Lincoln-based startup Quantified Ag acquired by Merck Animal Health

Lincoln-based agriculture tech startup Quantified Ag has been acquired by Merck Animal Health, the companies announced last week. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed. In August 2016, SPN profiled Quantified Ag. At that time, the company had developed an LED ear tag for livestock that monitors a variety of data points which may…

Vishal Singh, co-founder of Quantified Ag, spoke with SPN about the startup's acquisition by Merck Animal Health.
Photo by UNL Communications, Courtesy Quantified Ag

Lincoln-based agriculture tech startup Quantified Ag has been acquired by Merck Animal Health, the companies announced last week. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In August 2016, SPN profiled Quantified Ag. At that time, the company had developed an LED ear tag for livestock that monitors a variety of data points which may provide an early indication of animal illness. According to Merck’s announcement of the acquisition, Quantified Ag’s proactive platform and system can reduce the potential for disease outbreak, allows for easy identification of sick animals and provides easy-to-use software reports.

Merck Animal Health, a major global brand in the animal health industry, is a division of Merck & Co., Inc., based in Kenilworth, New Jersey.

Rick DeLuca, president of Merck Animal Health, described the company’s objective for the acquisition in a news release. “Our goal is to improve the detection of animal illness, and the responsible use of treatments to maintain the health of livestock,” he said. “We are at the technological forefront of shaping the future of animal health through our commitment to leveraging our scientific and technical capabilities and expertise through comprehensive solutions to manage the health and well-being of animals.”

SPN recently caught up with Vishal Singh, co-founder and CEO of Quantified Ag, to get his thoughts on the acquisition.

SPN: The acquisition of Quantified Ag by Merck seems like a really big achievement. How are you feeling about it?

Vishal Singh: It’s a very big deal for me and my team. We’ve been working with Merck to get this done for some time. We have been graciously welcomed into the Merck Animal Health team and very excited about future developments together. I’m still in disbelief that I’ve been this fortunate!

SPN: It’s been a while since we’ve talked. What’s new with the QA platform and market development that made you an attractive acquisition?

VS: Quantified Ag is a complementary addition to the Allflex Livestock Intelligence business unit within Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada. Since we last spoke in 2016, we have been able to do a lot of testing and trial work.

SPN: How did the acquisition come about? Did you have a prior relationship with Merck?

VS: Yes, Merck Animal Health invested in our company back in 2018. Since then, we’ve worked closely with key members of their team. Merck Animal Health is working to expand their livestock digital portfolio and what we do fits in very well in this.

SPN: Will QA become a brand within Merck, or will it be absorbed into the larger company brand? Will you continue to have a presence in Lincoln?

VS: Quantified Ag’s product portfolio will join the Allflex Livestock Intelligence business unit within Merck Animal Health. Allflex Livestock Intelligence is a complementary business that specializes in identification and monitoring technology that delivers real-time, actionable data and insights to help improve livestock management. We will continue to have a presence here in Lincoln.

SPN: How has the startup community/support system in Lincoln and the region helped you get to this point?

VS: Where do I start? From the early days of being in NMotion and working through customer development, through fundraising and growth, it’s been a very supportive community. I’ve found that people are very willing to give their time to meet when asked. And that seems to run within pretty much all levels of our community. We also have a growing network of investors in our state. We were fortunate to receive investments from not only the usual suspects here in Lincoln and Omaha but also in western Nebraska and beyond. We were able to work with Department of Economic Development programs and receive grant funding as well. Invest Nebraska was also helpful to us. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that we live in the epicenter of beef production in the USA! We don’t have to go very far to do testing and find customers. Also, we were lucky to find the right electrical engineering firm to work closely with right here in Lincoln.

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