News and Success Stories

Published 18 October 2023

Levno: Getting Ireland In the know

After success here in Aotearoa, agriculture monitoring and insights company Levno is now tackling the international market, starting with Ireland.

The monitoring system turns real-time data into actionable insights, and is being used across numerous industries including agriculture, horticulture, and infrastructure.

Levno harnesses the power of IOT to transform time critical data into actionable intelligence that makes agriculture more productive and sustainable

– Mark Simon, Levno CEO

Waikato farmer Hamish Burdon with Levno installer Jason McGimpsey.

Levno joined Callaghan Innovation’s Market Immersion trip to UK & Ireland in 2022 and have since fast-tracked their progress in the Irish market. After initially anticipating a two-year lead time to be operating overseas, Levno’s sensor-based solutions are now on over 10,000 sites, including 300 farms across Ireland after just 12 months.

“We’ve done really well in a short period of time and we’re now signing contracts with the big agribusinesses over there,” says Simon.

The Levno product suite currently covers milk, feed, water and fuel management. The Palmerston North-based company already monitors over 12 billion litres of milk across New Zealand a year - over half of the country's total milk production.

When asked how they tackled the issue of new technology adoption by farmers here in New Zealand, Simon says they originally onboarded farmers directly. But, after gaining over 200 farms, Fonterra had started to hear from their farmers how effective Levno was and realised it’d be helpful to have access to the same data and came on as a customer.

This resulted in Fonterra launching its Milk Vat Monitoring (MVM) project with the same monitoring technology being installed on all of Fonterra’s 9,000 farm suppliers’ milk vats in New Zealand. The project enabled Fonterra to take 23 milk tankers off the road which has had both an economic and environmental benefit.

It cost about $700,000 just to put a milk tanker on the road and then $400,000 a year in operating costs

– Mark Simon, Levno CEO

Levno was born after the owner of a rural fuel supply company realised there were huge savings to be made if on-farm fuel tanks had real-time monitoring. This would provide both the farmer and their fuel supplier with the insights they need to monitor usage and safeguard supply whilst reducing transportation costs

Levno’s success in the rural fuel industry soon led them to develop real-time monitoring solutions for milk, animal feed, and more recently water. It’s now a cost and time-effective technology that aids both farmers and agribusinesses across the industry.

“Our water monitoring system for example might help a farmer locate a leak, or from a compliance point of view, farmers need to provide data to their water supply authority. Councils can then use this data at a macro level to gain a greater appreciation of usage, forecastings and what future water requirements will be,” says Simon.

Levno’s Matt Lynch explaining the benefits of its in-shed milk tank display.

After 10 years of connecting farmers and suppliers in New Zealand, Levno wanted to prove they could succeed abroad. 

“We wondered what Levno could look like outside of New Zealand and determined that the best market would be Ireland because of its size, it has a similar operating model and the door was already ajar thanks to the strength of the New Zealand agritech brand,” he says.

They key to succeeding in the Irish market or any market for that matter -  Simon says is going into the market really prepared and with a good story.

“We knew our customers back home would support us and provide recommendations. The first thing an international asks is if they can speak to one of your customers in New Zealand. Our answer is always ‘of course you can”

He says one of the biggest benefits has been connecting New Zealand and Irish companies with similar offerings who can be far more transparent because they’re not competing for the same local market. 

“They end up realising they’re essentially trying to solve the same problems and if they actually carved out some of these R&D activities they’re working on, they’re going to get to the answer a lot quicker and cheaper. So, it’s been fruitful for ourselves and some of the biggest suppliers at home and abroad.”

Levno’s CEO Mark Simon (right) with Tnue’s CEO Bruce Smith (left) in Dublin as part of the  UK & Ireland  Market Immersion in September 2022.

“They end up realising they’re essentially trying to solve the same problems and if they shared some of the R&D projects they’re working on, they’re going to get to the answer a lot quicker and cheaper. So, it’s great for Levno and it’s been great to see our domestic and international customers connecting and working on the same problems together.”

And Levno have raised their sights again, not being satisfied with making it big in Ireland.

“We’re already making good revenue there and we’re using that as a beach-head into the UK and Western Europe with sights set on the large multinationals - that’s where we’re going next.”

Find out more about Levno here: