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Investor to expand Viewtrak

Viewtrak Technologies, a widely used livestock traceability software system, will see an immediate cash injection of up to $1 million following its recent sale.

An investor group headed by W. Brett Wilson of Prairie Merchant Corp. announced acquisition of Viewtrak Aug. 13.

Wilson said he has been an investor in Viewtrak for about five years and is a friend of company founder and president Jake Burlet.

“We actually own a ton of farmland in Saskatchewan together, so we’ve been business partners for a long time,” said Wilson. “I was fascinated by the degree to which we could build this little technology company … and take it to the world.”

Burlet will remain as a consultant to the company, “so we will not lose the brain trust of the founder. This was his baby, he built it,” said Wilson, known for his role on the Dragon’s Den television show.

Wilson said Viewtrak was put up for sale about six months ago.

“The company needed millions to restructure its software to take it to the next level, and it needed millions in terms of hardware, research and development and then marketing,” he said.

“To do marketing on a global basis is an incredibly expensive adventure and we’re prepared to do that. We expect that we’ll be injecting half a million to $1 million in the next 12 to 24 months, and that really is dependent upon the needs of the company.”

Viewtrak will continue to focus on livestock traceability, Wilson said, noting the company already has dominant market share in that field.

“Sheep, pigs and cows are the obvious and bison are just an extension in terms of the cattle work that we do. We’ll be growing the company, not shrinking it.”

Viewtrak already has international customers, and Wilson said it would start knocking on doors in the United States, New Zealand and China, where traceability systems are needed.

A company news release said Viewtrak is the most widely used tracing and trading software in the livestock industry, supporting more than 40 million head of livestock in Canada, the U.S. and China.

The Edmonton-based company has operated since 1999.

The new Viewtrak chief executive officer is Ted Power, who formed Trace Applications Inc., a software company involved in tracing metals for industrial use.

“Ted is an expert in tracing,” Wilson said. “The technology behind adding an item to a database and then following that item for the balance of its life, he’s been doing it with steel.”

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