South African startup Bulrush Agritech has raised ZAR250,000 (US$16,000) in angel investment in order to fund the continued development of its livestock management platform.
Founded by husband and wife Sean and Kristi Rennie, Bulrush Agritech has developed The Stockman, a livestock management platform that allows farmers to easily record and measure essential information about their farms in order to make more informed, regenerative and profitable management decisions.
The platform is still in the early stages of development, with Bulrush working with eight beta test users, but development has received a boost with the funding, which came about via the startup’s participating in the Akro accelerator programme in Cape Town.
“During the programme, we received an offer of an angel investment from someone close to the programme,” said Kristi, who at this point prefers not to name the individual. “This was thanks to a direct introduction through Akro.”
With its users spread across South Africa, Bulrush will use the funding predominantly to reach them to ensure its platform adds maximum value.
“This includes ongoing user testing and customer development as well as a recent trip to Australia to meet with potential partners in satellite imagery and animal tagging and tracking. As we’ve been self-funded to this point, it is also helping us to keep the lights on,” said Kristi.
The Stockman will soon be capable of using various information inputs to calculate a farm’s stocking rate and track this versus its carrying capacity, allowing farmers to make better grazing decisions to prevent overgrazing or undergrazing their land, both barriers to maximising a farm’s potential.
“We’re ultimately aiming to help livestock farmers improve profitability and save time while ensuring better managed, more regenerative grasslands for our planet,” said Kristi.
“Our focus is to keep fine-tuning the platform until it is something our user’s really love and use daily. We’ll only really be looking to launch the platform to the public next year as a subscription service and we’re also trying to build a strong content offering to support the platform.”
The startup’s goal is to establish a beachhead in South Africa, while it has mid-term plans to expand to Southern Africa.
“Judging by the uptake of our competitors, there is certainly interest in and demand for platforms like ours in both North and South America but we’d like to focus on getting it right for commercial African farmers first,” Kristi said.