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SA startup Bulrush Agritech nets R250k from angel investor


SA agritech startup Bulrush Agritech has revealed that it has landed R250 000 in angel funding, an investment it sourced while taking part in the first cohort of Cape Town based Akro Accelerator earlier this year.

Cape Town based Bulrush Agritech has developed The Stockman, an online platform that lets livestock farmers track their rainfall, stock numbers and herd movements.

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The startup was founded in January by husband and wife team Sean, a software developer, and Kristi Rennie, who has a background in UX-design and brand-building experience.

Responding to an email from Ventureburn today, Kristi Rennie declined to reveal who the investor was, but said the investment had come about when the startup had taken part in the accelerator programme earlier this year.

“This was thanks to a direct introduction through Akro,” she said, adding that the investment is in the form of a debt-equity instrument,” said Rennie.

She clarified that the finance was in the form of debt, with the option to convert this debt to an equity stake at a later time.

Bulrush Agritech has landed R250 000 from an investor who is close to Akro Accelerator

“The investor is a South African investor, based in Joburg. He has close ties to the SA SME Fund (which is sponsoring Akro Accelerator’s two cohorts run this year) and a broad range of personal investments across a number of industries. He really has a personal belief in the necessity of regenerative agriculture to address food security in Africa,” she said.

She said before the funding the two had invested R100 000 of their own money in the startup.

The idea for the startup came from watching Sean’s father Mike switch to more regenerative farming methodologies using a manual version of the automatic features and calculations that the two had built into their Stockman platform, she said.

While it has yet to generate a turnover, the startup is testing its platform with eight sheep and cattle livestock farmers based in KwaZulu-Natal.

Kristi said using the platform farmers will soon be able to calculate a farm’s stocking rate and track the farm’s stocking rate versus its carrying capacity.

“This will enable farmers to make better grazing decisions to prevent overgrazing as well as undergrazing their land — both barriers to maximising their farm’s potential,” she said.

Applications for Akro Accelerator’s second cohort closed last Friday (30 August) and the programme kicks off next Monday (9 September).

Read more: Akro in final call for startups to apply to Cape Town accelerator
Read more: Cape Town’s Akro announces names of eight startups selected for its first cohort
Read more: SA SME Fund backed Akro opens call in new Cape based accelerator

Editor’s note (3 September 2019): Following a query from a Ventureburn reader, Bulrush Agritech co-founder Kristi Rennie clarified that the R250 000 in investment was in the form of debt, with the option to convert this debt to an equity stake at a later time. The story has been amended to reflect this.

Featured image (from left to right): Bulrush Agritech founders Kristi and Sean Rennie (Supplied)

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