Michael Smurfit to invest in Irish farm tech startup Moocall

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Apr 28, 2014 07:56 AM EDT

Irish farm tech startup Moocall is about to receive a €750,000 investment round backed by high-profile investors Michael Smurfit and Michael Stanley to change the way farm life works. The contract is about to be signed by Smurfit Senior as well as the Smurfit family, along with another Irish business tycoon, according to The Independent.

Stanley said of Moocall's calf birth alert system: "We like it because it marries one of Ireland's oldest industries with very new technology... The finished product is out there testing and causing quite a stir. We have been inundated with calls from farmers saying 'my mate is trialing this, can I have one too?' Farmers are thanking us for the hours of sleep they're getting; they don't have to get up in the night to check sheds or CCTV cameras."

Under the terms of the investment deal, the Smurfit group would acquire a 33% stake in Moocall. Founder Niall Austin will hold a third of the business and the remaining third will be owned by the investors of the first financing round, the report detailed.

Moocall has developed a sensor that alerts farmers via text message once a calf is about to be born. The product is currently approaching the final stage of development and is on trial by 20 Tipperary farmers. The system will be launched this summer. The startup plans to beef up its workforce with more skilled workers and begin another funding round later this year, The Independent reported.

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