// Margaret River based agtech startup Agtalent has received $150K from ASX listed Wide Open Agriculture for a 28% stake in the new company.
Agtalent is a digital marketplace for training, recruitment and expert services in the sustainable and regenerative agriculture sector.
The platform aims to provide aspiring ag workers with a support pathway from training through to jobs. For employers, it provides exclusive access to a specialist talent pool of staff, contractors and consultants.
The seed money will be used to finalise the development of Agtalent’s platform and the marketing campaign for an official launch phase.
Driven by a social and environmental mission, Agtalent aims to support farmers to change their practices, make farms more resilient and regenerate the land.
“I am thrilled that this investment will take the company into its commercialisation phase and allow it to start addressing the talent crisis slowing the global growth of sustainable and regenerative agriculture,” said Agtalent co-founder Lachy Ritchie.
Some Startup News readers will know Lachy from previous Startup Weekends (he lead a winning team for his social enterprise ‘walk/bike to school’ app idea) as well as his other ventures Sprout and Dismantle.
“I grew up in a farming family, but like many young people in rural Australia, I was encouraged to pursue a career outside of agriculture,” said Lachy.
“So that’s exactly what I did. After returning to work in the industry almost a decade later, I observed that there were a growing number of investors wanting to invest in more sustainable and regenerative types of agriculture but due to a lack of suitably experienced managers and farm workers, many of these investment deals never materialised.
“This was a problem that resonated with my personal experiences and I knew it was a problem that needed to be solved. That’s how Agtalent was born”.
Agtalent has three main focus areas for the platform:
Training: A global searchable marketplace (like AirBnB) for people to sell tickets to training events, online courses, mentoring programs, internships and more. The platform allows users to create an online CV and guides them on a self-directed learning journey from training through to employment.
Jobs: The world’s only sustainable and regenerative agriculture specific jobs board, matching job seeker profiles to job opportunities. Also a talent management dashboard for companies to manage recruitment, on-boarding and ongoing staff training.
Expert services: Online searchable profiles and quote generator for the world’s best advisors, agronomists and service companies who specialise in sustainable and regenerative agriculture.
A $100,000 portion of the funds was provided to Wide Open Agriculture via a grant from their founding partners Commonland.
“As a regenerative food and farming business, one of our most critical strategic focus areas is ensuring that there is going to be suitably trained and experienced regenerative farmers now and into the future,” said Wide Open Agriculture Managing Director Ben Cole.
“Taking an equity position in Agtalent presents an exciting opportunity for us to contribute to the regenerative agriculture movement while assuring the long term talent needs of our growing farmland portfolio and food
brand are met”.
Commonland Landscapes Managing Director, Jim Mackintosh said: “Commonland is dedicated to supporting large scale landscape and community restoration initiatives all over the globe.
“Regenerative agriculture is a key driver of landscape level change and finding and training suitably skilled people is a huge challenge.
“We were initially impressed by the calibre of the founding team and quality of the prototype website, and we also immediately understood the global potential of this platform”, added Jim.
For more, visit AgTalent.co