SwiftVEE: Story, Founders, Investors & Funding Rounds
Founded in 2016 and officially launched in 2017, swiftVEE is a livestock trading platform that connects online buyers to livestock auctions for real-time purchases in low-latency areas such as farmlands. So far, the startup has done over 150 auctions, and it has 125,000 farmers in its network.
SwiftVEE uses artificial intelligence (AI) to match buyers and sellers of livestock from anywhere in the world to help buyers acquire livestock at the most optimal times. SwifeVEE matches buyers, and sellers at optimal times that maximize market efficiency.
The local agri-tech startup has innovated the traditional method of livestock purchasing, digitizing the auction process with online, real-time auction capabilities for livestock agents and farmers located across the globe.
For livestock farmers, shows and auctions are just part of life. They’re where farmers and other buyers go to buy or sell animals, network and scope out market rates.
In South Africa, these events became a bleak affair amid recent years of severe drought. Many farmers resorted to selling their livestock at rock-bottom prices because they couldn’t afford to feed and water them.
Government-hosted public auctions encouraged farmers to cut the size of their herds to mitigate the impacts of drought.
Russel Luck and James Godwin launched SwiftVee, an online livestock auction site, to help farmers secure fairer rates for their animals without the hassles of bringing them to a live auction event.
Instead of advertising to a small pool of buyers attending a physical auction, advertise online and reach thousands of buyers watching the same auction online.
If your business offers online services and you’re looking to attract new online customers, the best audience to target is tech-savvy customers who already purchase livestock online.
COVID-19 caused a mass migration to online business, therefore, showing that your company is ahead of the curve by embracing new ways to reach potential customers.
SwiftVEE buyers watch online auctions for the entire day providing a captive audience. This is more effective than traditional advertising where customers scroll through digital content or turn magazine pages in seconds.
How it Works
In markets like South Africa, where commercial farms are prevalent, trading livestock is part of the business. But across most of Africa, livestock is currency, and financial security, for families with small farms. Cattle, sheep, goats, and chickens are an important source of income, and often a ticket for children’s education or out of financial hardship.
For commercial and smallholder farmers alike, livestock farming and the income it provides are under threat from climate change.
Through SwiftVee, there is an ease in the uncertainty for today’s livestock farmers. The startup uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to match buyers and sellers of livestock from anywhere in the world, optimizing for time and location.
Additionally, live video streams, coupled with the platform’s analytics, give buyers an accurate sense of the animals on offer and help sellers secure competitive pricing.
Since launching, SwiftVee has facilitated the sale of more than 100,000 animals for 20,000 farmers. It is South Africa’s largest independent livestock trading platform, representing about half of South Africa’s livestock agents and 150,000 farmers.
During the Covid-19 lockdowns, SwiftVee saw trading numbers on the site increase because people were restricted from attending auctions in person. The ripple effect has been-record breaking in prices.
Pricing is also being buoyed by increasing meat prices and growth in South Africa’s beef exports, which is stimulating demand for good-quality genetics.
SwiftVEE Webcast Advertising
The SwiftVEE platform during Live Webcast livestock auctions gives your brand an engaged audience to make sure that they take note of what you have to offer.
The SwiftVEE Webcast Advertising package includes fullscreen as well as rolling L-Banner ads before, during, and after the auction which means you get the exposure your brand deserves.
VeeSure Livestock Insurance
VeeSure is the new quick, convenient, and easy-to-use stud animal and single transit insurance solution.
When you win a lot on the auction you can click the VeeSure button that will pop up on your screen to insure your lots, or you can click the button in the email we send you at the end of the auction with instructions on how to get your insurance quotation.
Russel Luck is the Founder and CEO of SwiftVee and Founding partner of SwiftTechLaw – one of South Africa’s leading technology law firms.
Russel attended the University of Cape Town and holds a Master’s Degree in the field of technology law. B.A / L.L.B (UCT) LLM (Unisa)
James Godwin is the current Senior UX Designer of IIIMPACT.
He previously worked at SwiftVee as a Co-Founder and Remote UX specialist. James attended the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
Investors & Funding Rounds
SwiftVEE has secured $ 1.5 million in an investment round led by Subtropico Ltd, an unlisted public company specializing in Agri investments across the fruit, vegetable, and livestock industries and a private syndicate.
The funding will be used to expand the agri-tech offering within South Africa and neighboring countries including Namibia and Botswana.
With the new investment, swiftVEE will be included on Zire, South Africa’s first multi-industry agricultural services platform that will provide technology services to industry stakeholders in the livestock, fruit, and vegetable sector.
Leveraging off Zire, which was launched in 2021, swiftVEE will be able to extend its market share to new customers across multiple industries.
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