we are thrilled to be taking the next steps with such incredible new partners.”

“My journey from five generations of livestock farming in northern South Australia to the co-founding of a world-leading agricultural technology company has always been focused on delivering value to farmers in the paddock,” said John Fargher.

“The livestock industry has been underserved from a technology perspective which means it is not set up to deal with future demands and opportunities.

“Throughout all the hard work, tens of thousands of kilometres in the air and on the ground, and speaking to hundreds of customers directly on their farms across Australia, the UK and the United States, I find it deeply rewarding to hear and see how AgriWebb has genuinely changed farming businesses through increased productivity, sustainability measures and genuine peace of mind and excitement for the future of livestock agriculture.”

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