Agtech startup Farmbot plants $4.6 million raise as US ambitions grow

- June 11, 2024 2 MIN READ
The Farmbot team
Some of the Farmbot team
Internet of Things agriculture scale-up Farmbot Monitoring Solutions has exceeded its capital raising plans by 50% to bank $4.6 million as it looks to ramp up its US presence. 

The round, originally targeting $3m, was backed by existing investors Telstra and Macdoch Ventures, among others.

Telstra first joined the cap table a decade ago when Farmbot was part of the Muru-D accelerator. This is its fourth investment, having led a $2.7 million Series A in 2021 with $1 million, then another $2m in December 2022 as part of a $5 million in Series A+.

The agtech venture launched a US subsidiary, Ranchbot, last year, eyeing off a market 10 times the size of Australia’s.

It has a manufacturing plant in Dallas, Texas, with its HQ in Fort Worth, and 12 pairs of boots on the ground in the states.

The latest raise was also supported by several US high-net-worth investors in the ranching sector as well as senior Ranchbot executives. 

The MyFarmbot IoT platform monitors water and other inputs to give farmers alerts and reporting on water trends and the ability to control infrastructure remotely. That data, along with predictive analytics, improves management, operations and resource allocation to cut labour and fuel costs while improving sustainability outcomes and animal welfare and reducing carbon emissions.

Cofounder and MD Andrew Coppin said Farmbot is currently used on over 3,500 farms and employs 70 people, including 20 in R&D, with manufacturing at its Sydney  head office. In the 

“Securing this capital raise has built the bridge to our next phase of growth. This significant equity will allow Farmbot to fulfil its growth aspirations both here in Australia and accelerate our growth of the American subsidiary, Ranchbot,” he said.

“Water is agriculture’s most critical asset and checking and monitoring water sources can be a huge hidden expense in farming and ranching operations. Our water management products make this process easy, instantaneous, and cost effective by implementing remote water  management, pipe, pump and infrastructure control.”

Coppin ssaid Farmbot is pushing to maintain a 100% year-on-year growth rate with over 20,000 sensors in the field.

“Farmbot supplies on-demand data to enhance on-farm decision making, empowering producers to make smart decisions, minimise use of finite resources and manage their  operations more effectively,” he said.  

“Farmbot’s success story began with the drive to effectively manage water. Now, as we expand,  our aim is to become a preferred destination for tech-driven farm management solutions providing deeper insights and comprehensive tools for smart decision-making. Farmbot is well  placed to deliver on this, and more.”

Telstra product and tech group exec Kim Krogh Andersen said they see their investment in Farmbot as a strategic collaboration.

“Farmbot’s innovative technology is fostering better communication and data-exchange for farmers, as well as enabling more sustainable and productive farming practices,” he said.

“This collaboration is a testament to our belief in the transformative power of technology in agriculture, and demonstrates our commitment to enhancing Agtech innovation across  Australian farms.”