Seed Round Drives Global Expansion for Internet of Things Technology
Cork, Ireland and Salinas, Calif. – November TBD, 2018 – ApisProtect, an Irish agtech innovator using the Internet of Things (IoT) to monitor honey bee colonies, today announced the close of a $1.8 million seed round of financing led by top-tier venture capital investors Finistere Ventures and Atlantic Bridge Capital. Radicle Growth, the Yield Lab and Enterprise Ireland also participated in the investment round.
ApisProtect will use the investment to aggressively accelerate international expansion, opening its first U.S. office at the Western Growers Association’s WG Center for Innovation and Technology in Salinas, California.
“Our investment partners offer deep knowledge of the pollination services market, as well as the agriculture and IoT technology sectors,” noted Fiona Edwards Murphy Ph.D., CEO and co-founder, ApisProtect. “This investment will allow us to accelerate our expansion as we work to create an extensive global hive health database to power our machine learning insights. Eventually, we want to be able to help commercial pollinators and growers to optimize pollination.”
Beekeepers no longer need to rely solely on periodic, manual hive checks that can allow disease, pests and other issues to deteriorate hive health beyond rescue. ApisProtect helps commercial beekeepers more effectively manage colonies. Now monitoring the health of over six million honey bees in hives across Europe and North America, ApisProtect brings the power of advanced sensors and machine learning technology into the hive to deliver a 24/7 early warning system so beekeepers can give at-risk hives immediate attention and improve bee health.
“With a science-driven, multi-disciplinary leadership team, ApisProtect is primed to fundamentally change the way commercial beekeepers around the globe manage their hives,” added Kieran Furlong of Finistere Ventures. “Our Ireland Agtech Fund is dedicated to investing in early stage agtech companies reshaping the global food and ag industries. ApisProtect was the prime candidate for the fund’s first Irish investment. There is a need for technologies to aid pollination in agriculture, and the ApisProtect hive monitor technology has massive potential in key markets like California.”
Contributing $174 billion worth of pollination to the agri-food industry annually, honey bees play an essential role in global food production. One third of all food that we eat depends on pollinators, and there are 91 million managed beehives worldwide. However, U.S. commercial beekeepers experienced declines of 38 percent of colonies in 2015-2016. The proven ApisProtect solution reduces colony loss and improves the yield of commercial beekeeping.
ApisProtect provides an in-hive sensor network with long-range, cellular and satellite-powered communication to proactively monitor honey bee colonies. Combining the sensor data on hive conditions, health and activity levels with its proprietary big data and machine learning techniques, ApisProtect gives beekeepers actionable insights and alerts to help prevent losses and increase colony productivity.
Atlantic Bridge’s $80m University Fund, which is focused on commercializing cutting edge research, co-led the seed round with Finistere Ventures, which made its first investment from the Ireland AgTech Fund (a partnership between Finistere Ventures and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund). Radicle Growth, an acceleration fund, played a key role in the round and is actively supporting ApisProtect’s U.S. expansion efforts.
Alison Crawford at Atlantic Bridge noted, “Atlantic Bridge is delighted to welcome ApisProtect to our growing portfolio in the University Fund. ApisProtect is uniquely placed to disrupt a global, well-established industry with robust technology derived from scientific research. Atlantic Bridge has a strong track record of supporting Irish companies through key stages of development and helping them commercialize their technology globally. We believe ApisProtect has huge potential and look forward to helping scale the company internationally.”
This investment will allow ApisProtect to rapidly scale – deploying its IoT technology to more climates, bee sub-species and bee foraging areas. Its key focus will be establishing a presence in North America, South Africa and the United Kingdom, as well as growing its team in Ireland.
Kieran Furlong, Finistere Ventures, and Alison Crawford, Atlantic Bridge Ventures, will join the Board of Directors and draw on their expertise and extensive networks in the ag and tech communities to help navigate the company’s global expansion.
Watch this video to learn more about ApisProtect and Edwards Murphy’s vision for future full of healthy honey bee hives.
Founded by preeminent researchers in the use of sensors in beehives, ApisProtect provides real-time hive monitoring powered by satellite-enabled sensors that are retrofitted to existing beehives. Dr. Edwards Murphy’s work on the topic of hive monitoring has received many national and international awards from the Irish Research Council, The IEEE, IBM, The Irish Laboratory Awards, Google, and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
About Atlantic Bridge
Atlantic Bridge is a European Growth Technology Firm which invests in high growth technology companies and accelerates the scale up of these companies by applying its proprietary Bridge Model into the US, Middle East and Chinese markets. The Firm has investment teams, offices and extensive networks in Dublin, London, Palo Alto, Munich, Muscat and Beijing. Atlantic Bridge is focused on investments in high growth and disruptive sectors and such as AR/VR, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Visioning, Robotics, Machine Learning, Enterprise Software and IoT. Visit abven.com.
About Finistere Ventures
Finistere Ventures is a leading global agricultural technology and life sciences venture capital investor with offices in Palo Alto, San Diego, Ireland and Israel. Its team has developed and invested in some of the most successful agtech companies of the last 20 years—building and backing companies worth more than $5 billion. Visit Finistere.com.