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07.11.2018

Evonik invests in digital poultry farm

Essen-based specialty chemicals company Evonik invests in British start-up OPTIfarm, which aims to improve poultry production via digitalisation.

The British start-up OPTIfarm aims to boost the productivity of poultry farms by digitally monitoring feed, water, and temperature. Essen-based Evonik now holds shares in OPTIfarm.
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Evonik has been committed to the balanced and healthy feeding of poultry for years. The Essen-based specialty chemicals company is now expanding its investment in precision livestock farming and in particular automated poultry production by investing in the Chesterfield-based British start-up OPTIfarm.

Digitisation saves costs and improves production

OPTIfarm enables digital monitoring of poultry houses and the entire production process – around the clock. By doing so, the British start-up aims to contribute to improving animal welfare, increasing productivity and enabling trouble-free operations. To this end, OPTIfarm uses imaging techniques and sensors to monitor water, feed, and temperature. These values can also be checked remotely using a digital infrastructure, thus allowing problems to be detected at an early stage and remedied quickly. This in turn saves farmers time and money. The British start-up has already generated initial profits with its concept. "We are impressed with the global commercial success that OPTIfarm has already achieved," says Bernhard Mohr, head of Venture Capital at Evonik. "Evonik possesses the ideal experience and expertise to support OPTIfarm through further growth."

A total of 100 million euros for start-ups

Evonik invested in the British start-up through its venture capital arm and in the context of a spinout of OPTIfarm from the Applied Group. The parties have agreed not to disclose the amount of the investment. However, Evonik plans to invest a total of €100 million in promising and innovative technology start-ups and in leading specialized venture capital funds as part of its venture capital activities. The focus here is on Evonik's Health & Care, Smart Materials, Animal Nutrition and Specialty Additives as well as on digitisation. Evonik currently holds investments in more than twenty start-ups and venture capital funds.

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