Livestock ag-tech company DIT Technologies targets $2m through crowdfunding
A livestock ag-tech company poised to hold a $1.2 million trial with live exporter Wellard before COVID-19 hit is rattling the tin to raise $2m to scale up, including opening a handful of WA offices.
DIT Technologies made headlines last year when it received a Federal grant to fast-track the commercialisation of its animal mineral dispensing units for live export.
The business planned to commercialise and place 40 of its liquid animal supplement dispensing units at different touch points in the $18 billion live export industry.
The units dispense minerals — including phosphorus and magnesium — for livestock, and were destined for properties, handling yards and ships to track animal welfare and financial gains.
While those plans were put on ice when COVID-19 hit Australia in March, DIT Technologies chief executive Mark Peart is not sitting idle, instead launching his second equity crowdfunding to raise $2m by November 6.
Originally a Toowoomba farmer, Mr Peart carved out a career helicopter mustering before founding DIT Technologies with his father Mike in 2016.
The pair was angling for a piece of the $30 billion invested globally in agtech start-up businesses last year alone.
DIT Technology’s recent crowdfunding effort raised more than $300,000 in two weeks, and Mr Peart plans to use the cash to boost the company’s team, production and data collection.
Mr Peart and his team are eyeing a foray into the horticulture industry with plans to create a product for water conservation on farms.
DIT Technology teamed up with Birchal to run the crowdfunding, with the long term view of expanding market research, bringing employees on board, and improving its technology.
This is DIT Technology’s second time running a crowdfunding campaign, after becoming the first agtech business in Australia to take advantage of 2017 equity crowdfunding legislation when it raised $650,000 in 2017.
“We have a strong base of farmers in the Northern Territory and Queensland currently using our technology, but we now want to help even more farmers by expanding further across these states and into New South Wales, Victoria and WA,” Mr Peart said.
At the heart of their business is water supplementation dispensing technology that provides a dose of supplements in water for livestock.
Mr Peart said this disrupted the traditional method of supplementing feed with lick blocks, ensuring each animal had the correct nutrients.
He said while it was industry accepted practice to put dry feed or lick out, there was no way of measuring how much feed an animal was receiving.
“Australia’s 97 million cattle and sheep are mainly grass fed and need supplements to overcome the nutritional deficiencies of native grasses,” Mr Peart said.
“Our technology provides a cheaper, more effective way of supplementing livestock equally through controlled dosing of their drinking water.
“Australian farmers are realising up to 15 per cent production gains and 40 per cent cost savings.”
In the last 12 months, DIT Technologies has grown significantly and currently employs 25 full time staff.
Australia’s 97 million cattle and sheep are mainly grass fed and need supplements to overcome the nutritional deficiencies of native grasses.
The company grew from one office in Toowoomba to eight offices across Australia, most recently opening a manufacturing factory in Townsville in August.
Its flagship products are the uSEE remote monitoring camera and tank sensor, allowing farmers to monitor water levels and nutrient intake for livestock remotely.
It also offers four types of dosers, which aim to put an end to animal licks by dispensing units for animal health supplements through water.
The company is aspiring to open offices at Kununurra, Broome, Esperance and Perth.
To find out more, visit the Birchal crowdfunding website.
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