A UK tech start-up has raised £2.2m in funding for an app to bring the livestock production process into the digital era.

The Breedr app is designed to make it easier to predict livestock production, including the date of peak profit for each animal to reach a desired specification.

The funding was raised in a seed round led by London-based Local Global. It will be used to transform the meat supply chain using smart contracts, blockchain technology, and machine learning. It includes a grant of £236k from Innovate UK.

“We are bridging the gap between farmers, processors, retailers and consumers, using big data, machine learning and machine vision,” said Ian Wheal, co-founder and CEO of Breedr.

“The aim is to reduce uncertainty and improve productivity of the whole livestock market.

“The beef, sheep and pig producers we are working with have a wealth of data about their animals and see our app as a way to directly add value.

“Today they might choose to see which animals are closest to the specification requested by their customers, but as more information is included they will be able to benchmark against other farmers in their group.”

Gary Spence, a beef farmer from Northern Ireland who has been using Breedr on trial, estimates improved profit margins by up to £120 per cow.

“By using Breedr on our farm we’ve been able to identify the best and the worst performers,” said Spence.