Downing Ventures has announced a £1.5 million follow-on investment into a leading global agritech company, Hummingbird Technologies. Hummingbird is an advanced crop analytics business that applies machine learning to remote sensing captured crop images to provide farmers with actionable insights and data so they can optimise inputs, protect and maximise yields.
Hummingbird can guide the decisions of farmers or supplement an agronomist’s toolkit through a sophisticated crop analytics platform. The technology ingests high resolution imagery captured by drones, aircraft, or satellites, and applies machine learning to ascertain a wide array of critical factors including crop yield predictions, growth rates, biomass, plant stress, weed accumulation, and crop population counts. Analysis is carried out at scale, with results distributed within 24 hours of image capture via an online user interface.
Richard Lewis, Investment Director at Downing Ventures comments: “The technology Hummingbird has developed will have significant social impact that can lead to more sustainable and efficient farming. We look forward to building a long-term partnership with the business.”
This is Downing’s second investment into Hummingbird having completed an initial investment in 2018. Other investors in the round include SALIC, the Saudi Agriculture and Livestock Investment Company, in its debut investment in the UK. Other investors include the European Space Agency and Beeswax Dyson.
Will Wells, Hummingbird’s Chief Executive comments: “We are pushing the boundaries of science and technology to help improve the efficiency of global crop production and feed the world’s growing population sustainably. The latest investment will fund a recruitment drive in the UK and push our international expansion.”
Hummingbird has 40 full-time employees in London, with satellite offices in Sao Paulo, Sydney, Lviv and Moscow.