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A New Zealand agritech startup helping US potato farmers just listed on the ASX

Photo: Harris Farm

A tech company that helps farmers improve crop yields will list on the Australian Securities Exchange on Tuesday.

CropLogic has raised the $8 million it sought in an IPO, and said it was even offered $1 million on top of that during the offer period. Forty million ordinary shares will be issued at 20 cents each, and the business will have a market cap of $25 million.

The New Zealand “internet of things” agriculture tech company, established in 2010, uses on-field sensors connected via wireless and satellite channels to collect data such as soil moisture and temperature, and rainfall, alongside other information to give farmers a predictive analysis of their efforts.

CropLogic’s current client base is predominantly potato farmers in the Pacific northwest region of the USA after the startup’s June acquisition of US agronomy services provider Professional Ag Services Inc.

The first seven years have been a hard slog financially, with the prospectus showing just $124,906 in revenue and $1.34 million net loss for the year ending March 2017 and similar numbers seen the previous year.

The $8 million raised in the IPO – which added to $3 million already secured in the past 12 months — would be used for business growth, market development, research and to “provide a healthy level of working capital”, according to CropLogic managing director Jamie Cairns.

“We are delighted to have witnessed such a tremendous response from the market. [Underwriter] Hunter Capital Advisors have certainly delivered for us after initially closing out our pre-IPO raise in such a concise manner,” he said.

Potatoes were targetted during this early stage of commercialisation because of its high value, but other crops like corn, wheat, soy and cotton are set to follow.

Potato trials have been completed with big names like PepsiCo, Lamb Weston, Simplot and McCain Foods throughout USA, China, Australia and New Zealand.

CropLogic’s technology originally grew out of decades of research from the government-run The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research.

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