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FarrPro successfully​ wraps up seed investment round

FarrPro recently completed their investment seed round and have successfully raised the amount of capital needed to support the company’s ongoing development and near-term growth, according to a press release by PR Newswire.

Farrpro, based out of Iowa City, is developing next generation piglet heating solutions to help reduce both mortality and energy costs in farrowing facilities.

Grinnell Mutual is the lead investor. Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa, Iowa AgriTech Investment Fund, and a small group of angel investors hold the remaining positions in the round.

While FarrPro has successfully completed the official portion of the round, they have decided to keep the round open to industry-specific strategic partners through the end of October 2018.

“We have an incredible group of investors participating in the round — individuals and organizations that have been, and will be, key to our success,” said co-founder and CEO Amos Petersen in the press release. “We’re humbled by the strong response to our offering, and are eager to start working with our investors and strategic partners to create transformative solutions for the pork industry and animal agriculture as a whole.

In addition to completing the investment round, FarrPro also announced that they have brought on two new members to their team, David Raduechel and James Wetzel, PhD.

Raduechel joined FarrPro in April of 2018 as the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Operations. Dr. Wetzel joined FarrPro earlier this month as Director of Research and Development.

Farrpro was one of five companies that participated in the Iowa Agritech Accelerator‘s inaugural cohort last year.

Clay & Milk has reached out FarrPro for more information and will update this post with more details when we hear back.

FarrPro successfully​ wraps up seed investment round | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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