In 2020, Fayetteville startup AcreTrader experienced significant growth, expanding both its investor pool and total funds raised.
According to the company, AcreTrader increased its total funds raised by a factor of 12. The platform’s investor pool also increased in 2020 by a factor of four with investors in 48 states.
With the increase in activity, AcreTrader grew its employee count by more than 100 percent in the past year, focusing on its farm sourcing and engineering divisions. One of those hires was Cyril Jones, who is serving as AcreTrader’s director of product development.
“2020 was tumultuous for our economy, and because of that, we’ve seen more investors seek out diverse investments beyond the traditional stock market,” AcreTrader founder and CEO Carter Malloy said in a statement. “Farmland investing has historically seen low volatility in our evolving market, making it an attractive option for investors that are looking to diversify. We’ve built a qualified team of technologists and farm analysts that are constantly identifying opportunities in farmland, which keeps us deeply ingrained in the space alongside our customers and partners. We’re eager to continue bridging the gap between farmers and investors in the years to come.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s annual June Area Survey, farmland values have been rising since 1988 with single year exceptions of 2009 and 2016. Farmland values in 2020 averaged $3,160 per acre. Farmland used for crop production averaged $4,100 in value in the United States, while pastureland averaged $1,400.
AcreTrader raised more than $5 million in seed funding in 2020 with the investment round being led by RZC Investments and Revel Partners. Arkansas Money & Politics reported that the funding would be used to expand AcreTrader’s investment offerings, scale its operations and improve investor education efforts.