Success for Kiwi Agritech Start-Up

To ramp up the international roll-out of its virtual fencing systems, a New Zealand-founded agritech start-up has recently raised $16 million.

Founded in 2016, Vence supplies herd management and virtual fencing solutions to help farmers make meat production more sustainable. Its hi-tech ear tags work similarly to a dog collar or other devices used to create virtual fences.

Vence ear tags

Coming from a family who has run a livestock farm near Gisborne for more than a century, company founder, Jasper Holdsworth saw an opportunity for technology to help with animal management and monitoring.

As part of FoodBytes 2017, a global programme from Rabobank that connects start-ups, corporate leaders, investors, and farmers to solve food system challenges, Vence was selected to pitch to investors. This month the company announced its successful capital raise which attracted support from existing backers, including Rabo Food and Agri Innovation Fund, and new investors.

The money will be used to boost the roll-out of the Vence platform in the United States and Australia.

“Together with a great investor syndicate we are thrilled to continue to support this highly relevant, sustainable technology and accelerate its offering to the livestock community,” commented Richard O’Gorman, Rabo Food and Agri Innovation Fund managing director, adding that since first investing in Vence in 2018, it had worked closely with the company on its remote herd management solution.

Vence has received interest from nearly 5000 livestock farms globally and will deliver the first commercial version of its product to farms across the US and Australia this year.