Yorkshire agri-tech pollination start-up set to smash crowdfunding target just two days into month-long campaign
Crowdfunder campaign to boost ranks and ramp up R&D creates a real buzz York-based pollination and insect biodiversity tech…
Crowdfunder campaign to boost ranks and ramp up R&D creates a real buzz
York-based pollination and insect biodiversity tech innovator, AgriSound, has successfully raised more than £200,000 of its £300,000 goal in just the first two days of a crowdfunding campaign designed to fund commercial hires and accelerate further development of its ‘game changer’ commercial pollinator monitoring devices.
AgriSound’s ground-breaking bio-acoustic listening device – the Polly – has put it on the map this year with the start-up seeing a relentless rise in demand. Supermarkets including M&S and Tesco, business such as innocent drinks, and numerous commercial food producers and farmers are turning to AgriSound’s Polly devices to increase crop yields more naturally and reduce pesticides, in their search to cut the environmental impact of the average shopping basket and enhance the resilience and sustainability of the UK’s food production system.
Pollination is one of the most important natural processes on the planet and is essential for more than 75% of food production. Bees are vital pollinators to many fruit crops and provide £375bn of economic value; however, the bee population continues to decline. In the UK, research now shows that poor pollination costs up to £5,000 per hectare in lost yield and quality.
AgriSound’s solar powered ‘Polly’ is an automated, scalable, low-cost listening device that monitors bee levels within a field. These insights are displayed via a web app and are used to take targeted action to boost crop yields and protect bee populations. The monitoring device is a game-changer for farmers and food producers, giving them the tools to manage their crop yield naturally, with real-time, measurable data for the first time.
Polly was successfully launched to the UK market in January 2022, with 800 units committed for the 2022 season. AgriSound’s R&D to date has been funded through grants and private investment and the company’s first patent was filed in July 2022. Demand is increasingly escalating with interest, currently, from more than 35 organisations wanting to deploy Polly, as well as listen out for other animals and insect types. AgriSound operates a SaaS model (software as a service), with a monthly fee charged per device. Hardware is purchased and guaranteed for three years.
Founder and CEO of AgriSound, Casey Woodward, said: “The whole team is over the moon to see how far we’ve come with funding so quickly. Horticulture is a growing market, expected to reach $40Bn by 2026 (CAGR 10.2%) through the increased use of tech to address productivity challenges and investing in AgriSound in a great way for organisations to align with ESG expectations. So, we’re positive we can push the rest of the way to reach our crowdfunding goal necessary to onboard new commercial hires, improve manufacturing and support, and further develop our Polly device.”
Interest around AgriSound’s crowdfunder coincides with the lead up to COP 15, the 2022 UN biodiversity conference (December 7th – 14th), which brings a global focus onto future proofing the planet’s food production in the face of rapidly declining species diversity and declining pollinator numbers.
AgriSound hopes to reach its crowdfunding goal by Christmas. Those interested in getting involved in AgriSound’s crowdfunding and learning more about how it is helping businesses increase crop yields, protect pollinators and boost biodiversity, can visit: www.crowdcube.com/agrisound. Capital at risk.
Issued on behalf of AgriSound by Faith PR. For further information contact [email protected] or call 01484 599886.
AgriSound Limited was launched in January 2020 and is based in York. The company was founded by Casey Woodward, an experienced agri-tech innovation expert, with an aim to bring modern technology to insect monitoring. AgriSound has created special smart sensors and listening devices to monitor insects across a range of environments including beekeeping, farming, educational and corporate sites, with the aim of deploying sensors across the planet to transform how people monitor insect activity and make a positive impact on biodiversity.
Since its establishment, AgriSound has partnered with a number of companies and projects, including Tesco and the WWF, M&S, Dyson Farming, innocent drinks, National Trust Scotland and Royal Horticultural Society to spread the message worldwide and is continually looking for opportunities to branch out further.
AgriSound’s bio acoustic monitoring device POLLYTM operates in a similar way to how a smart speaker functions. The device is equipped with a microphone and environmental sensors, measuring temperature, light and humidity. Each one is completely solar powered. Polly listens 24/7 for the sounds of insects and uses advanced sound-analysis to translate the data into activity scores. These are automatically sent back to the cloud, where the farmer or food producer can view them via an app or web application. This information, available in real time, can be used to target the introduction of pollinator-protection measures to the areas of greatest need, and also determine actions such as the planting of wildflowers or creating new habitats.
For more information, visit the AgriSound website: https://www.agrisound.io/