AgriFutures growᴬᴳ⋅ reach to international users grows 150 per cent in 2022
Global interest in Australian agrifood innovation is expected to continue its exceptional growth trajectory based on the latest user statistics released by AgriFutures Australia analysing the uptake and usage of its online investment platform, growAG.
Established in 2021 as a collaboration between the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAFF) and Research & Development Corporations (RDCs), AgriFutures growAG. is an online marketplace allowing users to explore and connect with relevant expertise, research, and investment opportunities from across Australia’s agrifood innovation system.
More than 100 commercial opportunities were listed on growAG. in 2022 along with 2,2828 research projects, which collectively attracted more than double the visitors to the site compared to its launch year in 2021.
RELATED: See all commercialisation, investment and reserach opportunities listed on growAG. here
There was also a 150 per cent year-on-year increase in international web visitors in 2022, with key markets including the United States, Singapore, India, the UK, New Zealand and Germany.
This has translated to 450+ connections and 10 finalised deals.
growAG. Senior Manager, Ariana Sippel, said the increased engagement on the platform was a testament to the quality of the opportunities listed and is in line with the activity reported in October 2022 by influential venture capital firm, AgFunder, in its Asia-Pacific AgriFoodTech Investment Report.
“Australia’s agrifood tech sector is maturing, with AgFunder’s region report demonstrating investors tipped more than half a billion dollars into Australian startups in 2021,” said Ms Sippel.
“On our platform, we have seen a real boost in the diversity of the types of companies listing on the site, as well as an increase in organisations offering opportunities further down the commercialisation pipeline.
“There’s still those early-stage startups looking to get to a pilot or minimum viable product, but increasingly we are seeing groups that have a product in market and are at the seed funding or Series A stage.
“It’s great to see we’re having real impact for contributors, with many new listings from word-of-mouth recommendations, and increasingly companies who listed on the platform in their early stages are now coming back for another listing due to the amount of enquiries they received.”
Toowoomba-based technology company, DataFarming, is a repeat user of the platform after experiencing outstanding results from an initial opportunity listing, and in 2022 launched a Series A$5 million capital raise.
Tim Neale founded the precision agriculture company in 2017 with wife, Peta, to deliver digital solutions, most of which are driven by satellite imagery, to unlock the value of farm data for agronomists and producers.
“We first listed our commercial opportunity on growAG. in December 2021,” said Mr Neale.
“By the first couple of months of 2022, we had generated more than a dozen very strong leads from private investors and VCs from both Australia and overseas, and with little or no effort from us.
“In comparison, at the time, I had about 20 other leads that had taken me years to accumulate.
“It was very easy decision to launch our Series A$5 million capital raise with the platform.”
RELATED: Agritech leader, DataFarming launches Series A $5m cap raise
Ms Sippel said there are a number of areas that have and we anticipate will continue to drive significant interest on the platform, including opportunities relating to sustainability, climate and carbon.
“In 2023 growAG. will feature a lot of innovative new technologies around minimising waste, and, or, finding additional value from waste streams,” she said.
“Finding new ways to monetise natural capital assets sustainably also continues to attract attention locally and globally.
“As industry continues to face labour constraints, automation and smart solutions that help producers better deploy labour are proving popular as well, particularly given the scalability of those solutions.”
RELATED: Cellysis: Fresh produce shelf-life extending technology - $500k investment opportunity
Proof of concept
Ms Sippel said while growAG. is still relatively new as a marketplace, there had been a number of significant partnerships developed throughout 2022.
“The nature of these discussions is it can often take time before we see something truly concrete from an introduction. “We’re seeing more and more of these early-stage discussions facilitated via growAG. converting into negotiations and then into deals. For example, UK-based company Deep Planet which licenced the Wine Nutrition app from Wine Australia is a great instance of someone discovering a new technology on our platform they can develop through to market,” she said
“We also had a German consultancy come out to Australia recently after using our platform to seek out commercial partners for their global innovation project.”
AgriFutures Australia will host its annual evokeAG. event on February 21-22 in Adelaide, bringing together the agrifood innovation community including producers, innovators, investors, researchers, corporates, universities and governments.
Professor Craig Baillie from University of Southern Queensland will be among the speakers at Adelaide Convention Centre, at what has grown to be the Asia Pacific’s premier agrifood tech event.
“Craig is an example of someone who has used growAG. to connect with potential commercialisation partners. One particular approach came from an investment company typically focused on agricultural production and land that Uni SQ knew. However, they didn’t know they were interested in supporting further R&D or investment of this type of technology. Since the first approach, they have signed NDA’s, scoped up a potential R&D project and discussed terms for investment in the technology.” said Ms Sippel .
“This event is a great opportunity to connect with others in this space, and chat with us about a potential listing.
“One of our big priorities this year is continuing to build on networks we’ve created, both locally and internationally, while helping more groups amplify their opportunities and connect with the right partners.
“From startups to universities to research centres, we really promote diversity across our listings, and can see that’s getting engagement from our audience.”
To explore the growAG. marketplace, make enquiries, or make a submission, head to growag.com