Online Ag-investment portal launches pilot

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// A new online agricultural investment market, designed to connect responsible farmers with responsible investors, is about to launch their pilot program…

Catel is an early stage startup founded by Demi Robinson, Bennet Forrester and Mark Sadler.

Having grown up in the rural regions, all three have a soft spot for the country and are hopeful that the upcoming pilot program will validate their idea that allows anybody can make responsible investments into farming.

AgFracs

Think of it as the ‘Stock Exchange’ – no pun intended – but replace shares with what Catel calls “AgFracs”.

Agfracs are ‘productive exchangeable agriculture-based securities’ such as a cow, ewe, hen or a hectare of pasture, for example. Whilst the investor will own the AgFracs, the farmer will maintain control and possession of the AgFracs.

Farmers list their AgFracs on Catel’s platform where they can be electronically traded and settled to a range of investors. This ultimately results in both parties making a return from their share in profits generated from the AgFrac. Additionally, the AgFracs are exchangeable between investors.  

Catel was conceived by Bennet whilst working on a Northern Queensland cattle station; he was curious about creating opportunities where people could be closely connected to agriculture and farmers, who are often unrecognised as highly entrepreneurial and innovative.

Disruption, therefore, was needed in terms of how farmers could raise capital through an ethical investment opportunity.  

The AgFrac (Image Supplied).

Demi saw this as an opportunity for farmers to showcase transparency around the farming practices and change the perception that consumers have in regards to the paddock-to-plate farming process.

Through his family’s connection to the land, Mark has seen firsthand the financial pressure a farmer can be faced with. He strongly believes that supporting farmers only positively impacts the greater community.

“Together we are a values-driven team around providing an alternative and sustainable way for a farmer to grow their business and share the transparency and providence of our food, consequently presenting an investment opportunity in a responsible manner” Demi told Startup News.

Catel recently completed the Plus Eight SPRINT pre-seed accelerator program and is partway through Agristart’s HARVEST 2020 program.  

They found the experiences of both accelerator programs to be highly valuable, especially in terms of being exposed to a supportive network of other businesses and startups.

“It has been grounding having a network to relate to about the challenges a startup can face, as well as being able to genuinely share the wins along the way.”

Demi Robinson

Along with the pilot program validating Catel’s business model, they are hoping the program can further tailor their commercial platform to what their users want.

“There’s a lot of collateral beauty to come from Catel’s platform and we know that we can’t achieve it alone without our early adopters and we believe the pilot program is just the beginning of a unity of a responsible and ethical community starting some positive change particularly for the agriculture industry.”

Demi Robinson

To find out more about Catel and the pilot program visit their website.

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Main Photo: The Catel team from left to right, Bennet Forrester, Demi Robinson and Mark Sadler (Supplied).