Casey Woodward, CEO of York based agritech startup AgriSound, shares his thoughts on the startup’s recent partnerships with the likes of Innocent and Dyson and reveals the company's plans for the future.
Firstly, could you break down Agri Sound’s goals within the agricultural and food production industries?
Our ultimate goal is to deploy one million of our smart listening devices, the POLLY, to monitor insect biodiversity globally and create the world’s largest database to provide evidence to protect pollinators and help farmers and food producers increase crop yields.
The Polly operates in a similar way to how a smart speaker functions. The device is equipped with a microphone and environmental sensors, measuring temperature, light and humidity. Each one is completely solar powered.
Polly listens 24/7 for the sounds of insects and uses advanced sound-analysis to translate the data into activity scores. This information, available in real time, can be used to target the introduction of pollinator-protection measures to the areas of greatest need and determine actions such as the planting of wildflowers or creating new habitats.
How does the technology the company creates benefit both these industries and the environment?
The technology benefits both industries by supplying data, in real time, which can be analysed by farmers and food producers to improve crop yields and crop quality and target the areas of greatest need such as wildflower planting, for performance.
Our fleet of Pollys generates millions of data points each day which can help businesses understand the impact their land management is having on the pollinators and can also help them receive vital insights for ESG reporting.
AgriSound’s technology also helps brands inform their customers of the value of pollinators and showcase the impact of the work being done.
How have the several notable partnerships AgriSound entered last year (Innocent, Dyson, etc) impacted the business?
It has been great to work with several notable partners such as Innocent, Dyson and Cranswick as we’ve been able to share our enthusiasm for boosting biodiversity with these key industry leaders.
Being able to install devices on such a large scale internationally helps us spread the word about our brand. We also gain a vital understanding of pollinators from across the world to enable us to continue our research and nurture pollinators, while helping producers naturally reduce the costs associated with food production.
What would your advice be for start-ups looking to secure innovation funding?
Our advice would be to work with the funding agencies to help develop the proposal - they can offer great insight as a fresh set of eyes and spot any potential challenges. Also, attending events like FPC Future and Careers is a great way to network and meet the experts that can advise and offer support.
Can you give us some insight into the company’s plans for growth in 2023?
We have recently completed our latest fundraiser and we will be scaling our commercial plans, as well as continuing to invest in R&D to develop the ability to detect new insect types. We’re looking forward to an exciting and innovative year ahead.