Skippy Scout, a crop scouting mobile app, has entered its second phase of crowdfunding.
Developed by farming brothers Jack and Hugh Wrangham, it enters the second stage after raising nearly 30% of its £250,000 target through an initial private investment phase.
It has now hit 50% funded and is set to use the funds to help the business develop new features, increase the company’s staffing, and take the product to market over the next 18 months.
The autonomous crop scouting app is designed to help farmers save time and costs, increase yields and efficiency on farm, and use less chemicals.
Skippy Scout will autonomously fly a drone around a given field and collect very high resolution crop-level photos at pre-determined points.
The drones can cover up to two hectares per minute of flight, making the crop scouting exercise up to 10 times faster than a person on foot.
Leaf-level imagery collected by the camera is sent directly to the user’s smartphone, where it can be analysed and immediately provide crop information to assist in decision making.
Jack Wrangham, Drone Ag co-founder and director, commented: “Our ambition is to bring easy to use, economical technology to farmers, to help them make better decisions, increase yield and profitability, while reducing inputs and costs. We’re excited about bringing Skippy Scout to market and demonstrating the benefits of improved efficiency in agriculture.”
He added: ““We have been delighted by the response to our crowdfunding campaign so far, which allows everyone to invest and share in our success. It’s important to us that we encourage investment from the very communities that will benefit the most from Skippy Scout, as well as reach all those interested in improving global agriculture and food production, through technology.”
The company’s founders are offering investors a stake in their entire company, not just the Skippy Scout app.
The team also have expertise in drone-based spraying technology, which could play an important role in the future of the agricultural crop protection.
They confirmed that Shareholders will also benefit from revenues generated by the sale of sensors to R&D clients and the company’s training courses for drone users.
The public phase of Drone Ag’s crowdfunding campaign will run until 25 May.