Discovery Ag secures $3.35m in funding to advance on-farm sensor technology
Australian ag-tech business, GoannaAg, (the new operating brand of Discovery Ag) has today announced the completion of its first capital raising, securing $3.35 million in growth funding from prominent public and privately-owned businesses including Westpac Banking Corporation, GrainCorp Operations Pty Ltd, and Michael Hintze Premium Farms Holdings Pty Ltd (MHPF).
The funding will add to the initial investment made by Delta Agribusiness and Mr David Murray, to be used to deliver on GoannaAg’s key business objectives. This includes expanding its team to further develop and deploy on-farm sensor solutions and completing the roll out of their (LoRaWAN) network for the Australian cotton industry.
Gerard Hines, Managing Director of Delta Ag said the company targeted strategic investors for its first private capital raising: “GoannaAg has successfully established itself as a leader in the market and it is time to scale the business. We’re delighted to have the right partners on board who will help drive our vision to bring powerful and cost-effective solutions to Australian farmers.”
Westpac Head of Agribusiness Steve Hannan, said Westpac is proud to back GoannaAg with GrainCorp and MHPF to boost telecommunications infrastructure in regional Australia, and to initially help the Australian cotton industry, and then the other key production markets to reach their full potential.
Marcus Kennedy, Chief Development Officer at GrainCorp sees their investment as a critical piece in solving the challenges of connectivity in rural Australia. Marcus also notes “We were also attracted by Goanna’s approach of exploring novel solutions to help our grower clients drive profit and reduce risk and inefficiencies.”
Meanwhile, Richard Taylor, MHPF Director explained their motivation to invest was driven by their belief that affordable sensors and connectivity will help unlock significant on farm potential. “Having reliable insights from farm specific data, at a price well below what’s currently available, has enormous value in helping us make every day management decisions a little bit smarter and quicker.”
“The key to resilience and a stronger future for regional and rural Australia relies on maximising the resources we have and driving innovation across the sector. Collaboration, information sharing and investments such as this are critical to maintaining Australia’s globally competitive edge, and we’re very pleased to be involved in GoannaAg’s exciting journey,’ Mr Hannan said.
With an initial focus on irrigated cotton, Goanna Ag offer end-to-end sensor solutions that drive profitability, increase on-farm efficiency and help mitigate risk. With a strong focus on optimising water management, the integration of in field sensors into the powerful GoSat analytics platform allows growers to better measure and manage every drop of precious water. Through this approach, growers can expect significantly increased water use efficiency, creating a more profitable and sustainable business.
To enable these cost-efficient solutions, GoannaAg is in the process of installing telecommunications grade, publicly available LoRaWAN networks which carries a sensor’s data from field to farmer. This robust, real time data underpins a range of practical on farm applications.
This network across the cotton industry, is being installed in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, the Gwydir and Macintyre, Namoi and Macquarie Valleys. Installation has started and will finish next month.
“Through this capital raising, we are thrilled to be able to focus on completing the network and expanding our local teams and field technicians in key regions, so we can meet growing demand in our products and provide timely support to more of our cotton growers,” Ms Garden added.