Agribusiness GrainCorp is co-leading a $12 million investment round into rural connectivity business Zetifi, to help plug the gap in digital connectivity for farmers in rural Australia.
Zetifi is a Wagga Wagga-based company that seeks to eliminate coverage gaps by extending the use of existing Wi-Fi networks, utilising its hardware and software systems.
The investment into Zetifi’s Series A funding round is co-led by Telstra and GrainCorp’s venture capital fund, GrainCorp Ventures.
Zetifi CEO Dan Winson said the team had moved quickly since the company’s inception to connect remote locations with resilient hardware.
Winson said: “Our experiences over the last few years confirm that agriculture and the ag services sectors are eager to adopt digital technology and automation, as long they have a connectivity solution that supports it.”
He said their focus on the unique connectivity needs of agriculture and remote areas, and proximity to these customers from their regional base, for much of their success to date.
“We approached the problem from the farmers’ perspective and the ability to be on-farm testing our ideas within a few minutes has accelerated the development of our products and technology.
“It’s allowed us to rapidly iterate and refine the scalable applications of our technology that we’ll now be preparing for the mass-market.
“This will involve doubling our software and product teams, scaling manufacturing to support demand in Australia, and taking on the US market within the next 12-18 months.”
GrainCorp CEO Robert Spurway said the technology was a critical factor to the resilience and advancement of agriculture in Australia.
“Australian growers are early adopters of technological innovation on-farm, and it’s a credit to their resilient nature that they continue to lead the way on digital advancements.
“GrainCorp Ventures focuses on identifying and accelerating the next generation of technologies that will keep growers ahead of the competition, and that’s what we see in Zetifi.”
Picture: Zetifi/Zetifi CEO and Founder Dan Winson