Seasoned leader Tom Webb to oversee business development and technologist Mat Taylor to focus on accelerated solution releases as precision irrigation market experiences rapid growth
WaterBit, an agricultural technology company specializing in automated precision irrigation, today announced that Thomas “Tom” Webb has joined as vice president of business development and Mat Taylor has been hired as vice president of engineering.
“Tom has a unique blend of technology and agriculture experience that allows him to truly understand growers’ needs and how precision irrigation can be applied to operations in the most effective way,” says Andrew Wright, WaterBit CEO. “We are thrilled to welcome Tom as a member of the executive team.”
Mat is a hands-on software engineering executive with over 25 years experience spanning multiple industries, and has worked at companies including Reed Elsevier, Skype, British Telecom, Proteus Digital Health, Emotiv and most recently Roku. He has also co-founded several successful startups including Video Island in the UK, which merged with ScreenSelect and then with LoveFilm. LoveFilm was acquired by Amazon UK in 2011. Mat has overseen the development of the latest WaterBit release that delivers closed-loop irrigation as well as an update of the user interface (UI) to make the vast amounts of data collected by the system easy and intuitive for growers to understand and take action on. As he holds advanced degrees in artificial intelligence from the school of cognitive and computing sciences at the University of Sussex, Mat will also be instrumental in moving WaterBit toward autonomous solutions.
“Mat’s experience in AI will be invaluable in leading WaterBit to its full potential–a grower-guided autonomous irrigation solution,” says Wright. “We are also excited for him to work with his team to immediately make the WaterBit software more robust and intuitive.”
WaterBit addresses the global problem of fresh water scarcity for food production by providing growers with tools to analyze granular, ground-truth data collected through its IoT sensors and to monitor and control irrigation via cloud-based software. Using WaterBit, growers can improve crop consistency and maximize yield across soil types, while optimizing the use of labor and other input resources. Growers have seen measurable results from using WaterBit. For example, after implementing WaterBit, Devine Organics nearly doubled its vegetable field yield, reduced water usage by 6% and saw a 5% decrease in greenhouse emissions from fuel used for pumping water and trips to the field.