BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Australian Government Backs Fintech Startup Aimed at Increasing Farmer Net Wealth

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Today, Agrihive, a collaborative organization that launched during the worst drought in Australian history, has launched Farmecco, a fintech platform for farmers with financial backing from the Australian government.

Starting in Australia’s beef industry, Farmecco aims to increase the net wealth of Australia’s farmers by capturing all the financial elements of their businesses in an online program and generating live reports that will help them to review all their costs and improve their revenues. 

It focuses specifically on improving the number of units farmers sell, and improving the price of the units they sell, but also provides key information to help farmers with succession planning, a core concern as the average age of Australia’s farmers continues to increase.

Farmecco’s dashboard showing different parts of the survey

These tailored reports, which Farmecco can turn around in an hour after farmers input their information, can also be used by farmers in their interactions with lenders, accountants, law firms, consultants as well as family members, also helping to improve performance.

Farmecco has raised $600k in seed funding from Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Australia’s meat industry association Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA). Walker also contributed $150k of his own capital into the startup.

Agrihive came up with the idea after convening agricultural leaders in Australia in 2015, and founder James Walker identified the need to enhance financial literacy in the industry and not just boost yield performance, but also to improve the financial performance of individual farmers.

“Farmecco is designed to not ‘up skill’ a producer in business skills, but reduce and simplify the office work a farmer undertakes, as well as suggesting clear ways for his business to make or save money,” said Walker. “this is a smart way of using data it is completely different to what is available in the market and doesn’t compete with accountancy packages but supports them and farmers’ current advisors.”

The tailored reports include the following information: 

  • Financial reviews through bank ready documents
  • Live market valuations of farm inventory
  • Cattle trading calculators
  • Cattle sales schedules
  • Budgeting
  • Internal and external benchmarks 
  • Business and family milestones
  • Financial modeling of preloaded scenarios 
  • Retirement adequacy levels 
  • Key performance percentages and ratios
  • Capital expenditure strategic goal setting and planning
  • Succession and family milestones
  • Cash flows and cost of production
  • Farmers’ personal and business wealth and projected net wealth growth

Farmers will subscribe to the service through partnerships with banks, accountancy firms, government and farmer organizations, but there is also the potential for revenues from farmer interactions with service providers that originate on the platform by aggregating data, according to Walker,

Agrihive will be launching Farmecco today in Australia at KPMG’s head office in Brisbane with Cattle Council of Australia, MLA and Suncorp. Agrihive is already in discussions with Australian Wool Innovations for a sheep and wool version and will look to take the offering overseas in due course.

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