Irish venture capital firm Kernel Capital has led a €1m investment in agricultural technology company Monford Ag Systems, alongside fairy company Glanbia, government agency Enterprise Ireland and a syndicate of New Zealand-based investors.
Jerrold C Manock, designer of the original Apple Mac, is the lead designer of Monford’s technology, the Grassometer, which is currently on trial with farmers on 20 farms in Ireland, New Zealand, America and the UK.
The Grassometer enables the accurate measurement of the height and density of grass to facilitate improved pasture management and farm output.
Monford said it will use the funds to bring the Grassometer to market by Q4 2013.
“Kernel Capital is delighted to support innovative Irish companies like Monford whose solution is a great example of innovation at the convergence of two growth disciplines, IT and Agriculture. Supported by the great team in place we see it addressing a global market from launch enabling farmers worldwide to measure, manage and optimise grass production,” said Ger Goold, partner, Kernel Capital.
Kernel Capital’s funds are supported by Enterprise Ireland, Bank of Ireland, University of Limerick Foundation, NUI, Galway and a range of other financial institutions. The Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund is a €32m vehicle that invests in start-up and early stage companies, with a focus on export-orientated start-up companies that operate in the technology, food and financial services sectors. It is managed on behalf of Bank of Ireland and by Kernel Capital.
Enterprise Ireland is the largest early stage VC investor in Europe in terms of the number of investments made. It is a seed investor in over 80 companies each year and also invests at pre-seed stage in over 60 new companies through its Competitive Start Fund. It is also a limited partner in 40 seed and venture capital funds.
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