2016 was a busy year for Tasmanian agtech start-up The Yield, and its efforts have been recognised by AgFunder, winning an award as one of the five most innovative international start-ups pre-Series A funding.

US-based AgFunder touts itself as “the premier marketplace for the most promising Ag (Agriculture) and AgTech (Agriculture Technology) start-ups seeking to raise investment capital from accredited investors”, and its global network of over 25,000 members were invited to submit nominations.

The Yield was one of two Australian companies to win the award, with the others hailing from The Netherlands, Kenya and Israel.

IoT has been a core component of The Yield’s offerings, most notably in their oyster solution which is currently in production in Tasmania and is currently being trialled in Pambula, New South Wales.

The Yield has also recently released a smartphone app, which provides land farmers with information such as daily evapotranspiration (the rate at which water evaporates from the land and is absorbed by plants), rainfall, water balance, and weekly totals.

For The Yield’s founder Ros Harvey, the award is result of the hard work she and her team put in over the previous year.

“We’re delighted with the award, and I think it’s a great achievement that an Australian company won an award recognising us as one of the most innovative agtech companies globally,” she told IoT Hub.

“I think it’s a great validation of what we’re doing with the innovation in our technology, but also in our business model and how we’re going about solving real issues for growers in the food value chain using our technology.”

Gavin Smith, President of Robert Bosch for the Oceania region, nominated The Yield for the award.

In a statement, he said: "Passionate leadership, grass roots agriculture know-how, capability to execute, and a clear and obvious mission to better feed a growing global population makes the Yield a standout business.

"We are delighted that this has been recognised by the world’s AgTech community."

Onward and upward

The Yield is currently the process of their Series A capital raise, and Harvey has big plans for the $6.5 million they hope to obtain.

“The purpose of the funds is for a few reasons. One is to grow out our sales and marketing capability, and we have appointed a very capable sales and marketing director, Felicity Turner, who’s ex-Microsoft,” she explained.

“Secondly, the funding will be used to finalise all of the regulatory requirements and gearing up for production of our microclimate sensing system which will be released into the market this year.

“And finally, we’re really accelerating our product development, in particular our use of artificial intelligence in our data science.”