Bird Buddy, Slovenian Start:up of the Year 2021, Receives a New Investment of $8.5 Million

Day 13. December 2021 posted Anemari Pediček

After launching several successful campaigns and raising funding for its smart bird feeder, the Slovenian company Bird Buddy, crowned this year's Slovenian Startup of the Year, has once again managed to raise USD 8.5 million in seed funding. Their first product is a smart bird feeder that uses technology to help people enjoy nature even more. 


Birdwatching is the second biggest outdoor hobby in the US

Although many of us may not realise the size and importance of bird watching and the bird feeder market, the company's co-founder and CEO, Franci Zidar, explained that this market is something of a sleeping giant. Franci said:

"Birdwatching is the second-largest outdoor hobby in the US and huge internationally. This trend has undoubtedly increased during the pandemic when birds were a pleasant reminder to many people that there really is a world outside their windows. We have spent a lot of time in the first half of 2020 researching these facts and have confirmed that this is something that people are passionate about. Every metric that came back was crazy."

A feeder that connects you with nature

Many people wonder why other camera feeders have not become commonplace if people love birds so much. Zidar believes that these companies have the wrong approach: 


"The original camera bird feeders were designed for people who are into birdwatching. But we realised that it's not just about making a smart bird feeder, it's about a brand and a company that wants to reconnect people with nature. We needed a beautiful product that people would love to have in their backyard and that would reconnect them with nature. We focused on people who were interested in birds but didn't engage with it because it seemed passive, so we did something in the company that turned passivity into activity.

Similar to catching Pokémon

Bird Buddy may not look much different from existing smiliar feeders at first glance, and it costs about the same - $200 for a pre-order, but it's something special. Bird Buddy is a way for everyone to easily get involved in this hobby, not just those who are avid birdwatchers. 


"The secret is that birds look a lot like Pokémon. It is obvious that birdwatching existed before the popular game of 'collecting monsters', but they have the same 'collect them all' instinct that some people have. Birds are 'the perfect collector's item'," said Zidar, adding that this is both an observation and a key insight.

A nifty app with various notifications, the ability to share on social networks and a ton of other modern features may not be what people envisioned as a way to grow this community, but it may just be the one that will be the key to making it happen. 



The Bird Buddy smart bird feeder is charming and consumer-friendly in design. The team hired Kyle Buzzard, who has a great track record of designing various tech products for consumers, including Chromecast, to create it. The feeder also looks big enough, which means it can accommodate medium-sized birds, such as jays.


The Bird Buddy app offers a huge variety of features

Bird lovers usually can't sit by the window all day and watch the birds come and go, so Bird Buddy is a great alternative to always know which bird has stopped by and if they have been surprised by a special guest.



The app offers various features such as special achievements - "New bird", bird tracking and sharing pictures with other users in the app or on social networks. Bird feeders can also be made public, not for permanent viewing but for individual bird visits.


A very attractive feature that the team is still developing is the identification of individual birds, not just species. This would be a great asset for birdwatchers who are interested in which species of jay or finch visit their bird feeder. In that case, they could name it and compare it with a friend or neighbour. 


Watch the video below to see how Bird Buddy works:




Why does the company need another $8.5 million after three consecutive and successful crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter, IndiGoGoGo and a standalone system? ? 

Franci explained:

“When building hardware, millions of dollars disappear overnight. You have to order components, pay taxes, deal with shipping, etc. We also have to take into account that 2021 was the worst possible year to build hardware. Availability was decreasing, prices were fluctuating, we had to have redundant components because we were not sure which ones we would even be able to get. Shipping costs increased by a factor of 8. Even the shipment being postponed from September to January is a bit of a miracle for us.”


Franci hopes to build a company whose main purpose is to reconnect with nature, and Bird Buddy is the first step towards doing so. Both founders feel that they have done a lot of interesting things, but rarely do you have a mission that you agree with. In their case, it's to get people to start caring about nature and wildlife. The best way to do that is to encourage people to work with them and to create a big community. That is how they will build a brand that people will love and trust. 


more about the company



We also hope to be able to test the Bird Buddy smart feeder next year. Well done team and good luck!



Source: TechCrunch




Content support for recipients of P2, SK75 or SI-SK financial products under the "de minimis" scheme is co-financed from the Slovene Enterprise Fund and the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund. This is implemented on the basis of the Content Support for Funds Recipients (SMEs) Programme in the 2018-2023 period, under the Operational Programme for the Implementation of the European Cohesion Policy 2014-2020.


Startup Birdbuddy, slovenskistartupleta
Izvedba: Mojdenar IT d.o.o.