Farmers will be able to access real-time data about the health and location of their livestock on their mobile phone thanks to new Victorian technology being supported by Breakthrough Victoria.
Breakthrough Victoria, an investment company established by the Victorian Government to drive innovation in Victoria, today announced it will invest $500,000 in Victorian agricultural tech company Smart Paddock, as part of a $1.7m seed round.
Breakthrough Victoria CEO Grant Dooley today joined Smart Paddock founder Darren Wolchyn to make the announcement at Kelly Angus cattle farm in Yea, where the Bluebell smart ear tag technology will be trialled.
Smart Paddock’s Bluebell tag is the first reusable digital ear tag for livestock that is battery-free.
The Bluebell tag uses a super capacitor to store energy instead of a battery, which enables the tag to run for days without exposure to sunlight. It’s also lighter, reusable, longer lasting and lower cost for farmers.
The Bluebell tag allows farmers to GPS track their livestock in real-time on their mobile phone or computer, get text alerts for stray or stolen animals, review pasture usage maps, monitor the activity level of key animals and see how far their animals are walking each day to access food or water.
Breakthrough Victoria co-led this transaction alongside muru-D, Telstra’s early-stage investment arm. They are joined by Skalata, Twynam and the Little Group as investors in Smart Paddock.
Jon Young Flores, Telstra’s Industry Executive for Agribusiness, Supply Chain and Retail, has joined the board of Smart Paddock as part of this investment.
The investment will support Smart Paddock to expand production of the Bluebell tag in Victoria and further develop the technology, including behavioural algorithms that use the data collected by the tag to alert farmers if an animal is birthing, on heat or in distress.
Quotes attributable to Breakthrough Victoria CEO Grant Dooley
“Smart Paddock is exactly the sort of company Breakthrough Victoria is looking to invest it – it’s breakthrough innovation and technology manufactured in Victoria and supporting Victorian jobs.”
“Ag-tech is a priority area for Breakthrough Victoria, and we see enormous potential in Smart Paddock to have a significant impact on the livestock farming industry in Australia and around the world.”
Quotes attributable to Smart Paddock CEO and Founder Darren Wolchyn
“Our vision is to transform traditional farms to highly productive, environmentally and ethically forward thinking without resorting to factory farming.”
“We know our technology is revolutionary – this investment by Breakthrough Victoria and continued investment from Telstra will help us keep our manufacturing in Victoria.
“We can further develop our product to give farmers even more advanced data to inform their decision making, increase productivity and the health of their livestock.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Gayle Tierney
“Today’s announcement strengthens our dedication to continue working with companies such as Smart Paddock to bolster our Agriculture industry.”
Quotes attributable to Telstra’s Industry Executive – Agribusiness, Supply Chain and Retail, Jon Young Flores
“Smart Paddock’s success shows the combined power of local innovation, IoT technology and connectivity to transform the Australian agribusiness sector in a sustainable way.”
“The business was part of the first Melbourne intake into our muru-D accelerator program and we’re proud to support their continued growth with early-stage investments. I’m especially excited to be joining Smart Paddock’s board and bringing my experience in agribusiness and technology to help the business scale – there’s a lot of opportunity ahead.”