A UK-based app which seeks to revolutionise livestock breeding practices has managed to raise more than £2 million through a public funding drive.

Breedr seeks to transform the meat supply chain using smart contracts, blockchain and machine vision.

Its founders hope to develop the world’s first marketplace for fully traceable digital livestock, connecting high-quality farmers and animals with national and global finishers, processors and supermarkets.

The platform helps farmers apply insights from animal data to produce in-spec livestock more efficiently, reducing environmental impact and promising to generate up to £400 of extra profit per animal.

Investors include Local Globe, Forward Partners, and Mons Investments. As well as the £2.2 million crowdfunded, the project has also been backed by Innovate UK to the tune of just over £350,000.

The money will be used to lead the development of an innovative Smart Contracts system for the meat and livestock sector.

Transforming livestock production

It will use blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) to capture the complicated flows of data and transactions between multiple parties and improve transparency and trust.

Funding will also be invested in the development of the Breedr app, which enables farmers to get more back from their data, analyse performance and produce actionable insights to drive on farm profit.

Ian Wheal, co-founder and chief executive of Breedr, said: “The beef, sheep and pig producers we are working with have a wealth of data about their animals and see our app as a way to directly add value.

Today they might choose to see which animals are closest to the specification requested by their customers, but as more information is included they will be able to benchmark against other farmers in their group.

“We are bridging the gap between farmers, processors, retailers and consumers, using big data, machine learning and machine vision. The aim is to reduce uncertainty and improve the productivity of the whole livestock market.”

Why Breedr; why blockchain?

By digitising the entire livestock production process, from sire to carcass performance, Breedr gives farmers the insights they need to deliver the right product for their customers.

From understanding which sires result in the most profitable offspring, to predicting the date of peak profit for each animal to hit the desired specification, Breedr takes the guesswork out of livestock production.

Wheal claims farmers benefit from a measurable increase in profitability, while reducing environmental impacts and waste caused by overfeeding or poor breeding decisions.

The software could also have major environmental benefits. Wheal estimates that the improved productivity offered by the Breedr platform has the potential of reducing average methane output from beef animals by over 50% in the UK, enabling farmers to quantify the environmental benefit of their improved farm practices.