What is AgTech – Much like any industry buzzwords, the term AgTech doesn’t mean much by itself. Technology in agriculture is by no means a new concept, but it is one of increasing importance. As we seek to increase food production for the growing global population in a sustainable way, it is crucial to consider alternative production methods to mitigate some of the environmental effects of traditional farming. Transforming the global food system requires continuous improvements and advancements in the field of agriculture technology. using technology to challenge the status quo and making drastic improvements along the worlds global food supply chain.
Agricultural technology – AgriTech – has the potential to give Australia a $100 billion agricultural industry by 2030, says a new report. That’s a doubling in size in a little over ten years, in an industry that has been struggling a little in recent times.
Can AgriTech give Australia’s farmers and graziers a shot in the arm, and provide the country with a more vibrant and much larger food export industry? This new research thinks so.
Called ‘Powering Growth: Realising the potential of AgTech for Australia’, the 68 page report was produced by startup lobby group StartupAUS and consultancy KPMG. The main thesis of the document is that AgriTech is critical in building Australia’s agricultural industry.
“AgTech, biotech, genetech, foodtech, and food ecommerce are all important elements of the integrated value chain. AgTech specifically, though, operates almost exclusively in the initial input and production phases.”
The report defines this as the ‘pre farm gate’ stage. There is a lot of activity in improving technology and productivity later in the process, through the efforts of such organisations as Food Innovation Australia Ltd (FIAL), which is managing the new agricultural growth centre that is part of the government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, but AgriTech is defined as being limited to the early part of the process.
The report gives a number of reasons why this early stage is important:
- It directly contributes to a more productive, sustainable and customer focused industry.
• The area is relatively immature in both development and adoption.
• There is great potential for AgriTech to be a new competitive advantage for Australia as exporters and producers.
• AgriTech contributes to more effective use of inputs on farm and reduces food wastage.
• There is a growing global investor community
StartupAUS CEO Alex McCauley says this is the first vertical market report that his organisation has produced.
We will need to become a leader in AgriTech, says Mr McCauley. “The research highlights the great work startups, corporates and universities are already doing to develop the AgTech sector in Australia.”
The report was funded (‘supported’ is the term used) by the Queensland Government and the Commonwealth Bank and has a foreword by former trade minister Andrew Robb AO. It draws on detailed discussions with more than 60 stakeholders, including AgriTech startups, farmers and agribusinesses, research bodies, government, and investors.
The report makes a number of recommendations, including:
- Establish an independently-administered fund designed to make AgriTech more affordable to industry.
• Develop a marketplace for AgriTech products.
• Establish a network of AgriTech hubs.
• Establish a joint R&D fund with leading global AgriTech players.
• Develop a national AgriTech strategy.
• Provide direction to university and research bodies centered on the commercialisation of technology and shorter grant periods that encourage agile testing.
Australia can become the food bowl of Asia’s middle classes, but only if it can establish itself as a leader in Agricultural Technology (AgTech), saysStartupAUS.
“I WANT 10 ATLASSIANS, NOT ONE”: CITY OF SYDNEY MAYORAL CANDIDATE PLEDGES START-UP SUPPOR
- Emerging Entrepreneurs Program
- International start-up satellite offices
- A dedicated start-up incubator
Vic Innovation Accelerator Gives Startups a $6.5M Boost
Follow up through Yolanda Redrup in the AFR
The WA Startup Report 2015-16 reveals that in the past two years Perth has enjoyed a 235 per cent increase in the number of start-ups, which are internet-based companies that work on new ways of doing business.
The pace of FinTech is moving so quickly that regulators are struggling to catch up. Australia’s RegTech sector may have some promising solutions to keep business flowing smoothly
Even as it falls under the wide umbrella of FinTech, the up and coming RegTech is quickly gaining traction as a niche startup category in its own right. Instead of focusing on the relationship between financial institutions and customers like FinTech, RegTech has arisen out of the need for banks to be able to deal with regulators directly to better and more cost-effectively navigate regulatory issues with the assistance of special purpose technology.
RegTech is primarily intended to help reduce the rising compliance costs associated with legislative requirements such as statutory reporting, anti-money/fraud laundering measures, customer risk, and responsible lending in an ever more regulated corporate world.
Aussies Done Good
SPT gets $1.15 million
Melbourne-based Sports Performance Tracking has received over $1.15 million in an angel funding round led by existing investor Brady Scanlon. This follows a previous AU$900 thousand ($626 thousand) angel round led by Gandel Invest founder Tony Gandel in September 2015.
SPT offers GPS technology to amateur athletes in local sporting clubs. Their first product, GamaTraka, gives juniors, amateur and professional athletes the ability to review fitness levels, in-game work review individual performance data such as fitness levels, in-game work rates and training levels through GPS technology. The technology is now sold in 40 countries, as 60 per cent of the Australian company’s revenue is made overseas. CEO William Strange says the funding will be used for further international expansio
Sydney’s ClassCover has landed a $458 thousand funding from VC fund Follow[the]Seed. This is the AU$50 million-strong ($38.20 million) fund’s first ever investment. The Follow [the] Seed fund is offering second-stage funding for Australian companies, and uses an algorithm called RavingFans to select the best investments. Startups can log onto the VC fund’s website, download their algorithm and send it back within a few weeks where Follow[the]Seed will be able to decide whether funding is possible or not based on the algorithm’s collected data. The fund will be targeting innovative online con
Dimension Data-Deakin University
cybersecurity incubator to launch with govt grant Technology major Dimension Data is partnering Deakin University to launch a cyber security incubator based in Geelong, facilitated by an AU$450,000 Victorian government grant that will see students, startups and industry work together to address the rising threat of cyber crime. According to Dimension Data Australia services director Duncan Brown, this incubator will be focusing on building and leveraging local capabilities to tackle the problem. It is reported that Australian small business have lost up to $1.6
Linius, which went public in May through a backdoor listing after raising $3.5 million, offers a patented video virtualisation engine which treats video content as data rather than video, creating a wide range of personalisation options.
Its first application aims to bring personalised direct advertising from the internet to television.
Education Technology Startup Language Your Way Closes Pre-Seed Funding Round
Since its launch in 2015, the Melbourne based company has been on the ground in China developing and testing its game-based online education platform for teaching English to Chinese school students
Australian startup Camplify is valued at $10 million just two years after its launch
- Camplify links holiday makers with the owners of private camper vans
- Users are able to hire out the motor homein a similar fashion to Airbnb
- The Australian start up company has recently been valued at $10 million
- The business was funded through NRMA’s Jumpstart Accelerator Program
New Zealand financial technology company Latipay
- last night received the Tech Startup Award at the 2016 Australia New Zealand Internet Awards (ANZIAs) in Melbourne.
The online payments provider is the only financial technology company allowing purchases of Kiwi products to be paid for in Chinese yuan, while enabling New Zealand vendors receive payment in Kiwi dollars. It does this with a cloud-based platform that bolts onto 19 Chinese banks, and e-wallets including Alipay, WeChat and JDPay.
New Zealand-based startup Spotlight Reporting has closed a $5 million Series A round as it looks to become a market leader in APAC and expand to the rest of the world.
The business intelligence cloud software company now works with hundreds of clients, providing reporting tools to accountants, advisors and business owners.