swiftVee is an agrotech startup based in South Africa and it is among the 12 startups selected for the Google Launchpad Accelerator. We interviewed Russel Luck, the MD of swiftVee. Luck threw more light in swiftVee, reacted to their selection and much more. Excerpts
Can you tell us about swiftVee?
My name is Russel Luck, Cape Town-based technology attorney and television analyst in the technology sector. I am the Managing Director of swiftVEE and co-founder along with Andrew Meyer – 6th generation farmer, and Alex Molde – our CTO. SwiftVEE was established in 2016 as an independent platform for the livestock sector that uses high-level data and analytics to harness the power of cutting-edge technologies. We bring industry 4.0. to livestock agents ensuring that agriculture keeps up with the digital age.
We are a profit motivated company that aims to solve the world’s fundamental agricultural problems through the use of technology. As the world moves towards a digital reality, the agricultural industry remains unchanged. Populations continue to rise which intensifies resource scarcity, food security and trade vulnerability. swiftVEE provides technology to meet these challenges and enhance market efficiency. Through competitive innovation, swiftVEE ensures the business is done better with higher profit margins and wider social impact.
What is the motivation for establishing your startup?
South Africa has experienced crippling droughts which have caused livestock to die on the land before it could even be given away for free. This highlights a fundamental inefficiency within the sector. After review and analysis of this problem, it became clear that cattle dying on the land (during drought) happens in the USA, Europe, Latin America and Africa. These droughts reflect an underlying inefficiency because livestock trading is so inefficient. swiftVEE’s solution provides such technological power for a stagnant livestock sector that its value and competitive benefits are identified easily. We’ve seen a massive appetite for pre-launch and potential for wide market adoption. Our application has global scalable potential due to the fundamental inefficiencies in livestock sectors through the developing world and developed economies.
How do your react to selection as one of the startups to feature in Google Launchpad Accelerator?
We’re elated. It’s such an honour representing South Africa on the global stage. It’s also incredibly gratifying as our acknowledgement on the Launchpad program validates all the people and institutions that supported us along the way.
What is encouraging the rising interest in Agriculture?
Technology changes all sectors as society moves towards a digital paradigm. However, agriculture has been slow to adapt which presents opportunities to entrepreneurs to solve these problems and bring the power of technology into the Agric sector.
Where do you see your startup in the next five years?
In the words of Albert Einstein “don’t worry about the future, it happens soon enough”. We take each day as it comes and we are driven by principles rather than a specific destination. We want to provide a better way for livestock industry players to do business and in the process, we’ll be ameliorating world hunger, resource scarcity and enhancing global food security.