A Cambridge tech firm which has created a cattle tracking collar and companion app has secured its first US deals, forecast at £1.4m over the next five years.

Herdsy will supply its technology to ranches in Texas and Oregon, entering a market of over 12 million beef cattle.

The firm’s connected collar is equipped with sensors and processors to measure biomedical and activity data, such as heart rate, weight gain, and grazing patterns.

This data, which is interpreted through machine learning, provides livestock farmers with an overview of their cattle via the Herdsy website or app, alerting them in the event of atypical behaviour that could be detrimental to the value of the animal or its wellbeing.

The information is then analysed against industry benchmarks, advising farmers on the ideal time to send animals to market, which in turn reduces time on farm per animal, costs whilst improving cash flow and profit margins.

Richard Hobson founded Herdsy in 2016 after coming up with the idea on his family’s farm. A former IBM software developer and accountant, Richard then was mentored by his friend Dmitri Zaitsev, a Professor of Mathematics, to refine the technology.

After reaching out to the Department for International Trade (DIT) for export advice, Herdsy accelerated its entry to the US market, securing two partnerships in 6 weeks.

The business will co-develop a new product with the Texas Agriculture & Mechanical University, one of the biggest cattle names in the US. It has also gained a place with the Austin Technology Incubator to address sustainability.

Founder and CEO of Herdsy Richard Hobson said: “When lockdown started, one of our orders to South Africa was put on hold and I immediately began thinking of how we were going to be able to get through this difficult time.

“I realised with more people than ever having to work remotely that businesses all over the world were having to remodel, and “virtual” business meetings were necessary to do deals.

“We saw the appetite for Herdsy when one rancher from Oregon contacted us to order over 5000 collars to manage against wolf attacks.”

Herdsy started exporting in 2016 and is currently used in four countries. It now plans to open an office in Texas to assist its expansion into neighbouring US states and South America.