ApisProtect to create 25 jobs after investment boost

Fiona Edwards Murphy, ApisProtect
Fiona Edwards Murphy, ApisProtect

Agtech company creates buzz with VCs

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20 November 2018 | 0

Cork-based ApisProtect, an agtech company that has developed a monitor for honey bee colonies, has closed a €1.5 million seed round of financing led by venture capital investors Finistere Ventures and Atlantic Bridge Capital. Radicle Growth, the Yield Lab and Enterprise Ireland also participated in the round.

The 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.

ApisProtect will use the investment to open its first US office and expects to create a total of 25 jobs over the next three years.

“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”, said Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy, CEO and co-founder, ApisProtect. “We look forward to building our team of AI specialists, engineers and scientists over the next three years to 25 staff, and helping to reduce honey bee losses worldwide.

“Contributing €153 billion worth of pollination to the agrifood 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. The aim is to help commercial pollinators and growers to optimise pollination.”

Combining 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.

Dr Edwards Murphy has a PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and a BE from University College Cork in 2013. As a graduate of UCC, Edwards Murphy participated in the Ignite program, an international award-winning business start-up programme that specialises in supporting recent third-level graduates to turn innovative ideas into successful, scalable businesses. She received the rising star award at the 2018 Tech Excellence Awards.

Her work has received international recognition, including at least eight academic publications, awards from the Irish Research Council, IBM, The Irish Laboratory Awards, and Google. ApisProtect was partially funded by St. Louis-based agtech accelerator The Yield Lab in 2016.

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