South African agri-tech startup swiftVEE has raised a US$1.5 million funding round it will use to expand into neighbouring countries and expand its platform.
Founded in 2019 and selected for the Google Launchpad Africa accelerator in the same year, swiftVEE conducts real-time online livestock auctions. So far, the startup has done over 150 auctions, and it has 125,000 farmers in its network.
swiftVEE uses artificial intelligence (AI) to match buyers and sellers of livestock from anywhere in the world to help buyers acquire livestock at the most optimal times, and hopes to expand its use of AI after securing the funding.
The US$1.5 million investment comes from Subtropico, an unlisted private company in the food industry, and will also be used to help the startup expand into Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
“The future of food security is understanding the production cycle of livestock from farm-to-fork and this is our next major focus. There has been an interest expressed to have our operations expand overseas, and we’d like to go into the United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US) and apply machine learning solutions to foreign markets,” said Russel Luck, chief executive officer (CEO) of swiftVEE.