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How female founder Danielle Morton raised $1.1 million for her agtech startup, Zondii

Danielle Morton, the founder of agtech startup Zondii, is no stranger to doing things differently.

“As a regional female founder, I knew I would be an outlier on the path to investing in big cities,” she said.

In support of this sentiment, according to research by SBE Australia and Deloitte Access Economics she was fortunate enough to successfully raise an amount that contributed to the 0.7% of capital allocated exclusively to female founders in FY22. An even bigger task for regional founders.

The State of Australian startup funding report through Cut through enterprise & Folkloric enterprises helps to set the tone for why Zondii’s seed raise in 2022 was both important to female founders and against the odds. Overall, the report indicates a positive outlook for Australian start-ups and scale-ups raising capital, for Danielle it told a different story.

According to the report, equity funding for Australian startups fell by 30% in 2022 and, more importantly for Zondii, the Australian agtech sector lost $120 million in startup funding. While early-stage funding increased 12% for teams with at least one woman, later-stage funding fell significantly for those same teams. In addition, only 33% of female founders compared to 50% of male founders reported feeling supported by the ecosystem.

Morton says she was one of those 33% who got the support of the ecosystem on her capital raising journey and how it continues to help her grow a successful agtech business.

She said part of her success can be attributed to the support of organizations such as SBE Australia, Scale investors, Tech ready women , Rare birds and others designed to support entrepreneurial women leading high-growth companies. She joined SBE Australia’s Evolve program in 2022 with a minimum viable product to test early stage market traction and be ready for early stage investment.

“We were in the middle of our raise during the program, so we were able to implement the lessons in real time and it boosted our confidence to the point where we now have more investors than we need,” said Moreton.

Sarah Curtis Fawley, SBE Program Director, said education is only a small part of what SBE Australia’s programs are trying to achieve.

“We focus on addressing barriers to growth, improving founder confidence and growing their social capital networks,” she said.

“We are in the long game with our founders and aim to support them in building high-growth, impactful businesses. ”

She said “the evidence tells us that these activities result in improved revenue growth and access to capital,” which other organizations, including the women-focused angel investor network Scale Investors, can support.

Scale co-CEO Chelsea Newell said they first met Zondii’s founder through our Scale EmpowerEd program.

Danielle is an ambitious founder with a high caliber background that puts her in a unique position to carry out the Zondii mission to solve a real problem, one that resonated with Scale’s syndicate investors who have deep connections and expertise in have the Ag space,” she said.

“The reason Scale Investors exists is to break down the barriers women face in raising capital and they do this by investing in female entrepreneurs through our sophisticated, networked and mission-driven investors.”

Zondii is on a mission to give farmers and consumers the technology, data and science to gain recognition for their food or fiber.

According to AgriFutures food and fiber fraud is estimated to cost Australia $3 billion a year and the industry is looking for a ‘pioneer’ to bring the required fraud technology to life.

Danielle Moreton says Zondii is that pioneer.

“Zondii’s mission is essential to get farmers paid for what their product is worth and to expose fraudsters who undermine consumer confidence in high-quality products,” she said.

“The manuka honey industry is a classic example of this with 1,700 tons of manuka honey produced each year and 10,000 tons sold worldwide.”

Danielle said she has big ambitions to grow Zondii into a $1 billion company based in regional NSW and that without the support of a collaborative group or organizations focused on supporting female founders, these opportunities would be even more difficult to achieve. would be proud.

Zondii is currently working on applications of the technology in food and measuring microns, crimp and color of wool, where a lower micron yields a higher return for farmers.

For more information or to get on the food or wool waiting list, visit Zondi. com

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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