High-Tech Gruenderfonds Investing in Farm Tech Startup fodjan
fodjan, an intelligent feeding program, represents a milestone in digital agricultural management. The new fodjan smart feeding software is the first of its kind to harmonize animal well-being with cost efficiency, all in a user-friendly package. High-Tech Gruenderfonds (HTGF) is investing in the growth market of smart farming.
fodjan, a Dresden-based startup, has secured six-figure financial backing from the High-Tech Gruenderfonds. The young company is known for its landmark ‘smart farming’ solution, 100% web-based software to optimize the feeding of livestock. The funding is intended to help fodjan further intensify its distribution activities and drive product development.
The agricultural branch is currently undergoing fundamental structural changes that make it amenable to innovative digital solutions. “We see tremendous potential in the ‘farm tech’ area,” says Klaus Lehmann from High-Tech Gruenderfonds. “The smart technology from fodjan seeks cost optimizations without compromising animal health, filling a forward-looking market gap in modern livestock management.”
Healthy feeding, top efficiency
The fodjan smart feeding software was developed by agricultural economist Carsten Gieseler and his dedicated team, working at the startup foundry at the HTW Dresden. Experienced business angel Frank Siegmund provided both technical expertise and startup coaching to the young company. After a three-year development phase and several successful pilot projects, fodjan launched its product in October on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. The animal feed industry involves billions of euros each year, yet fodjan has been the first to enhance animal health even while achieving cost reduction. In practical tests its methods were shown to save more than ten percent on average.
“Our program provides a simple, practical outlet for applying the extensive scientific knowledge available on feeding,” explains Carsten Gieseler, who originally dreamed up the concept. The program makes available options and comparisons that individual farmers would not previously have been able to see.
While feeding programs have traditionally worked on a linear model, fodjan smart feeding works with an algorithm that allows for ‘multiple-objective optimization.” It weighs all factors relevant for feeding, providing the user with an overview of the different realistic feeding strategies. The software accounts for feed inventories and the needs of the herd itself, and suggests optional rationing. Previous attempts at this kind of approach required complicated trials of different ration variants. fodjan’s approach instead adjusts on the fly to find the safest and most efficient path.
fodjan smart feeding for dairy cows, launched in October 2014, fills a market gap and represents the kind of new and interactive solution preferred by modern digital agriculture. Distribution is being handled in cooperation with www.365FarmNet.com, the first manufacturer-independent software provider for digital farm management. fodjan smart feeding has been chosen as one of the fundamental components of its software suite.
fodjan GmbH was founded in Dresden in September 2014. Carsten Gieseler, one company’s managing directors, developed the idea for smart feeding software during his own university studies in agriculture and business administration. He joined with IT specialist Johannes Völker, business administration expert Michael Schütze, web designer Daniel Schreck and algorithm engineer Paul Völker to develop the software up to market readiness, including successful tests of the pilot version at several large agricultural operations.
About High-Tech Gruenderfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 576 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 304 million HTGF II).