China doesn’t just have the largest population of people, they also lead the world in sheep numbers, with over 175 million tallied in 2013.
Sheep husbandry startups are now moving in to take advantage of a better connected China. These businesses collect a commission by connecting small and medium-sized pastures with individual investors who want to buy sheep. Startups including Yangyangla, Yunfarm, and Emubao, the latter of which closed a 30 million yuan ($4.6 million USD) series A in last November.
Sheep Husbandry Fintech
Recently-funded Emubao partners with sheep farms allowing users to buy a sheep with 1,000 yuan and monitor the state of the sheep at any time as it grows and is sold. Users can obtain approximately 15% profit in one cycle of 120 days while the sheep farm uses their section of funds to scale up.
Yangyangla has similar model in goat husbandry. With its price ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 yuan ($150 – 900 USD) per a goat, it has from 15% to 16.67% of earnings rate a year, combining cultivation period of four months. Founded in 2009, Yangyangla’s accumulated funding is estimated at 5.75 million yuan ($866,000 USD).
Another startup, Yunfarm, now collaborates with more than six pastures in China. Yunfarm’s partnered farms use a pasture management system designed and developed by the company to enable effective monitoring of sheep rearing.
Yunfarm told TechNode that they use Sinapay, China’s internet company Sina’s third party payment platform. Funds from investors flow to a separate account in Sinapay so that the fund can be transferred to pastures directly for the sheep rearing.
Selling Sheep Meat And Food Safety
Wechat-based Renrenmu differentiates itself from other services by delivering real sheep meat to the user, instead of money, after purchase. Every Wednesday, new herds of sheep are listed on the app, and users can purchase the sheep. Each sheep gets its own ID chip, and users can observe their sheep on their app using remote video, installed in the farm. Then it delivers the real sheep meat to users after two or three months.
All the effort is to make sure that the user know where the food is coming from, and which process does the sheep go through until it comes on their table. Renrenmu’s partnered sheepfarm are now located in Xinzhuang province which has about 100,000 sheep, and Shandong which has about 6,000 sheep. Renrenmu does not make money out of the transaction yet, but plans to take commission fee in the future.
The company now only provides sheep meat after three months, but Lirong, representative of Renrenmu said, the company will also provide cow meat and sheep milk from next year. Other high-quality sheep farm from Inner Mongolia area will be also added to the platform. The platform ensures food security and lower price of sheep meat than market price. Based in Shenzhen, Renrenmu is internally funded, and adopts Wechat-based platform for its operation.