SOUTH AFRICA – South African Agritech startup, swiftVee, undertaking real-time online livestock auctions, has raised US$1.5 million in a Series A funding round to enable it expand its offering within South Africa and neighbouring countries including Namibia and Botswana.
The investment round was led by Subtropico Ltd, an unlisted public company specialising in Agri investments across the fruit, vegetable, and livestock industries and a private syndicate, reports Ventureburn.
With the funding, swiftVEE will be included on Zire, South Africa’s first multi-industry agricultural services platform that will provide technology services to industry stakeholders in the livestock, fruit, and vegetable sector.
Leveraging off Zire, which is expected to launch in 2021, the startup will be able to extend its market share to new customers across multiple industries.
“The investment and growth of swiftVEE demonstrates a significant change in attitude within the agricultural sector. Traditional Agribusinesses appear to have recognised the importance of re-inventing themselves as COVID accelerates the rate at which agriculture moves towards the fourth industrial revolution.
“In the age of new-normal the door has been opened for technology start-ups to create a new narrative,” said Russel Luck, chief executive officer (CEO) of swiftVEE.
Founded in 2016 and officially launching in 2017, swiftVEE connects online buyers to livestock auctions for real-time purchases in low-latency areas such as farmlands.
It 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.
“Traditional Agribusinesses appear to have recognised the importance of re-inventing themselves as COVID accelerates the rate at which agriculture moves towards the fourth industrial revolution.”Russel Luck – Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of swiftVEE
The local agritech startup has innovated the traditional method of livestock purchasing, digitizing the auction process with online, real-time auction capabilities for the livestock agents and farmers located across the globe.
Luck explains that regardless of the challenges faced by the pandemic, the local startup has managed to reach new heights.
“Despite the economic difficulties caused by COVID and pre-existing recession in South Africa, swiftVEE broke two South African records for the most expensive Simbra Bull sold in SA for R 270K and a Boran Bull sold for R 1.7m. The latter is being reviewed as a Guinness World Record.”
swifeVEE plans to expand into the Sub-Saharan, USA, and Europe markets at the start of 2022.
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