Livestock management platform Breedr has raised £12 million ($15.8 million) in funding and launched a financial product to help farmers with cash flow.
The Series A round was led by Investbridge Capital, with participation from existing investors LocalGlobe and Forward Partners. The equity and debt mix included £2.2 million raised through crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.
- Based near Chichester, UK, Breedr allows farmers to record information about their animals — such as genetics, weight, health, fertility, and medication regimen — on their smartphones.
- This data can be inputted by the farmer themselves as well as through integrations with sensors, wearables, and tags.
- It’s then analyzed and transformed into insight that farmers can use to boost the efficiency and sustainability of their operations, by predicting animal growth and optimal finishing dates.
- The app also enables farmers to trade their livestock via its online marketplace.
- Cattle has been the app’s main focus since launching in 2019; it is also working with over 100 farms raising pigs and sheep.
- Breedr is focused on the UK market at the moment, with expansion to Australia and the US planned next.
Why it matters:
Breedr will primarily use the Series A funding to support its move into financial services.
Its new asset purchase agreement product, Breedr Cashflow, will allow farmers to “release cash from their livestock in order to invest in expanding their business,” the startup said in a statement.
Founder and CEO Ian Wheal told AFN that the product “works through individual animal ID and weight data tracked in the app.”
“As the animal grows, it increases in value; that allows us to pay an advance to the farmer,” he explained. “The more data we have around medications and performance on the farm, the more the farmer receives for the animals – with further payments possible as the animal grows on the farm.”
The credit line will be financed by Breedr itself along with several of its equity backers, led by Investbridge.
The big picture:
Access to finance is a chronic problem faced by farmers the world over – from emerging markets with smallholder-centric agricultural sectors, to highly industrialized, high-income countries like the UK.
There, the problem has been magnified by the UK’s departure from the EU and the subsequent loss of EU farming subsidies, which made up as much as 90% of some UK livestock farms’ income.
A survey of UK farmers conducted by Propel, which lends to small and medium-sized enterprises, found that a third of livestock producers — more than any other group — were particularly concerned by lack of access to finance; looking at operations by size, around a quarter of small farms cited financial access as a key problem.
By the numbers:
- 1,100 farms using Breedr in the UK
- 160,000 animals registered on the platform
- £4.5 million ($5.91 million) in transactions completed thorugh Breedr Marketplace, with 6,000 animals traded
- Users producing beef with “28% less carbon footprint than the industry average”
What they say:
Ian Wheal, founder and CEO, Breedr, on sustainability-labeled meat products:
“This is an exciting area, especially around grass-fed and regenerative, and supporting these supply chains is certainly something we are already doing – though there is some need for standardization, especially when it comes to sequestration, that could further improve the emissions numbers. Our unique position, where the animal is tracked through the supply chain with weight and grazing performance, puts us in a great position to support this; whereas currently, most emissions are tracked on the final farm – which can be as little as 60 days for an animal that can grow over 30 months.”