Leading UK Artificial Intelligence agribusiness completes £3 million fund raise
6th March 2018
Hummingbird Technologies secured significant backing from European Space Agency to drive international growth.
What is Hummingbird Technologies?
Hummingbird Technologies (Hummingbird), the UK’s leading drone and satellite enabled data and imagery analytics business for precision agriculture, has announced the completion of a £3 million fund raise, taking its total funding to over £4m. Its backers include The European Space Agency, Sir James Dyson, Newable Private Investing and Velcourt, the UK’s largest commercial farming operation.
Founded in 2016 by Will Wells, with tech partners including Google UK, Hummingbird is the only remote sensing business in UK agriculture to use artificial intelligence that harnesses information from drone, plane and satellite technology, combined with weather and soil data and expert plant pathology, to enable precision agriculture.
With first mover advantage in the UK market, Hummingbird has already flown over 120,000 hectares and is expanding its operations into new markets. The global market for artificial intelligence in agriculture is expected to grow exponentially to reach $2.6 billion by 2025 from $518 million in 2017.1
Hummingbird has 25 employees focussed on data science in London and has created a further 50 part-time pilot and agronomy jobs in the countryside.
Will Wells, CEO of Hummingbird Technologies, said:
“We are delighted to complete this funding milestone with such high-quality backers, which reflects our position as the leading player in AI based agritech. This is an exciting time with a major digital transformation in global agriculture. Artificial intelligence and digital technologies are dramatically enhancing traditional farming techniques with significant cost efficiencies for farmers and the added benefit of helping to cut back on the overuse of chemicals.
“With the rising demand for agricultural production to meet the needs of the world’s increasing population, we see a huge opportunity for further growth. This latest round of fundraising will enable us to continue our expansion across the UK and into key markets such as Russia, Brazil and Ukraine. As a fast-growing business, we will continue to raise further funds to support our ambitious plans.”
Hummingbird’s backers including The European Space Agency, of which the UK Space Agency is one of 22 members, as well as Sir James Dyson, Newable Private Investing and Velcourt, the UK largest commercial farming operation.
With its leading market position, first-mover advantage and potential for international growth, Hummingbird Technologies expects to become the UK’s first £100m agri-tech business.
Dr Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said:
“Hummingbird is an exciting and innovative British company, harnessing space technology in products which could help farmers use pesticides and fertilizers more efficiently and protect the environment.
“The Government’s recently published Industrial Strategy set out a clear vision for the UK to become the world’s most innovative nation and we are working with industry to capture 10% of the global space market by 2030.”
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