Agroop is a multi device platform aimed at the farming sector.
- Covilhã, Portugal
Categories: SaaS/PaaS Digital B2B
Currently many of the shortcomings observed in the farming sector are due to the lack of a universal tool which allows farmers to manage their activities in an integrated, collaborative and informed way. Agroop is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform aimed at the farming sector whose main goal is to provide 4 complementary solutions to the shortcomings mentioned above:
1st Solution - Agroop Operational:
Operational management tool that would allow farmers to manage and monitor their field operations while in constant cooperation with their respective associations. 2nd Solution - Agroop Social:
A social network just for the farming sector whose main goal is to promote the creation of synergies among its users.3rd Solution - Agroop Academy:
A network whose main goal is to facilitate the access to educational information in an inclusive way.4th Solution - Agroop Commercial:
E-commerce component of the project which would allow the buying and selling of farming produce.
The farming market, just like the world itself, is ever more globalised - which we think makes projects like Agroop fundamental to help farming agents broaden their horizons, identify opportunities outside their geographic location and help to increase the competitiveness of their activities on an international level. Agroop aims to enable its users to manage their businesses in an integrated manner more efficiently by reducing costs, cutting the time it takes to download and access information between agents and partners, increasing the quantity and quality of their production, helping to create synergies with other producers, helping to promote their products online, streamlining yearly bookkeeping, allowing online learning and training and also contributing to the increase of exported food products.The team believes that changing to a digital tool, as opposed to using pen and paper when it comes to farming procedures, will help minimize the risks of losing information since everything can be saved in the cloud in real time and with total mobility (mobile or tablet).In addition, the producers are not the only ones that could benefit from using Agroop.At the moment, if a Producers’ Association wishes to have access to the activities carried out by its members it could either call each and every one of them and request that information or it has to dispatch a member of staff to their respective locations.Both of these situations are considered far from ideal, by calling the information provided is not all kept on record whilst personal visits are unproductive due to the time it takes to visit each farm and the travel costs involved.With Agroop, a Producers’ Association would be able to access, in real time, current and past information as well as reduce the time and cost of unnecessary and excessive travel.
Substantial accomplishments to date
From the beginning Agroop incorporated the views of its prospective users to better develop the platform. Research conducted on location allowed better understanding of the whole farming process; surveys were conducted among farmers under 45 years old; the target’s profile was outlined based on the information obtained on social media and an analysis of the competition, statistics and other relevant information provided by trustworthy sources.Working with the resources available and with the support of two farming consultants we designed the layout and mock-up of Agroop Operational.Thanks to the publicity gained in the mainstream Portuguese media Agroop’s newsletter reached 500 subscribers, more than 1000 “likes” on Facebook, received requests for quotes and corporate interest from the second largest Portuguese telecom company and also from a Norwegian governmental institution.(Negotiations with both parties are still under way).At the moment, the team are developing the prototype.
In this first stage, the team intends to monetize the project by selling Agroop Operational monthly subscriptions (software as a service).In the medium term, we intend to generate income from marketing Agroop Social, charging for accessing certain content on Agroop Academy and taking a fee from the transactions made on Agroop Commercial.At the present time, we are also creating a magazine which is intended to attract sponsorship and publicity.
Use of proceeds
The money raised will mainly go to speed up the development process of the prototype for Agroop Operational, namely to hire a full-time senior developer for the team.The money will also help to develop digital marketing campaigns with the potential to go viral as well as to implement other marketing strategies such as Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.-
Since Agroop is an inclusive and intuitive platform, its objective will be to reach as many farmers as possible, however having in mind the current reality its core target will always be young farmers because they tend to be more willing to use new technologies and they understand that competition in the national and international markets demands a more efficient and professionalized management.However the social, training and commercial aspects of the platform also have in mind the other agents in the food and farming sector such as retailers, wholesalers, manufacturing industries, associations/cooperatives and farming consultancy companies.
Characteristics of target market
According to Institute for National Statistics (INE), there are 303 867 farms in Portugal, and 354 100 farmers.EUROSTAT tells us that 20% of these are full-time farmers and 62 000 are under 45 years old.According to the surveys we carried out and the data provided 40% of Portuguese young farmers are women, 50% already have a Smartphone, 10% intend to buy one in the next few months, 10% have Master’s degree, 50% have an undergraduate degree and 30% have finished high school.Mainly due to the financial crisis, the farming corporate structure is renewing itself and many young people look to agriculture as an alternative to unemployment and emigration.In addition to the Portuguese market, we also studied data from the European Union market, in order to better understand the potential for expanding this project.Statistics show us that in the European Union alone there are about 4 690 000 farmers under 46 years old.
Since the beginning Agroop strongly established which path it wanted to follow and its true identity.We believe that when we know who we are, what we want and what we represent others will recognize it as well.Many people buy certain products not for the product itself but because of the values and tribe that it represents.Agroop is part of the farming market which is often associated with conservatism and lack of action.But we now face a new paradigm hence we believe that young farmers will value and appreciate Agroop’s products and also the brand itself.Through our disruptive communication strategy we have the potential to quickly achieve a love brand reputation and therefore attract more users.Agroop also intends to adopt digital marketing strategies and search engine optimisation (SEO).As shown in “Accomplishments”, Agroop should be able to catch the attention of the media and consequently gain exposure at a relative low cost.As a team we are highly creative and we would look to create digital campaigns with great potential to go viral.Apart from what was mentioned above, the Agroop team will invest in other more indirect marketing strategies such as web episodes that will portray the themes that we want to approach (innovation and farming sector trends).
Bearing in mind not only the analysis done of its competitors but also the feedback from many of their clients, we concluded the interfaces that dominate the market although very complete and technically efficient, have a very weak usability and therefore its users tend to take a long time to master them.On the other hand, Agroop was developed by a team of designers that are determined to create a very intuitive and simple platform which would allow for fast and independent online training.The Brand and its corporate communication are key elements that will stand out from the ones of its competitors since these have a strict market positioning and an impersonal approach which Agroop does not identify with.In measurable terms Agroop would be one of the first collaborative farming platforms which would allow Producers’ Associations and cooperatives access to real time data generated by its associates.It would also be one of the first multi-device software applications operating in the farming market with a cloud based structure that should allow a greater mobility of its users and a safer and permanent access to the information that they generate.Agroop’s SaaS model charges for its services through monthly memberships, making bookkeeping easier for its clients but also lessening the payment effort rate itself.Finally, Agroop is developing 4 complementary products because it wishes to offer a global solution that could provide answers to the many questions that can occur throughout the farming activity.There are other digital tools on the market that operate in a isolated manner but currently what users are looking for is integrated and convenient solutions that will support the many different aspects of their business.