KPMG beefs up farming credentials with investment in AgTech start-up

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KPMG beefs up farming credentials with investment in AgTech start-up

KPMG Australia has taken a minority stake in a start-up that uses technology to make farmers more productive.

KPMG is now a part-owner of The Yield, which develops IoT and data-based solutions to improve agricultural decision-making and yields.

The size and value of KPMG’s stake was not disclosed.

Last month, KPMG became an investor and a lead partner of the newly formed Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre, which aims to use digital technology to grow Australia’s food industry.

Other investors in The Yield include Bosch, a global technology and services provider, and AgFunder, a food and agriculture investment platform.

KPMG’s head of agricultural technology, Ben van Delden, said the firm would take an active interest in The Yield.

“Our agribusiness clients are wanting digital solutions to optimise their farm decision-making and improve productivity and profitability,” he said.

“The combination of The Yield’s technology platform with KPMG’s business performance optimisation and digital consulting services presents clients with the ideal combination of practical tools and insights to transform how they make vital yield-enhancing decisions.”

KPMG’s national IoT practice leader, Piers Hogarth-Scott, described The Yield as the most exciting Australian IoT start-up in the food and fibre sector.

“Not only does their IoT platform help producers such as oyster farmers remove uncertainty and increase yield, but it is also enabling innovation in sectors such as financial services where we are beginning to see banks and insurers design credit and risk products specifically for the customers of IoT platforms,” he said.

Meanwhile, The Yield announced that it had raised $6.5 million in Series A funding.

The Yield said it would use the capital to bring its proprietary solution, Sensing+, to the Australian market in the second half of 2017.

It will also be used for fast-tracking new product development, growing the company’s sales and marketing capabilities and launching onto the US west coast.

KPMG has made 10 acquisitions since 2014, while the other major professional services consultancies, Deloitte, PWC and EY, have bought another dozen businesses between them.

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