Photo - Muddy Machines Ltd
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Muddy Machines Ltd

Robots for data driven precision agriculture

United Kingdom
Market: Farming, Robotics
Stage of the project: Prototype or product is ready

Date of last change: 15.10.2021
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Idea

We need to develop technologies today that make our food system resilient against labour supply shocks.
Our first product in our robot platform is an autonomous green asparagus harvester.

Current Status

We have built and successfully tested our robot during the 2021 harvest season with the largest Asparagus farmer in the UK, Cobrey Farms.
They have now put in a pre-order for 2021 for harvest services of 5 robots.

We have so far raised £450k in venture funding and won over £500k in Innovate UK grants.
We have a team of 5 engineers working full time on our technology.

Market

We extract and retain significant amounts of new value from a large, well-established market;
Our customers are large vegetable growers that require over 200 labourers each year.

The labour market for selectively harvested field vegetables is $5.6bn per annum in our target markets Europe and North/South America.
In light of increased demand for domestically grown fresh and nutritious vegetables, this market is set for strong growth over the next 10 years.

For Asparagus, our core target markets are UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, USA, Canada and ultimately Mexico and Peru.
Each market is consolidated with about 5-10 growers responsible for 80% of the production.

Problem or Opportunity

Farmers of selectively harvested field vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, beans, artichokes etc.) are facing severe labour shortages and need a reliable automated harvest solution.
For example, A shortage of 10 workers in Asparagus causes the grower £250k in losses.

We solve one of the largest fundamental problems facing humanity: how to feed itself as population and standards-of-living increase, alongside the added stresses of climate change.

Solution (product or service)

We have built a lightweight (compared to a tractor), electrically powered, self-driving field robot that can independently recognise and pick crops that are ready to harvest.

Competitors

There are no serious competitors in the green asparagus space.
There are numerous companies that target the harvest of other crops
Naio- vineyards
Xihelm -Tomatoes
Dogtooth, Saga Robotics - Strawberries
Tortuga, Four Growers, Earth Rover

As this is a nascent industry, nobody has more than 1% market share.

Advantages or differentiators

We hold the dominant position (through partnerships, IP, Innovate-UK support) in the most attractive niche  for autonomous food production (as defined by the intersection between suitability for robotisation and crop-value);

Finance

We expect to hit over £10m in harvest service revenues over the next 4 years.
This can potentially come from our lead customer with whom we already have a commercial agreement.
We provide our service at the same cost compared to human labourers giving us very good margins to continue our product development.
Over time we expect our data services revenue stream to overtake the harvest service revenue stream.

Business model

We provide a harvest service that is charged by the kilogram of produce harvested. (Harvest as a service).
On top of that, we provide yield- and profit-enhancing data services.
Profitability is driven by the hardware costs of our machines and the level of autonomy and pick speed they can achieve.
We already have connections and contracts with customers in place.
Essentially, we are a SaaS company with a comparatively straightforward and well-understood hardware element.

Money will be spent on

Hiring Engineering Talent, building a company work-shop and producing 5 robots for the 2022 season.

Offer for investor

Equity investment
Aiming for a valuation of £5m+

Team or Management

Risks

We are exposed to the potential battery supply shortage that the entire automotive and robotics industry is facing in the next few years.

Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment

Entrepreneur First London 2020
Central Research Lab / Plus X Accelerator 2021

Invention/Patent

We expecting to be granted a patent on our end effector (the harvest gripper arm) technology by October 2021

Photos

Photo 1 - Robots for data driven precision agriculture

Product Video

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Idea
Current Status
Market
Problem or Opportunity
Solution (product or service)
Competitors
Advantages or differentiators
Finance
Invested in previous rounds, $
Business model
Money will be spent on
Offer for investor
Team or Management
Mentors & Advisors
Lead investor
Risks
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Won the competition and other awards
Invention/Patent
Photos
Product Video
Presentation