HerdDogg closes $6m funding round as sales of its "Fitbit for Cows" double

Nebraska company’s smart ear tags predict disease and significantly reduce mortality, sparing animals and reducing methane emissions.

June 11, 2024

2 Min Read

Animal AgTech company HerdDogg has formally closed its US $6m Series A4 fundraising round this past week, led by Serra Ventures and Wonder Fund North Dakota, with participation from sustainable food and ag fund Lever VC Fund II and others. In the past two months, the company has doubled the number of its ear tags deployed across the U.S. and Australia, with entry into Canada coming shortly.

HerdDogg’s smart ear tags monitor internal body temperature, movement, and acceleration in three directions—essentially a Fitbit for cows. Utilizing advanced data analytics HerdDogg’s system can identify disease in cows days earlier than conventional industry approaches, allowing for earlier intervention and a very significant reduction in on-farm mortality. By cutting mortality rates, the company’s technology can lower the number of cows raised in the beef and dairy supply chain—resulting in lower methane emissions and benefiting animals.

“Our team strives to improve the lives of cattlemen and their animals through consistent monitoring and early disease detection. This allows producers to make better decisions and be efficient with their time and resources, thus improving returns and lowering their environmental impact,” said Andrew Uden, CEO of Herddogg and a 6th-generation cattle industry veteran.

“Early disease detection, and the resulting decline in mortality and morbidity, aligns farm practices with consumer demand for higher animal welfare standards and lower greenhouse gas emissions,” said James Caffyn, a Partner at Lever VC, whose Fund II took part in the investment round. “HerdDogg will be able to create a robust animal health and performance database, enabling the company to provide actionable insights to farmers and operators throughout the supply chain that enhance farm economics while also improving sustainability.”

Data from the USDA shows that since 1999, average death rates in both small and large feedlots have increased by 36% and 23%, respectively. According to the USDA, the average mortality rate for beef cattle is around 8.3% as of 2015, leading to over 2 million cows dying each year (before slaughter). With each cow emitting 220 pounds of methane annually, these deaths equate to roughly 5 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent—an amount equal to the annual emissions of over one million gasoline-powered cars—generated each year by animals that do not even enter the human food chain because they die early from disease. HerdDogg's smart ear tag system, if deployed on all farms in the U.S. for cattle post-weaning, could reduce the number of cows raised for food by around 700,000 animals and spare 1.7 million metric tons of CO2eq annually.

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