Evonik has entered the start-up OPTIfarm Ltd. through its venture capital arm, invests and now holds a minority interest in the company based in Chesterfield (UK). OPTIfarm is already generating revenue by providing ongoing monitoring for poultry farms. The support and service provided by OPTIfarm contributes to improved animal welfare, increased productivity and trouble-free operation. The Optifarm team relies on automation through the use of imaging techniques and sensors to verify, for example, water, feed and temperature. This allows a remote check. Problems are quickly discovered and resolved. This saves the farmer time and money. The transaction took place in the context of a spin-out of OPTIfarm from the Applied Group. The amount of the investment was not disclosed. "We are impressed by the commercial success that OPTIfarm already has worldwide," says Bernhard Mohr, Head of Venture Capital at Evonik. "Evonik has the ideal experience and expertise to help OPTIfarm continue to grow." OPTIfarm's services and business model have been developed by poultry producer and entrepreneur David Speller as part of its existing business. Speller comments: "I am pleased that OPTIfarm can now work as a focused independent company thanks to the participation of Evonik. With the foundations of a poultry producer and a unique pay as you go business model, OPTIfarm is well positioned to serve a wider range of customers. " "OPTIfarm fits in perfectly with Evonik's strategy to further develop the Precision Livestock business," said Emmanuel Auer, head of the Animal Nutrition business unit. "Helping our customers improve performance and sustainability strengthens our growth core Animal Nutrition." As part of its venture capital activities, Evonik plans to invest a total of 100 million euros in promising startups with innovative technologies and in leading specialized venture capital funds. The focus here is on the growth cores of Evonik - Health & Care, Smart Materials, Animal Nutrition and Specialty Additives - as well as on digitization. Evonik currently holds interests in more than twenty startups and venture capital funds. Further information at http://venturing.evonik.com/.
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