Milk Moovement of St. John’s has been accepted into the Thrive accelerator in Silicon Valley, and will receive a US$100,000 (C$133,000) investment on joining the program.
SVG Ventures-Thrive, the California group that says it operates the “agri-food innovation ecosystem”, on Monday announced the 13 companies that will attend its sixth cohort, which begins this week and lasts four months.
Milk Moovement, whose technology helps everyone in the milk supply chain track and assess raw milk, is one of 13 companies entering the program and one of three representatives from Canada. The SVG investment is part of the company’s current fundraising effort. It aims to raise C$750,00 in its current funding round and has received commitments for half this amount.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for us,” said CEO Robert Forsythe in an email. “In 2019, we identified the leading AgTech accelerators in the world and we ranked them based on which aligned the closest to Milk Moovement's strategic goals. We ranked SVG Venture's Thrive program as #1.”
The company has developed a cloud-based reporting system that provides farmers, dairy boards and others in the supply chain with real-time reports about the quality and volume of milk production.
Co-Founded by Forsythe and Jon King, Milk Moovement now has two customers, the dairy boards of Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island, and is in the process of selling to the boards in other Canadian provinces.
Farmers, cooperatives, processors, laboratories and milk boards currently use paper-based reporting systems that are inefficient and cause problems, the company has said. Farmers are paid by the volume and quality of milk they produce.
Milk Moovement’s software allows all players to input their data on a device and deliver the results to the farmer daily. If there’s a problem, the farmers can address it immediately.
The company, which now has six employees, began in 2018 and has since received funding from Volta Cohort and been accepted into Phases 1 and 2 of Propel’s Incite program. Now it has entered Thrive, an agritech organization working with more than 2,500 startups in 90 countries.
“We were attracted to Thrive because of its corporate partners – Land 'O Lakes, Coca-Cola, and Yamaha, to name a few,” said Forsythe. “Thrive is committed to making inroads for all 13 companies to their preferred corporate partners. Outcomes are typically pilot projects, trials, and sometimes strategic investment.”
As a member of Thrive’s Cohort VI, Milk Moovement will be able to attend the Thrive Innovation Summit next month, which is a leading gathering of agritech executives. The program culminates with the participants pitching at the Forbes Agtech Summit in Salinas, California, in June. The winner receives as much as US$200,000 in follow-on investment and the opportunity to present at Forbes 30 under 30.
All of this fits into Milk Moovement’s plans as the company’s priority in 2020 is rapid expansion in the U.S. market.
Forsythe said the funding from “SVG Ventures is a strategic investment, which is incredibly valuable to us as we grow across the United States.”