Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Manawatu Agtech Start-Up Raises $900k Seed Investment

A Palmerston North-based start-up company, Koru Diagnostics, has had impressive success with its first funding round.

Koru, which is developing cost-effective laboratory and rapid farmside tests, was substantially oversubscribed when it closed its seed funding round recently with close to a million dollars.

CEO, Rhys McKinlay, is very happy with the outcome. “We raised over $900k, mostly from angel investors, which will give us a commercialisation runway through until late 2019. These funds will be directed towards product development and commercial scale-up, protecting our IP and securing new commercial partnerships,” he says.

The company will also receive R&D funding support via two Callaghan Innovation Project Grants.

Koru’s farmside rapid tests quickly identify the presence of major mastitis-causing bacteria, enabling farmers and vets to make fast, informed decisions on herd management and animal treatment.

“Historically, these are decisions the farmer or their vet would usually need to make on a best-guess basis. In severe cases, guessing incorrectly has significant treatment cost and animal health implications, including permanent reduction in milk output and fertility,” Rhys McKinlay explains.

Mastitis is a common infection of the udder tissue in dairy cattle and represents an estimated $US30 billion global problem for the dairy industry, including around $300 million in treatment costs and production losses in New Zealand alone.

Koru Diagnostics has filed a provisional USA patent for its farmside rapid test, which can detect the presence of specific mastitis bacteria in just 10 minutes, almost 24 hours faster than its nearest rival, and 3-5 days faster than traditional methods. An added advantage is that no special sampling precautions are necessary.

“Koru’s technology is different because it doesn’t rely on culturing or detecting the elusive mastitis bacteria themselves,” Rhys says. “It quickly and accurately detects specific biomarkers in fresh milk samples that are indicative of an infection.”

The company has already attracted commercial interest from multinational animal health, veterinary pathology and herd-testing companies, evidence that Koru’s products are starting to hit the mark.

Chairman, Selwyn Yorke, says commercial-scale trials are ongoing, with the company’s first product launch anticipated in 2019. “Koru has significant future aspirations to use the technology in a number of new industries, but these are under wraps for now, for commercial reasons,” he says.

In the meantime, Rhys McKinlay is confident the future is bright indeed. "I am proud to be part of an innovative, agile company that has attracted significant investment, and we are hugely excited at the prospects ahead for Koru, both in New Zealand and globally."

Koru Diagnostics is a Palmerston North-based biotech start-up based at the Hopkirk Research Institute on the Massey University campus.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Frog Recruitment: Kiwi Workers Reluctant To Make Business Trips Across The Ditch Despite Trans-Tasman Bubble Opening

When the trans-Tasman travel bubble opens today, many Kiwi companies won't be rushing to buy an air ticket, reluctant to cross the ditch to do business. The latest survey conducted by leading recruitment agency, Frog Recruitment of nearly 1,000 New Zealand ... More>>

Tourism: Employers Welcome Back Working Holidaymakers

Tourism businesses gearing up for the return of Australian visitors from next week will be relieved to learn that they will also have access to an offshore pool of much-needed job candidates, Tourism Industry Aotearoa says. Tourism employers around ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Latest Broadband Report Confirms Improved Performance Of Premium Fibre Plans

The latest report from the Commerce Commission’s Measuring Broadband New Zealand programme shows that the performance of Fibre Max plans has improved substantially. This follows a collaboration between the Commission, its independent testing partner, ... More>>

Air New Zealand: Capital Raise Deferred

Air New Zealand has decided to defer its planned capital raise to later in 2021 allowing more time to assess the impacts of recent developments on the airline’s path to recovery. 'We’ve seen some clearing of COVID-19 clouds recently, with ... More>>


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Impact Of Demands On Land In New Zealand

A new environmental report released today by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ, presents new data on New Zealand’s land cover, soil quality, and land fragmentation. The land cover data in the report, Our land 2021 , provides the most ... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: March Card Spending Rebounds Despite COVID

There was a lift in retail card spending in March following a fall in the lockdown-disrupted February month, Stats NZ said today. Seasonally adjusted retail card spending rose by $53 million (0.9 percent), compared with February 2021. Visit our website to read ... More>>

PwC: Outcome Of Review Into Air New Zealand Gas Turbines Business

Air New Zealand has received the report into its Gas Turbines business from independent external advisers PwC. Air New Zealand Chairman Dame Therese Walsh says the report identified a range of effective controls in the Gas Turbines revenue contracting ... More>>