Most livestock sellers rely on personal connections to find a buyer, leading to missed opportunities and possibly not the best available price for their livestock. In the event of sellers not finding a buyer directly, the next best alternative, usually requires livestock to be trucked to a saleyard for auction, adding further cost to the transaction, putting unnecessary stress on the animals and bio security risk on the industry.
Agora Livestock is disrupting this old-school approach, through the development of a digital platform that allows sellers and buyers to connect directly and transparently with real-time market pricing and detailed order fulfilment. The outcome for the seller includes better financial return per transaction and the delivery of healthier livestock, straight from the farm.
Disruptive two-sided marketplaces are difficult to get right, but the strength of Agora’s business model gave me a lot of faith in Rob Kelly and his team’s ability to execute on their vision.
The Entrepreneurs’ Programme Committee recognised the potential too, and the company has been awarded an Accelerating Commercialisation grant of $550,000 under the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme to bring the platform to market efficiently and expediently.
Here’s what I see as Agora’s key strengths against the five Accelerating Commercialisation Grant merit criteria:
Impact of Grant
- The commercialisation of the platform can generate operating efficiencies and improve ESG outcomes for the whole industry
- Although the Accelerating Commercialisation program is growth sector agnostic, Agora does contribute positively towards Food & Agribusiness by supporting price discovery and transparency in the Australian livestock market.
- Highly commercial team with a deep understanding of supply chain and commodities pricing in the agriculture industry
- Founder comes with a great deal of personal credibility, having previously contributed to the creation of similar solutions for the grain industry.
- The company has created a competitive moat by generating a large user base through their existing Buyer Portal and LIVEstock Pricing MVP applications
- When the time comes, deploying the tech to other under-served agricultural industries has the potential to significantly expand their addressable market.
- Livestock purchase orders (referred to as ‘Price Grids’ in the industry) can include thousands of pieces of information about a buyer’s requirements, all of which will now be standardised, real-time priced against the market, and matchable with farmer’s ability to fulfil an order
- The value proposition drives the business model with a virtuous cycle of transaction data that benefits both sides of the marketplace.
- The company has already built important aspects of the platform, tested them with dozens of pilot customers, and generated market demand
- The execution and operational plans are robust and detailed, with a strong team in place ready to go.
Working in partnership with the Australian Government to deliver the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, myself and the i4 Connect team look forward to supporting Agora’s commercialisation journey during their Accelerating Commercialisation Project and beyond.