Tauro Capital Partners has closed a fund-raising round for Farmbuy Pty. Ltd., a rare play in rural and lifestyle property real estate but one clearly blessed with opportunities, and probably the advantage of an early mover.
The Melbourne firm said it raised $1.6 million for the startup focused wholly on Australia’s farms. It said the “exclusive opportunity” to invest in Farmbuy.com was offered only to a “small targeted investor audience, with the investment coming from a boutique investment consortium.”
“We are very pleased to have delivered this outcome for Farmbuy.com and (CEO) Phil Sondhu,” said Tauro Capital’s Managing Director Farmbuy Pty. Ltd. operates Farmbuy.com, described as Australia’s largest dedicated rural and lifestyle property real-estate web portal. It was founded in late 2009 by CEO Philip Sondhu, 29, who saw virgin prospects in rural real estate and rural farm property.
“I engaged Tauro Capital Partners because of their outstanding track record and reputation and they have delivered the goods. Tauro have located the perfect strategic investor who brings not only capital but expertise to the table,” said Sondhu.
Farmbuy says about 420 real estate offices around the country use its portal to list and sell over 16,000 properties worth $5.6 billion. The portal lists agricultural land, farms, farm equipment etc. Sondhu – who grew up on a farm and claims rightfully that he’s done “time behind the farm gate” – expects to use the funds raised through the recent offer to convert “listings into paying subscribers and acquiring an increased number of listings to the platform.”
Sondhu received honourable mention in Anthill’s 30Under30 awards last year.
Tauro on a roll
Tauro also recently helped third party, contactless payment system provider Tappr, raise $420,000 in capital.
Tappr enables businesses to take contactless payments from their customers via smart phones and tablets. The business operator just has to swipe or tap the screen, hence the name Tappr.
Tappr Founder, Brett Hales, founded the company with $18,000 of his own money. He then sort a research and development grant from the Australian Tax Office. Tappr engaged Tauro Capital and were connected to angel investors, eight of whom stepped up and invested $420,000 into the venture.
Amongst the other deals recently closed by Tauro are Elevate Australiasia, BuyMyPlace and Askin Performance Panels.
Askin Performance Panels, the leading manufacture and installer of insulated fire panels in Australia and New Zealand recently completed a $21 million debt and equity refinancing deal via Tauro.
Elevate Australasia which operates a network of medical clinics in Sydney and Melbourne as well as providing offsite health programs to ASX listed, blue-chip companies, raised $1 million.
BuyMyPlace.com.au, the leading ‘for sale by owner’ (or FISBO) website that helps people sell their own properties without using real estate agents, also secured $1 million in funding.
Tauro an early mover in crowdfunding
Tauro Capital has raised nearly $85 million in about 80 transactions.
Ward founded Tauro Capital Partners in October 2007 following a five-year tenure as partner at another Melbourne-based corporate advisory firm. His firm specialises in advising unlisted companies – mostly Internet, software and transactions processing startups – looking to raise capital.
Tauro has built a network of high net worth investors who bring expertise as well as capital to the table, and also a database of over 20,000 smaller passive investors.
An early adopter of crowdfunding in Australia, Tauro has won the gold medal for the most amount of capital raised on the Australian Small Scale Offerings Board, Australia’s leading crowdfunding platform, for successive years.
(Image source: Bigstock)