Australia’s AgriDigital Raises $17.65M to Digitize Grain Value Chain
By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media
Based in Australia, AgriDigital has just raised $17.65 million in a combination of debt and equity funding in support of its mission to grow the value of grain through its combined inventory management software and finance platform.
Co-founded by farmers Bob McKay, Ben Reid, and Emma Watson, AgriDigital was originally backed by Square Peg Capital and one of Australia’s largest family offices through its first funding round in 2017. Two years later, in 2019, the startup brought on San Francisco-based food system investor 1st Course Capital, while Square Peg increased its stake in the company. Today, AgriDigital announced that it has broadened its investor base to now include an unidentified global investor experienced in debt financing.
Since its launch, AgriDigital has grown to be the largest digital grain management platform in Australia, claiming 14,000 users accounting for 15 percent of the country’s grain production transacted at the sale, delivery, or storage point.
Co-founder and company CEO Emma Watson explained that this round will enable the company to advance within both the technology and finance spheres, saying, “Our focus is to ensure that all of the grains industry has access to the tools for growth in the digital age.” “This means grain management software that operates in real-time, can be used in the field, the office, or at the weight scale by all of a farm or grain company’s employees, and that enables our customers to collateralise their grain assets to get same day access to working capital.”
Weston noted that the company saw nearly 920 million bushels of grain transacted through its platform at a value of $4.25 billion last year - of which, $105 million was financed by the startup so far. She went on to add that AgriDigital has ambitious growth targets in place for AgriDigital Finance for 2022.
“We are seeing huge demand both from customers who need access to faster and more flexible forms of finance to support their growth as well as capital allocators who want to gain greater exposure to the agricultural sector,” said Weston.
This focus on finance represents a portion of the company’s ongoing product development and accomplished market growth across Australia and North America, as it aims to build the best digital grain management and finance platform for the world’s grain buyers, traders, brokers, and storage operators.
“Part of what makes us different is our focus on the whole supply chain, we are not just for farmers or just for traders, we are for the whole supply chain,” said Weston.
This funding also follows on the heels of several milestone announcements made by the company in 2021 encompassing multiple partnerships and sustainable grain pilots.
Tony Holt with Square Peg Capital commented, “Over the past three years, Emma, Ben, Bob and the team at AgriDigital have proven that by digitizing the supply chain you can then finance and manage risk across that supply chain in new ways, and they are committed to making this available to every farmer and grain business in one of the world’s largest commodity markets.”
Weston added, “This capital raise supports us to improve the experience for our existing customers and to accelerate onboarding for new users, so that they can get their work done as efficiently as possible for the lowest cost in terms of time, reduced errors and training time, improved decision-making and reporting.”
“We are doing this now in Australia and the U.S.; and there is a lot of growth in front of us,” she continued. “We aim to be the global leader; the team is motivated and ready.”