Agtech startup Xsights has been chosen as the only WA company to take part in the inaugural THRIVE APAC Accelerator in the United States, run by US investment and advisory firm SVG Ventures.
The 12-week accelerator program, which started this week, includes some of the most innovative agrifood tech startups from Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.
The program provides access to investors, corporate partners and farmers, as well as mentorship and brand exposure.
Xsights has developed a unique electronic ear tag that can further improve animal welfare, cut medical costs and help meet ESG requirements.
The IoT monitoring device, which fits a standard ear tag, provides real-time data via bluetooth on an animal’s temperature, movements, location and the surrounding humidity.
Western Australian livestock producer Craig Mostyn Group, which manages about 250,000 pigs a year, is a corner-stone investor and is facilitating a trial of the new device at one of its piggeries in collaboration with Curtin University, the state government and other industry players.
Xsights also took part in the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in San Francisco this week as part of the accelerator program.
CEO Steve Wildisen said the company’s US trip is putting Xsights in front of some of the world’s biggest livestock producers and investors.
“This is a fantastic opportunity and a testament to the potential this WA-developed technology has to change animal welfare and livestock farming practices around the world,” Steve said.
“Getting in front of American investors is especially exciting given how forward-thinking they can be and how diverse their investment practices are.
An electronic engineer by training, Steve said the ‘Sensing as a Service’ technology would help lower medicinal costs and reduce deaths by individually identifying if an animal was getting sick by processing temperature and movement data.
“If you can avoid mass medicating, then the technology pays for itself,” he said.
“Medication can be expensive and if an animal is sick, it will not put on weight as readily and needs to stay out of the food processing system until the medicine is out of its system.
“Individually tracking an animal also means that if there is an imported disease to Australia’s livestock industry, then we can isolate individuals without having to resort to broader measures to eliminate the disease.”
Xsights, a winner at the WA Innovator of the Year 2022 Awards, is also finalising its first round of seed investment and has secured $2 million of its $4 million target.