AgGenetics, an animal health and biotechnology company, recently launched a $5 million equity financing campaign on AgFunder, the leading agriculture-focused online investment platform. The action comes in response to the ever-increasing demand for animal protein, which is projected to grow by nearly 40% in the next 20 years. No effective or economically viable models for addressing this demand currently exist.
The AgGenetics team currently has three products in late stages of development that could help producers meet the increased demand by using gene discovery and editing, modern biotechnology techniques initially developed for human medicine. The technologies are focused on helping farmers to combat common ailments known to impact livestock production, as well as increasing the productivity of cattle. The company uses genomic and data analysis approaches rarely used in animal health to identify the necessary genes in a timely fashion.
“AgGenetics has an incredibly important technology platform for the cattle industry,” said Michael Dean, Cofounder and COO at AgFunder. “The team’s combined cross-functional skills and expertise in both genetics and the livestock industry means that they can execute on their current vision of breeding more productive cattle and cheaper, faster, less invasive testing, and ultimately on future technology in the pipeline.”
Two of the company’s current developments include a low-cost test for Brisket Disease( Bovine High-Mountain Disease), and a copper deficiency and toxicity test. Copper deficiency is one of the most prevalent nutritional issues facing cattle and affects about one third of them, impacting weight gain, fertility, and milk yields, while Brisket Disease affects about 5 percent of cattle at altitudes above 5,000 feet, when they suffer right heart failure leading to swelling in the chest from fluid retention. AgGenetics estimates there are around 8.8 million cattle at these altitudes.
The company is also working to develop a new breed of heat tolerant “White Angus” cattle, which could be a potential game-changer for the many cattle farmers in warm to hot climates like Brazil, Australia, India, where 82% of the world’s cattle population currently lives. The first White Angus calves are expected to be born in early 2017, with multiple heat tolerant genetic lines ready for market in 2018
The current funding round will be used for commercialization of both the testing products and the additional development and trials for the white Angus.
View AgGenetics’ investment profile here.