CEO and founder Will Wells
Hummingbird Technologies, which uses drones and artificial intelligence to enable precision agriculture, has closed a £3m funding round.
Hummingbird, the UK’s leading drone and satellite enabled data and imagery analytics business for precision agriculture, has closed a £3m funding round, 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 AI 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 currently has over 100,000 hectares under management and is expanding its operations into new markets. The global market for artificial intelligence in agriculture is expected to grow exponentially to reach US$2.6bn by 2025 from US$518m in 2017.
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.
CEO and founder Wells 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.”
Dr Graham Turnock, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, added: “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.”