A rising Northwest Arkansas early-stage company has secured a seed round of funding of more than $5 million.
AcreTrader, an online farmland investing platform, has raised the funding is an oversubscribed investment round, led by RZC Investments. This group also includes Revel Partners, AcreTrader found and CEO Carter Malloy, and a range of investors from the technology, finance and agricultural sectors.
RZC Investments is a investment company led by Steuart and Tom Walton, the grandsons of Walmart founder Sam Walton. In 2017, RZC Investments bought a majority stake in Rapha for a reported $260 million. Rapha announced in February 2020 that the company will move its headquarters to Northwest Arkansas.
The capital raised in this round will help AcreTrader expand its investment offerings, scale its operations for increased demand, and improve its investor education efforts in regards to farmland.
“Farmland has quietly been one of the best performing major asset classes over the last 30 years,” Malloy said in a statement. “Large funds and private equity groups have been rapidly moving into farmland in recent years, but it hasn’t been easily accessible to most investors. With this round of funding, we anticipate allowing even more people to invest through acretrader.com.”
Using a crowdfunding model, AcreTrader sources high-quality farmland which is evaluated in a rigorous due diligence process that eliminates the majority of the available land. Once the farmland is selected, it is placed on AcreTrader’s online platform, where investors can purchase “shares” of ownership. AcreTrader then handles every aspect of farm management, and investors receive annual distribution from land rentals and land value appreciation upon sale of the land.
“AcreTrader’s momentum grabbed our attention, and after reviewing the market opportunity and positive customer feedback, it became clear that the company is poised to modernize land investing,” Matt Tarver, RZC Investments partner, said. “These attractive farm investment opportunities have historically been limited to larger institutional investors, and AcreTrader is breaking down those barriers to democratize the asset class.”