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Tractor Zoom completes $1 million seed investment round

Tractor Zoom, an online marketplace that connects farm equipment auctioneers and buyers, has completed a $1 million seed investment round

Innova Memphis participated in the round, alongside investments from Ag Startup Engine and a small group of angel investors and individuals that hold the remaining positions in the round.

Tractor Zoom plans to use the investment to grow their team and expand to new agricultural locations outside of the corn belt.

“We’ve had a positive reception from the Midwest auctioneer community and farm equipment buyers, and we’re excited to quickly grow into other agricultural regions in North America,” said Kyle McMahon, founder and CEO of Tractor Zoom. Adding to the team and introducing new products to the market are going to be essential to that growth.”

“Up until now, we’ve been very focused on the Midwest. It’s really important to build relationships with people in the ag industry,” added Caitlin Zimmerman, Marketing Manager at Tractor Zoom. “We had to get our roots down here and grow out from there. Now, what we want to do is move into other agricultural regions in the U.S.”

Innova Memphis is a pre-seed, seed and early-stage investor focused on high-growth companies in the Biosciences, Technology and AgTech fields. Innova has investments in multiple Iowa-based companies including Agrisync and Swinetech.

“The agriculture and heavy equipment industry are ripe for innovation, and we liked the Tractor Zoom team’s perspective on the industry and their proven ability to bring creative solutions to market,” said Ken Woody, President of Innova Memphis. “The team is attacking the gaps in knowledge and accessibility when it comes to farm machinery with an energy that I find inspiring.”

Previous coverage

Tractor Zoom receives $25,000 investment from Ag Startup Engine –July 31, 2018

Tractor Zoom: An app to hear about farm equipment sales and auctions –Nov. 27, 2017 

Tractor Zoom completes $1 million 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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