Agri-tech pollination start-up set to smash crowdfunding target

York-based pollination and insect biodiversity tech innovator, AgriSound, has raised more than £200,000 of its £300,000 goal in just the first two days of a crowdfunding campaign.

This campaign is designed to fund commercial hires and accelerate further development of the company’s commercial pollinator monitoring devices.

AgriSound’s bio-acoustic listening device – the Polly – is designed to increase crop yields more naturally and reduce pesticides, helping 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, but the bee population continues to decline.

The solar powered Polly is an automated, 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.

Polly was 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 increasing ,with interest currently from more than 35 organisations wanting to deploy Polly, as well as listen out for other animals and insect types.

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 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.”

AgriSound hopes to reach its crowdfunding goal by Christmas.

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