Equitrace, the horse health and tracking app founded by Kildare-based husband and wife team Kevin and Jennifer Corley, has raised a series A financing round of €1.25m.
Among the backers are a syndicate of angel investors led by Brendan Nevin, a former CEO of AA Ireland, who previously worked for Bank of Ireland, Eircom, and Coca-Cola. Another backer is Ascot Capital Partners, the investment firm where Waterford tech investor Martin Dunphy is executive chairman. Enterprise Ireland has also invested €250,000 in the startup.
Last week, the firm featured in the Sunday Independent’s top 20 agritech innovators list. Last month, the business announced a partnership with the animal health division of US pharmaceutical giant Merck (known as MSD outside the US), which has seen interest in the firm grow there, and in Europe.
Nevin said he was impressed by the Corleys’ deep knowledge base, and the fact they had a built a working product and service — with the help of Cork’s Institute of Technology — that very happy customers were using. Over 19,000 horses are registered on it.
Founded in 2019, the app — which is used by Irish trainer Dermot Weld — provides a digital medical record, while enabling location tracking and temperature monitoring.
Jennifer Corley, an equine surgeon who previously founded a veterinary app business, (Kevin is an internationally acclaimed equine medic) said the business is finalising a board of advisers, while seeking to hire a chief commercial officer.
Regulation is likely to drive further adoption of Equitrace, she said.
“Vets have a regulatory change coming in January, while Merck are looking at the potential for this being used for farm animals, cats and dogs.
“Regulation is tightening up in the EU. It is seeking to restrict antibiotic use in horses because of concerns about antibiotic resistance. Compliance is going to be increasingly important.
“We are also proud to be involved in a trial on elephant health monitoring in Myanmar. There is further potential for this being used for zoo animals too.
“With our app, the records provide a way to demonstrate to regulators and inspectors that animals are being cared for responsibly and correctly,” she added.