Wide Open Agriculture is a Australia-based food producing company, and regenerative farming is one of their core parts. They will raise about $22 million to fund their plant-based manufacturing and expansion strategy. This news emerged after they went through a trading halt in the stock market.
Details of the Fundraising
Wide Open Agriculture has received binding commitments from institutional and sophisticated investors that will subscribe for 26.7 million shares at $0.75 each to raise $20 million. Existing shareholders will have the option to participate in a share purchase plan that will raise up to $2 million. The share purchase plan issue price will also be $0.75, which represents an 11.8% discount to the company’s closing price of $0.85 on 24 November.
Dr. Ben Cole is the managing director at Wide Open. He said, “Over the last seven years, we have positioned Wide Open to grow rapidly alongside global consumer demands for healthy, nutritious food and drinks that regenerate the planet”. He claims that the company has emerged as a leader in regenerative farming in Australia in the past year.
Dr. Cole added the company would use the funds to advance its oat milk and functional protein business lines. Moreover, funds would go to growing the company’s Dirty Clean Food brand in Australia and South East Asia.
Plant-based Manufacturing Facility of Wide Open Agriculture
The proceeds will design, build, and operate a commercial scale plant-based manufacturing facility in Australia. It’ll initially focus on producing their flagship oat milk OatUP, which is sold under the Dirty Clean Food Brand. It will be the first oat milk manufacturing plant in Western Australia. Moreover, it’ll also generate the lowest carbon emissions per liter of oat milk in the world. Wide Open Agriculture expects the facility to improve its operational efficiencies. Additionally, they also anticipate the facility to provide the flexibility to quickly develop plant-based milk products in response to customer trends. Also, they promise to do all that with transparency and traceability of their regeneratively grown Western Australian oats and “Made in Australia” branding.
Wide Open Agriculture and their Pilot-scale Plant
In addition to scaling up their oat milk offerings, Wide Open Agriculture will also use some funds to advance the scope and capability of their pilot-scale lupin protein processing plant.
The modified lupin protein will take a place in Wide Open’s high protein oat milk. They’ll also produce samples to supply to food and ingredient companies so as to facilitate the shift from R&D to commercialisation.
Wide Open Agriculture has already identified the site for the lupin protein facility and secured the first part of equipment.
In addition, they’ll use the facility to create new patents and the know-how for trade secrets and patent applications.
Wide Open Agriculture will allocate some funds towards boosting their marketing strategy and existing distribution agreements including the recent ones. Those include selling OatUP in Singapore and throughout Australian supermarket giant Woolworths’ stores.
GrowHub will purchase a minimum of $500,000-worth of OatUP and distribute it throughout Singapore in the first 12 months.
Meanwhile, the Woolworths deal has an estimated value of more than $750,000 per annum. First sales are anticipated at the beginning of March next year.
The company is set to invest in developing and implementing a marketing strategy to support its online sales and retail campaigns for its oat milk and new products in Australia and South East Asia.