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Ag-Tech Firm Raises Investment Funding to Help Shrimp Farmers Escape the Poverty Trap

SEIS funding ensures production of unique HealthyShrimp salinity sensors to assist developing world shrimp farmers

The founders of Odyssey Sensors (http://www.odysseysensors.com)
are delighted to announce that they have secured a Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) round from 11 investors to raise a total of £140k in investment funding. This will enable them to start the rollout of their unique HealthyShrimp Salinity Sensor: a low cost, accurate, robust, and easy-to-use solar powered salt sensor designed to increase crop productivity of small plot shrimp farms and improve the livelihoods of the families that operate them. Odyssey Sensors has teamed up with Oxford Product Design (http://www.oxfordproductdesign.com/) to refine the HealthyShrimp salinity sensor prototype, and with additional support from a competitively earned Agri-Tech Catalyst grant (http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/innovation/collaboration/innovate-uk-competitions/agri-tech-catalyst/), the company is now beginning advanced field trials of the sensor in Bangladesh.

"The combination of the falling cost of electronics and the team’s ability to create customer-centred solutions for farmers currently lacking access to technological tools, allowed us to present a compelling investment opportunity while keeping true to our mission of focusing on delivering widespread social impact" explained Christopher Hunter, one of the directors of Odyssey Sensors.

The Odyssey Sensors team (http://www.odysseysensors.com/our-team.html) met while studying at the University of Oxford. Four Oxford classmates founded the company:  Kevin Baum, Stephen Honan, Christopher Hunter and Michael Thornton, joined by a recruit from the following class, Holden Bonwit. The big idea that spawned the company was the invention of the HealthyShrimp Salinity Sensor - an idea that quickly won acclaim and awards, including the Skoll Venture Award of £20k in 2013 from the Skoll Centre at Saïd Business School, giving the company its crucial first financial boost. Soon thereafter, the company began working on another product: the TroughSentry Remote Water Monitor (http://www.odysseysensors.com/trough-sentry.html) for livestock farmers, and following success in the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) in which it placed second overall and scooped the Intel Emerging Markets Technology Award, the team brought Wayne Turner onboard as Business Manager.

“As a social enterprise company working in the ag-tech sector, Odyssey Sensors seeks out problems that persistently plague low margin farmers,” explains Wayne. “With advanced engineering, creativity, and support from partners like the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, we continue to deliver solutions to overlooked and underserved farming communities around the globe. We are aiming to join the first cohort of certified B-Corps (http://www.bcorporation.net) in the United Kingdom further underscoring our efforts to use business for good."

Odyssey Sensors is an agriculture technology company focused on designing, developing, and delivering sensors and sensor networks that increase the environmental and financial sustainability of low-margin farmers around the globe.