Precision livestock trading and analytics platform Breedr, has today raised about €14.3 million in a mixture of equity and debt led by Investbridge Capital. The UK-based startups offers a data platform and app for farmers to easily capture data, improving their livestock productivity, sustainability and efficiency.
Now, the agritech company is putting its analytics to use by launching Breedr Impact – a new data-driven financial product for livestock farmers.
Founded in 2019 by Ian Wheal, Breedr is disrupting the farming industry by revolutionising outdated and inefficient agricultural practices. Via the free app and platform, farmers can record everything they need to know about their animals on their phone or laptop. They can track metrics such as weight, genetics, health and medication to improve animal welfare and profitability over time. They can scan electronic ear tags, sync movements, record medicine use, store breeding and fertility information, and receive individual data analytics for each animal in real-time to improve efficiencies and reduce emissions.
Breedr’s powerful growth algorithm and benchmarking tools use this data to predict the future growth of animals, guiding farmers on how to grow healthier animals and plan finishing dates.
Ian Wheal, founder and CEO at Breedr, explained: “We have created Breedr to put data at the heart of farming. By enabling farmers to grow healthier animals, we’re transforming the industry: allowing farmers to use their animals to make investments in their farms, improve trading and provide more transparency to the supply chain – which is sorely needed in this under-invested industry.”
The farming industry is facing many challenges at the moment, across the world. Breedr was built with agricultural heritage at heart, and so is aware of the challenges and the real-life practicalities of the farming industry. Founder Ian grew up on a farm in Australia.
One big challenge to farmers currently is their access to finance. In one survey by SME lender Propel, it was found that restricted access to finance is a concern for livestock producers in particular (33%) and smaller farmers (under 25%). Concerns about finances were also cited as one of the main causes of stress for farmers in the UK and the removal of EU farming subsidies is adding to this which can make up to 90% of a farm’s income.
This lack of cash flow is holding them back from making investments into their operations, such as introducing sustainable practices or improving practices that would make them, and the overall supply chain, better off in the long term. Yet, at the same time, farmers have an underleveraged asset class sitting on their farm that they can use as a cash flow product: their livestock.
Accessing better finance is therefore crucial for the future of farming – for farmers themselves, and for creating more sustainable practices.
Breedr is tackling this head-on with the launch of Breedr Impact, a data-driven financial product for livestock farmers. Breedr Impact allows farmers to release cash from their livestock in order to invest in expanding their business. This form of asset purchase agreement allows farmers to access capital based on the data they use to grow their own farms – the first time it has been possible to utilise data to track livestock as an asset.
This is only the start of Breedr’s aim to democratise access to innovative financial products for a new generation of farmers looking for a partner that really understands their business
Enabling farmers to understand everything about their livestock doesn’t just allow them to borrow against the animals but also make the right changes to become more sustainable and efficient. With livestock emissions making up around 15% of all human-made emissions globally each year and demand for meat consumption increasing, creating a more sustainable and efficient supply chain is necessary to slow the rate of global warming.
Healthier animals grow faster and emit fewer methane emissions over their life and Breedr guides the farmers on its platform to make improvements from changing the location where the animals graze, to adjusting their food and medication. To date, farmers using Breedr have cut their emissions by 17% on average. As well, they are preparing animals for the sale cycle more efficiently as the data gathered by the app confirms to farmers when stock is in peak condition, enabling them to take them to market more quickly. This efficiency prevents farmers from feeding out two tonnes of food compared to the average – saving more than 800kg of carbon per head.
Overall, Breedr’s top farmers are producing beef with 28% less carbon footprint than the industry average, and the company is working on rolling out more sustainable, data-driven supply chains. Breedr Impact can also provide better rates to farmers who are more environmentally friendly as this ensures the animals are healthier for sale – creating a positive circular impact for farmers and the wider supply chain.
In under three years, Breedr has helped over 1,100 UK farmers transform their businesses through free and easy data analysis of more than 160,000 registered animals. Farmers on the platform can additionally buy and sell cattle via the Breedr Marketplace, with over 6,000 animals worth £4.5 million having been traded since January 2021.
This new funding boost will be used to continue to expand the new financial offering and expand into new markets.
Oliver Hogg, CEO at Investbridge Capital, said: “Breedr has built a truly innovative platform that is solving issues across the agrifood industry, from delivering key insights to farmers to help improve the care and growth of their animals, to its transformative cash-flow product, to providing transparency across the supply chain to meet the needs of retailers and consumers. We’re delighted to be supporting them for the next stage of their growth journey, particularly as they expand Breedr Impact and the overall Breedr model across the world.”
Remus Brett, general partner at LocalGlobe said: “The agriculture industry worldwide is crying out for disruption of the kind being created by Breedr. Not just for the sake of the farmers and their supply chains, but for the sake of the planet and consumers. There is huge potential for Ian and his team at Breedr to completely revolutionise how we think about livestock and meat consumption in a way that benefits everyone and the success of its recent fundraise and crowdfunding campaign is testament to just how impactful it has become.”