Funding helps Agrilink weather expansion

Adelaide-based Agrilink has attracted $4 million in venture capital funding from Sydney-based Nanyang Ventures to expand into the US and Europe.

Nanyang, which provides seed and start-up capital for early-stage small- to medium-sized businesses, now has 20 per cent equity in the company.

Agrilink provides weather and soil monitoring technologies to farmers in viticulture, cotton and tropical produce industries.

The company plans to build on its Californian operation, formed through a strategic channel partner Adcon Technology which contracts Agrilink to provide specialist irrigation technology and services to distributors and customers.

According to Agrilink chief executive, the company will focus its marketing strategy on the Californian market due to the size ratio of the market, and then target opportunities in the North and South American and European markets.

Nanyang Ventures chairman Chris Golis said the investment in Agrilink would address the needs of farmers for more efficient use of water. "One of the biggest problems facing the world today is water, and Agrilink has developed innovative technology products that will better monitor water usage and significantly reduce the overall consumption in this sector," he said.

Agrilink's flagship product, C-Probe, is a cable-free IT probe for irrigation management.

The $4 million funding round from Nanyang is the fourth Agrilink has won since forming in 1997. Investment firms Gresham Rabo and PWR Investments have a $2.5 million combined stake in the company, and it also raised $1.5 million from a Commonwealth Government and AusIndustry Research and Development grant.

Nanyang was formed in 1997 and is the fund manager of the St George Development Capital Fund, controlling $150 million in VC funds in the region.

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