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28 July, 2020 - 09:40 By Tony Quested

Spotta’s smart pest systems attracts $1.18m seed funding from US and UK

Investors have rewarded the commercial success of Cambridge startup Spotta’s smart pest systems technology with a $1.18 million seed funding round. 

This investment reflects Spotta’s huge potential in global markets in farming, forestry, hospitality, and other sectors to solve the £320 billion ($400bn) problem of insect pests while dramatically reducing pesticide use.

Representatives of Cambridge Angels and REMUS, a US-based VC firm, will join Spotta’s board as part of the deal. Other major investors include Martlet Capital, Wren Capital and the Angel CoFund. 

Spotta commercialised its first product in 2019 and the business has been recognised by the US-based Fast Company magazine as one of the AI and Data World Changing Ideas for 2020. 

UK Cleaning Services and Support Association (CSSA) also nominated Spotta as a finalist in the Innovation Showcase 2020. In addition to its Bed Pod product which monitors bed bugs in hotels and other multi-room accommodation offerings, Spotta is working with a major forest management organisation to develop an outdoor pest monitoring solution, and anticipates its technology being used in other applications including insect monitoring to help boost yields in agriculture.

Building from this successful launch, Spotta will use the new funding to continue hiring top talent, launch two new products, and enter into new international markets beyond its current presence in the UK, the US and Europe. 

Spotta aims to grow rapidly to support this expansion and continue its innovative use of AI and Internet of Things (IoT) to offer an accessible technological solution for pest detection.

Robert Fryers, CEO at Spotta, says: “For decades, pest management has been held back by laborious, error-prone manual monitoring. With our technology it is finally possible to change this and help industries around the world to make a step change from reactive to proactive management of pests.

“This will save billions and massively reduce the amount of pesticide used globally. We’re delighted to have strong support from a wide group of investors who share our vision. This funding will allow us to scale up our commercial operations and continue to address the £320bn global problem of insect pests.

“We are at an exciting intersection of AI, environmental sustainability and IoT. Our scalable, platform technology enables huge increases in productivity in a range of sectors including agriculture, forestry, textiles and hospitality. We are building a substantial, highly profitable business by giving our customers better tools for dealing with invasive and costly species.” 

Paul Anson, lead investor from the Cambridge Angels says: “Throughout its initial market roll-out with the Bed Pod, Spotta has proven that its pest detection and identification technology has real-world capabilities and delivers customer value in a global marketplace. 

“This was a very strong follow-on round and that speaks to the capability of the management team and their execution success.”

Krishna Gupta, who is CEO of REMUS and is joining the Spotta board added: “We’re excited about the Spotta team’s multidimensional technical expertise and the larger pest control space, which has been relatively untouched by digital innovation. Spotta’s expansion into the US specifically makes it an exciting time for the company and our partnership.”

Spotta was founded in 2018. Since February 2019, the Bed Pods have been installed in popular hotels in the UK. The Bed Pods run off Spotta’s own long range, stable wireless network, with a low power image processing and communications system. 

Fuelled by a single battery that will last over a year, Spotta’s ‘fit and forget’ technology is a time-saver for housekeeping and maintenance staff, helps protect affected hotels against reputational damage, and minimises treatment costs and litigation fees - all of which can save hotels up to £67,200 per year (based on 200-room hotel).

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