'Farming Auto Trader' continues growing

'Farming Auto Trader' continues growing

A Portsmouth-based Agri-Tech firm dubbed ‘the Autotrader for farmers’ has outlined ambitious plans for growth after raising almost £275,000 from crowdfunding.

Sell My Livestock was originally the brainchild of Dan Luff, a fourth generation cattle farmer from Hampshire.

Back in 2012 he was becoming increasingly frustrated by his inability to reach the market prices published by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board AHDB.

On top of this, the arduous task of telephoning round to see who was offering the best price seemed archaic and he knew there must be an easier, more efficient way.

This led to Luff approaching old school-friend and web-developer Jamie McInnes with a simple question.

‘Could you create an online auction site specifically for livestock, enabling farmers to buy and sell cattle, sheep and other stock online?’ And Sell My Livestock was born.

The Sell My Livestock platform allows farmers to trade direct with one another and with some of the world's largest buyers of agricultural products in a way that's simple, transparent and secure, think of it as ‘an eBay for farmers.’

Four years on and the online marketplace is now established as one of the UK's largest, with nearly 6,000 farmers registered, trading millions of pounds worth of commodities in the last 12 months alone.

As the company continues to shake-up what is one of the world’s most untouched industries, the duo knew they needed to continue investing in the business in order to continue increasing their market share.

This led to the launch of a crowdfunding campaign via Seedrs earlier this year in a bid to raise £100,000 to develop a new, secure payment gateway for its users. The duo were blown away by the support received, as investors from across Europe flocked to invest in the company, raising a total of £274,380.

Speaking about the campaign, McInnes said: “We've been blown away by the support we've had from investors across Europe, especially at such an uncertain time.

“This investment is going to help us really turbo-charge the business and develop a secure payment gateway for the farmers who trade through both Sell My Livestock and Graindex.

“In a sector that still uses faxes and cheques to transfer funds it is long overdue.”

Since December new livestock listings on the site have gone up four fold and visits have trebled. Individual transaction values have also exceeded £100,000 for cereals and £50,000 for livestock.

With almost 6,000 registered users and with nearly 30,000 social media followers, the company has really positioned itself as one of the world’s most disruptive Agri-Tech companies.

 

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