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AgriDigital - allows local Australian farmers to connect to the global supply chain

LANDING PADS CASE STUDY

AgriDigital - allows local Australian farmers to connect to the global supply chain


Emma Weston, CEO and Co-Founder at AgriDigital, says emerging digital technologies is the way to create cost-effective, efficient and world-leading agri-commodity management and supply chain solutions with global impact.

AgriDigital launched their platform in September 2017 after Emma and her Co-Founders, Bob McKay and Ben Reid, spent two years developing a state-of-the-art solution to solve the challenges faced by multiple participants in the agri-food industry and the entire supply chain.

The three founders have more than 80 years of combined experience in the grain industry. All founders are grain farmers with significant commercial experience. They have been part of the Australian Wheat Board during the deregulation of the grains industry and also owned and operated Agfarm and Clear Grain Exchange. Their experience has given them unique insight into the agrifood industry and supply chains and the challenges faced within the industry.

While currently focused on the grain and cotton industries, the vision for AgriDigital is to be the platform for any commodity around the world.

“We have seen and experienced the inefficiencies in the agricultural supply chain first hand. We all knew there was a better way and by using emerging technologies we could create that,” says Emma of the Co-Founders’ dream.

AgriDigital’s ambition is big; to make global agricultural supply chains simple, easy and secure - from farmer to consumer by connecting all parties in the supply chains to ensure the integrity of the trading, tracing and finance involved.

Real time transactions, and the ability to perform these using blockchain technology gives AgriDigital users live information about the location and status of their asset at any given time as it moves through the supply chain.

The platform provides AgriDigital users with full scale trade flow management, access to finance and traceability of the origins of the item. It makes workflows standard and dramatically reduces the opportunity for fraud.

AgriDigital now has 37 customers and more than 3000 active users, operated in 30 different countries, with 5.2 million tonnes of grains and cotton - worth $1 billion transacted through the platform.

As CEO and Co-Founder at AgriDigital, Emma Weston leads all aspects of business strategy, stakeholder engagement, blockchain and talent management with oversight of the sales, broader technology and operational environments.

Emma’s diverse career as a lawyer, agribusiness executive, start-up mentor and executive coach adds a wealth of strategic and operational experience to the AgriDigital team. Her knowledge of industry-best practice drives AgriDigital’s innovation, product development, internal systems, and customer service. In 2017, Emma was recognised as the Female Fintech Leader of the Year in Australia and was also named a Top 25 Fintech Influencer.

With AgriDigital now entrenched in its initial target market of Australian grain, and growing within the cotton industry, business goals for 2019 will to work on capturing customers in North America and Canada.

AgriDigital1_LandingPad

“In the United States and Canadian markets we have begun to identify key early adopters and influencers for early-stage partnering and piloting of AgriDigital,” says Emma. “We have undertaken extensive market research visits to Canada and the US and have formed a number of relationships with partners of influence and early adopters which are now being crystallised as pilot customers.”

“AC provided an important injection of non-dilutive capital at a key time in our development and progress as a company - but also enabled us to begin a long-lasting relationship with our Commercialisation Adviser Topaz Conway which provided us an alternative development and growth lens to that of the founders and our investors” Emma says.

AgriDigital staff numbers went from 22 to 47 after receiving a $1 million Accelerating Commercialisation Grant awarded to them in July 2017.

Emma Weston and Bob McKay will this year open a Chicago office to establish that market presence, grow the AgriDigital team and brand. This follows a three month residency at the San Francisco Landing Pad. Emma arrived at the Landing Pad with a clear goal: to validate the go-to-market strategy for North America. She wanted to create brand awareness in the market, build relationships with potential customers, the regulatory community and other stakeholders, and connect with potential investors.

“The Landing Pads program helps to demystify the process of moving to the US,” says Emma. “But you’re doing it in a group, so you’re not alone trying to work those things out.”

“Landing Pads gives you a soft landing but also propels you forward,’ says Weston. ‘Now we will be going to the US with a customer base that’s either signed on or in the pipeline. That’s a compelling story for us and for investors.”

Emma believes the Landing Pads and Accelerating Commercialisation programs are a natural fit. “Starting a business, going through R&D, going through a commercialisation process and then taking that to an overseas market, that’s a natural flow - and it’s backed by the Australian Government,” she says. You can find out more about AgriDigital innovative platform at https://www.agridigital.io/ and further about Austrade’s Landing Pad program here.