Evonik has invested in the startup OPTIfarm Ltd. through its venture capital unit and now holds a minority stake in the company, which is headquartered in Chesterfield, UK.
OPTIfarm is already generating revenue through delivering round-the-clock monitoring of poultry houses, ensuring better animal welfare, improving livestock performance and enabling fail-safe operations. OPTIfarm's team uses whatever imagery, automation and sensors that are already available, including temperature, water and feed. This allows checks to take place from afar.
"We are impressed with the global commercial success that OPTIfarm has already achieved," said Bernhard Mohr, head of venture capital at Evonik. "Evonik possesses the ideal experience and expertise to support OPTIfarm through further growth."
The OPTIfarm services and business model was developed by poultry producer and entrepreneur David Speller as part of his existing business. Speller said: "I am delighted that the investment from Evonik enables OPTIfarm to now operate as a focused standalone company. With a heritage as a poultry producer and a unique pay-as-you-go business model, OPTIfarm is now positioned to serve a largernumber of poultry farmers."
"OPTIfarm is an excellent strategic fit for Evonik's developing precision livestock business," said Emmanuel Auer, head of the company's animal nutrition business line. "Supporting customers in improving performance and sustainability strengthens our animal nutrition growth engine."
As part of its venture capital activities, Evonik plans to invest a total of EUR100 million (US$115 million) in promising start-ups with innovative technologies and in leading specialised venture capital funds. The focus here is on Evonik's growth engines, namely, health and care, smart materials, animal nutrition, and specialty additives, as well as on digitalisation.
Evonik currently has investments in more than twenty start-ups and venture capital funds. Further information is available at http://venturing.evonik.com/
Visit Evonik at: https://corporate.evonik.com