KANSAS CITY, Missouri, Sept. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Vytelle, a precision livestock company, is pleased to announce the closure of an oversubscribed Series A funding worth USD $13.2MM. Private equity firm Open Prairie, through the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, and Kansas-based Ag-tech VC, Fulcrum Global Capital co-led the round. The financing also included participation from new Midwest investors Serra Ventures, Innovation In Motion, and KCRise, as well as existing investor, UK-based Wheatsheaf Group.
Vytelle’s integrated technology platform combines Vytelle ADVANCE, a breakthrough in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology, with Vytelle SENSE, an animal performance data capture system, and Vytelle INSIGHT, an artificial intelligence based genetic analytics engine. The platform provides progressive cattle producers the technology to multiply the impact of elite livestock productivity and profitability, sustainably delivering more protein with fewer inputs. Vytelle’s integrated platform has seen rapid growth since its launch in 2020, currently serving cattle producers in 21 countries.
“We are impressed with Vytelle’s track record of success in the IVF sector and look forward to implementing initiatives to further accelerate genetic progress with Vytelle’s data platforms for the benefit of ranchers and cattle operations throughout rural America,” said Open Prairie’s founder and managing partner, Jim Schultz.
Duane Cantrell, CEO of Fulcrum Global Capital added, “Vytelle’s ability to scale globally is a game changer for the cattle industry to produce a more efficient and sustainable global cattle herd.”
The funding reflects the aggressive expansion strategy of the Kansas City-based company. The strategy includes propelling the IVF offering of Vytelle ADVANCE to strategic markets worldwide and investment in new ways to create more predictable genetic selections for global cattle operations. “We’ve been searching for another AgTech investment in the KC region with a large addressable market, proven traction, seasoned agriculture investors and experienced team. Kerryann and her team, board and investors exceed every measure and we are excited that our KC-based investors will be a part of this global/local growth story.” Darcy Howe, founder, managing director, KCRise Fund.
“Our mission is clear, and we are grateful for the support of our investors who join us on our journey to ensure meat and milk are viable food choices for future generations.” said Kerryann Kocher, CEO of Vytelle.
Vytelle is a precision livestock company reshaping how cattle producers worldwide optimize their herds. Through Vytelle’s integrated technology platform, generations of genetic gains can be made in just a few years. This allows producers to sustainably deliver more protein with fewer inputs, helping to ensure meat and milk are viable, competitive food choices for future generations. For more information about Vytelle, please visit www.vytelle.com.
Based in the heartland of America with headquarters in Effingham, Illinois, Open Prairie is a multi-faceted private equity fund management firm with deep roots in rural America. For more than twenty years, Open Prairie has consistently focused on facilitating capital accessibility in underserved markets. The Open Prairie team has managed funds ranging from technology-based venture capital to farmland portfolios. Through its expertise across all functional business disciplines and an extensive network of professionals, Open Prairie collaborates with its portfolio companies to accelerate growth while providing top tier returns to its investors. For more information about Open Prairie, please visit www.openprairie.com.
The Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund is an $81 million private equity fund licensed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC). With a collaborative partnership comprised of investors from Farm Credit institutions, commercial and community banks, strategics, family offices, and high net worth individuals committed to advancing rural America, the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund is focused on providing debt and equity capital of $2 – $10 million to growth companies in food and agriculture. For more information on the Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund, please visit www.openprairie.com.
Fulcrum Global Capital (FGC) is an early-stage venture capital fund investing in companies and entrepreneurs disrupting the global food production industry through the agriculture, animal health, and agtech markets. FGC is especially interested in companies with technologies and approaches which increases yields, reduces food waste, and/or makes food safer and more transparent. Based out of the Kansas City area, FGC invests both within the U.S. and across the globe. More information on FGC can be found at www.fgcvc.com.
Wheatsheaf Group is an international investor in food and agriculture businesses.
Wheatsheaf’s purpose is to rethink and re-shape how food is grown, produced, distributed and consumed, partnering with like-minded people to understand the complex interconnectedness of our agricultural ecosystem to manage its effects and enhance human health, our environment and enable producers to thrive.
One of the largest and longest established investment teams in the sector, Wheatsheaf adopts a far-sighted perspective with the aim of developing innovative business models and to harness the insights and power of technology to identify, develop and scale up lasting solutions.
Wheatsheaf is part of the Grosvenor Estate which represents the Grosvenor family’s activities in food & agriculture, international urban property, the management of rural estates and support for philanthropic activities.
For more information about Wheatsheaf, visit: www.wheatsheafgroup.com
KCRise Fund is a venture capital fund investing in high growth technology companies in Kansas and Western Missouri, building the pipeline of entrepreneurs, talent and customers to supercharge economic growth of the region.
Serra Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm investing in technology companies in underserved geographies across the Midwest and West Coast. Sectors of focus include information technology, devices/instrumentation and agricultural technologies. The profile of an ideal startup is one that has just finished an accelerator program or has been through a round of seed funding to establish and prove a strong product-market fit.
Serra Ventures, has offices in San Diego, Chicago and Champaign, Illinois. The managing partners are all former successful entrepreneurs who seek to serve their portfolio companies with real-world insight, hard work and a valuable network. In addition to capital, Serra works alongside its entrepreneurs in all areas of growth from strategic planning and partnerships, through business development and capital formation. As portfolio companies scale, Serra co-invests with leading venture firms across the Midwest and West Coast. For more information, visit www.serraventures.com.
iiM was established to fill the gap in early-stage financing available to Seed – Series A stage businesses in the animal health, human health and agricultural verticals. iiM investors have founded, grown and continue to build or have exited their own companies in these industries and bring active contacts, strategic relationships, and industry experience to their portfolio of 15 companies. Based in Merriam, Kansas, iiM invests throughout the United States and Canada. For more information about iiM please visit http://www.iimkc.com.