TU Dublin spinout Micron Agritech player is revolutionising rapid animal health testing using AI.
Dublin agricultural technology company Micron Agritech has raised €2.7m in funding in a round co-led by ACT Venture Capital, Atlantic Bridge and Yield Lab Europe.
The funding will position the business for expansion in the Irish and UK markets.
“Our goal is to make our platform accessible to vets across the globe”
With a cumulative funding of €5 million to date, the spin-out from TU Dublin is dedicated to revolutionising rapid animal health testing through the innovative use of artificial intelligence technology in its Micron Kit.
Founded by Daniel Izquierdo, Tara McElligott and Sean Smith in 2019, the Micron Kit allows veterinarians to conduct on-site, rapid parasite testing on animals using their mobile phones, delivering results in minutes.
Improving the lives of animals
“We are thrilled to have the support of ACT, Atlantic Bridge, Yield Lab Europe and our other investors as we continue to grow and expand our cutting-edge platform which we aim to revolutionise how animal health is managed globally,” said Daniel Izquierdo, CEO and co-founder of Micron Agritech.
“Our goal is to make our platform accessible to vets across the globe, starting with penetration across the Irish and UK markets, which will combat the build-up of medication resistance, while giving farmers and vets tools to monitor animal health, improve the lives of their animals while increasing productivity.”
The platform’s core mission is to combat the increased resistance to anti-parasiticides and reduce the unnecessary reliance on worm treatments by the agriculture sector, as a whole. Micron Agritech is also keen to protect the limited medicinal arsenal currently in place to combat these diseases while monitoring the prevalence of resistance on farms in Ireland and the UK.
The team believes this approach will drastically reduce the time, cost and resources expended on dosing methodologies while amplifying farm efficiency through the strategic deployment of AI technology.
Currently, it can take up to five days to receive the results of laboratory tests confirming the presence or absence of internal parasites, prompting many farmers to administer treatments without conducting prior testing, many choosing to give a blanket ‘dose’ to the herd.
This practice has contributed significantly to complications such as anthelmintic resistance – already rendering some modern medications useless – which is a major cause of concern for the European Union and the UK alike.
A recent report from the IFA Animal Health Council in July has highlighted the need for additional support for farmers in relation to parasite control. Internal parasites remain a prominent health issue among grazing animals, contributing to a 33% increase in agricultural emissions and reduced animal yields.
Dominik Leisi, senior investment associate at Atlantic Bridge, said: “We are delighted to support the Micron Agritech Team on their mission to use AI-powered computer vision to revolutionise animal health and increase food sustainability. Since spinning out from TU Dublin Tara, Daniel and Sean have built an excellent foundation on which to expand internationally to address the huge issue of overuse of anti-parasitic medication”.
“We’ve been working with the Micron team since 2020, and are happy to make a further investment in the company,” added Daan Wilms van Kersbergen, Investment Director at Yield Lab Europe.
“We look forward to working with ACT and ABV and further supporting the Micron Agritech team in the next phase of their journey and mission to decrease the misuse of medication in animals.”
Main image at top: Micron Agritech founders Daniel Izquierdo, Tara McElligott and Sean Smith