Do you know how many decisions a farmer has to make each day? The answer: the limit does not exist. But one Kiwi start-up is looking to support farmers with some of those decisions.
Meet the founders Greg Johnston and Dave Meaney of Future Farm Systems. They are one of the ventures taking part in our three-month Sprout 2023 Accelerator in the Cohort XI intake.
Their mission is simple: Empower farmers to make smarter decisions, streamline feed supply & drive profitable outcomes.
“We’ve launched Feed Finder as a platform for sourcing and delivering forage feed nationwide. We’re looking to improve the way that farmers actually source feed and track feed on farm to improve performance - whether that be health, production, sustainable practices or financial performance,” said Greg.
When asked to describe themselves in three words, their response summed them up quite nicely.
“Greg and Dave,” they laughed, “No, we’re passionate, experienced and open”.
The duo have been in the tech ecosystem for over 10 years. They’re no strangers to start-up ventures together, having worked on a number together already and advising on others. But they’ve also walked their own journeys.
“I’ve focused a lot of my work on Fintech, where Greg has focused on a start-up for sports hardware, creating the world’s first hydrofoil bike on water,” said Dave.
The problem they’ve set out to solve with Feed Finder is two-fold. Firstly - heavily fragmented data in the farming sector.
“Our first problem is to understand how we can support farmers to create better on-farm data resolution for them, to enable more informed decisions around how they supplement their pasture,” said Greg.
The second part sits in being able to surface the feed options that farmers have available nationwide.
“It’s about helping them make the best feed purchase decisions, then managing all of the logistics, compliance, and paperwork for them, so the experience is as seamless as possible.”
Their market research was an eye opener to just how fragmented the market actually is. There is a lot of rich data that sits around farmers that isn’t necessarily surfaced in ways that enables optimal on-farm decisions.
“There’s so many decisions for farmers to make and variables are changing all the time. There’s a lot of supply of feed around the country that individual farmers just don't have visibility over, which is the core reason for Feed Finder as a platform.”
They’re not aiming low with the goals for the business, they’re intending on moving the needle in the farming sector.
“When I say move the needle, I mean tangibly. By increasing profit, decreasing costs, increasing production and animal health through smarter decisions making, better options and better information about those options,” said Dave.
Not wanting to try and “boil the ocean and achieve nothing”, the duo are focused on boiling down what they can focus on to add the most value, and making sure that they execute that well.
“This is where Sprout is really helping, it’s giving us access to people from the industry with the experience to be able to help us navigate some of what's ahead,” said Greg.
“Money is the lifeblood of every early stage start-up, and although we've been generating revenue since day one, we recognize the ongoing need for investment as we assemble a strong team to execute our validated ideas from the past year. We're currently in the process of raising a pre-seed round and making good progress with several investors who share our vision and are eager to join us on this journey," said Dave.
While neither hail from farming backgrounds, coming into the agricultural industry was a matter of wanting to help farmers and support a multi-billion dollar industry that is ripe for new technologies.
“In the tech space, there's no shortage of opportunity to help farmers. “