Queensland startup BlockGrain launching Australia’s first agriculture ICO and is looking to raise $25 million.
This is a massive step up from the $3.5 million private fundraising round from investors via token sale and the $95,000 Queensland Government grant.
With the public token sale, you can buy their share with as low as 0.5 ETH.
Founded in 2015, BlockGrain is an Agtech startup that is providing a seamless software solution to track grain from a farm during harvest to an end user.
The aim is to solve the agriculture industry’s greatest supply chain issues and inefficiencies by increasing transparency and traceability.
How are they going to do that?
With a name like BlockGrain, it is safe to say that they are using the technology of blockchain. And yes they are.
Growers, brokers, logistics and buyers (soon) can track the supply chain with a mobile platform using blockchain tech.
BlockGrain empowers farmers, logistics providers and buyers alike, drastically reducing supply chain inefficiencies, adding exceptional value for all market participants and positively impacting the global agricultural sector and society as a whole.
Posted by BlockGrain on Thursday, 15 February 2018
Just last year, they signed RiseAgri, Australia’s largest group of independent grain brokers, as its first major client.
With the grain industry the priority now, BlockGrain has plans to expand into the fruit, vegetable, wool and livestock markets.
The $25 million public ICO will go into the expansion plan to other industries and countries and also add newer feature to the existing platform.
Founders Caile Ditterich told StockHead that BlockGrain was born with the mission to solve real-life problems faced by our agriculture industry today in real-time.
“Our public token sale is giving everyday consumers the opportunity to provide the farming industry with the tools and resources it needs to continue being the backbone of our society,” he said.
“As we reach a stage of excessive product proliferation, both manufacturers and consumers alike are looking for the next level of differentiation. We believe this will come through our secure paddock-to-plate traceability allowing for single-origin products to be adopted at a mass scale.”
Quite a journey
BlockGrain had quite a journey with which blockchain to use and the final ICO decision.
Initially, they’ve picked the NEW blockchain, submitting a community fund proposal to the NEM.io Foundation, seeking 800,000 in digital currency XEM.
That will equate to roughly $1 million at that time which will fastback their goals.
Proposals are voted by the NEM community, and Ditterich is fairly confident that they will receive the support from the community.
And confidence can get you what you want because the community voted yes.
Global Director, Global Partnerships & Strategic Alliances (NEM), Jason Lee is glad to support BlockGrain as an Australian innovation of the world.
So why the NEM blockchain?
Ditterich mentioned various reasons to SmartCompany.
“This choice was made for a number of reasons, namely his concerns about the scalability and longevity of platforms such as Ethereum, which despite efforts from developers, still remain unsolved.”
The future of the Ethereum platform concerns Ditterich as he believes the quality of service will ‘suffer’ if the issues continuer to stump developers.
Also, using the community approach with NEM allows BlockGrain to be in front of a global audience, leading them with some networking opportunities.
However, concerns over the market are still prevalent.
Various members are concern about the volatility and also the crash in the crypto market.
With concerns, there is some basis of truth. The crypto market crashed in mid-January and caused some mild panic all over.
Stability was achieved, but the prices didn’t really give relief to most.
According to SmartCompany, Ditterich isn’t fazed, saying BlockGrain is entirely self-reliant already and has a number of other investors “knocking on our doors”.
He also mentioned the “number of unknowns” associated with the ICO process was the reason why that was not the plan when asked by SmartCompany.
ICO was never not an option, and most NEM community members were wondering if it would be a double dip if they gained the community fund and initial an ICO after.
[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” class=”” width=””]“If you are potentially planning ICO after launch, why do you need community funding? Especially if you already have a paying customer base?”
Our obligation is to deliver our customers the best possible solution for a real-world issue that currently exists in the agricultural/horticultural industry. We will do this regardless of any funding that may or may not come from the NEM Community Fund. To ensure that we can deliver the best possible product, we need to integrate with NEM for the reasons explained in our first answer. This is not a decision we take lightly as it means diverting current resources to ensure that this can be achieved. Should the need arise, there are a number of funding avenues that we can explore at a later date, all of which are aimed at expanding the business and growing the community, which in turn will ensure that our project is a global success and a clear example to the blockchain world of how NEM is providing pathways for real-world businesses and their customers to grow and prosper.[/box]
With concerns alleviated, the crashing market did nothing to help.
On March 19, BlockGrain announced that they “made the difficult decision not to accept XEMs from the NEM Community Fund and instead launch a BlockGrain Token Sale to raise capital.”
The market has gone below expectation, and while confidence is key to making success a reality, it cannot override the reality of the situation.
Hence, they decided to not go with the funding while mentioning that BlockGrain’s interest for NEM blockchain is still there.
With the ICO in full swing, Ditterich told SmartCompany that this decision was to keep their options open and also the ‘vibe’ of confidence from regulators.
Stating that there are more solid groundwork thanks to the successful completed ICOs.
“From both the ATO and the government, the vibe we’re getting off them is that they’re open to this form of raising, and they’re willing to support businesses. Six months ago this would have been all up in the air, but now there’s less uncertainty.”
“We certainly don’t think the government will draw a line through ICOs like they have in the US.”
BlockGrain final decision is with the Ethereum (ERC20) blockchain despite mentioning concerns over about the scalability and longevity of Ethereum.
The public token sale will open on April 26.
But we do have a question… and someone from the NEM community phrased it pretty well.
Warning: Buy Now, Pay Later racks up Debt nearing $1 billion over the coming Christmas holidays.
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