SWAN Systems – an innovative precision irrigation and nutrient software platform founded by WA farmers in 2016 – was named winner of the AgTech category of RaboBank’s “Start-up of the Year” pitch competition under its global FoodBytes program.
The FoodBytes! event provides an international showcase of Food & Agri Startup companies to corporate leaders, investors and the wider market. Competition winners in the three different categories of AgTech, Food Tech, and CPG receive cash prizes and consulting support to contribute to their business growth.
SWAN Systems was among 15 finalists selected from an original field of nearly 340 applications from across 14 countries, based on their innovative solutions to major food system challenges.
“We’re thrilled to be the winners of the FoodBytes! agtech category”, said SWAN Systems Co-Founder Rod Campbell. “It’s great validation of the work we’re doing to create a more sustainable food system that can adapt to the challenges of today’s world. Living the problem in the world’s driest inhabited continent has driven the need for innovation in how water is managed.”
SWAN helps large-scale irrigators such as farmers to apply precisely the right amount of water and nutrients, at the right time. Taking data from a variety of field devices and converting it to actionable irrigation decisions, the software helps irrigators achieve optimal plant growth – whilst helping to minimise water wastage and fertiliser runoff.
“Our whole system is about enabling irrigators to make decisions from hard data, not assumptions,” said Tim Hyde, SWAN Systems CEO and Co-Founder. “Agriculture accounts for 70% of global water withdrawals globally, so it’s critical that irrigators in the sector have a simple, science-backed, and scalable solution to reduce water wastage and minimise harmful environmental outcomes.”
Ivor Gaylard, SWAN’s COO and Co-Founder, further emphasised this focus on providing value for farmers – as well as irrigators in other sectors such as public parklands and private turf. “We’ve designed the platform to be highly configurable based on location, soil type, plant variety, and more. We want all large-scale water managers to be able to benefit from the technology and tailor it to match their goals.”
Winning the competition and the networks formed in the FoodBytes! program will help SWAN with its planned expansion into the US in 2021. Specifically, the relationships with the other teams and alumni will provide valuable introductions to relevant partners and potential customers in international markets. Being in a current Series A investment raise, the opportunity to connect with corporate investors came at a great time for the Perth-based startup, which has ambitions to become the leading water and nutrient management tool for irrigators globally.
About SWAN Systems
SWAN Systems is a uniquely hardware agnostic water management platform that is changing the way irrigation is managed. Like Xero to accounting, SWAN is to water management as it enables the creation of budgets, the issuing of reports and the generation of precision data to inform on optimal water and nutrient applications. It is adaptable across all business systems as it captures and processes data from a wide range of devices regardless of the type of irrigation controller, weather station or soil moisture probe in use. It is disrupting current limitations on software that only works with proprietary hardware. This simplifies investment decisions and enables the roll-out across different farms in multiple locations.