Agroop is developing tech solutions to collect data and provide meaningful insights to farming agents
- Óbidos, Portugal
Categories: Data & Analytics Digital B2B
We believe humanity is facing one of the biggest challenges in its history. The world population is growing. It has been projected that in 2050, the total number of inhabitants on our planet should be around 9 billion. According to FAO (2009), this would require raising overall food production by some 70 percent.
"Agriculture in the 21st century faces multiple challenges: it has to produce more food and fibre to feed a growing population with a smaller rural labour force, more feedstocks for a potentially huge bioenergy market, contribute to overall development in the many agriculture-dependent developing countries, adopt more efficient and sustainable production methods and adapt to climate change."*
Technology should play an important role in facing these issues and we believe implementing and expanding what we call "precision farming", a new way of producing more food, more efficiently, using less natural resources, will be crucial.
*Source: Global agriculture towards 2050 (FAO, 2009)
Agroop's purpose is very concrete. We are developing technology solutions to support and help farmers and agricultural agents to be more productive and profitable.
How do we intend to do that?
Acting in four main fronts and helping them to:
- Identify their real production costs.
- Monitor and save water and energy.
- Predict risk factors, such as pests, diseases and fungus.
- Centralize information (analytics), identify methods and best procedures among users.
As our products, namely, Agroop Operational, Stoock and Agroop Cooperation are designed to be highly intuitive, scalable and financially accessible to smaller farmers, we are convinced Agroop will be able to build a great farming community and collect large amounts of data, that, when analyzed, will provide powerful insights not only to our users, but also to other agents like farmer's associations, phytopharmaceutical producers, consulting companies, R&D teams, government institutions, etc...
Substantial accomplishments to date
Agroop, as a company, was created in August, 2014 and since then, the project has been well received not only in the farming community but also in the entrepreneurial and press ecosystems.
We were soon recognised by Microsoft as one of the most promising startups in Portugal, and, we won some of the main entrepreneurial prizes in Portugal, such as NOS Innovation Awards, Up Awards, EDP Innovation Awards and APDC.
Agroop was also selected for the Web Summit pitch competition and for the H-Farm acceleration program in Italy. Agroop was considered as one of the "Top 50 High Potential Startups" by G-Startup Worldwide and is the first portuguese startup to have successfully completed, not just one, but two crowdfunding campaigns on Seedrs.
In relation to the press, Agroop has appeared in all the major portuguese TV Channels (SIC, TVI and RTP) as well as in other relevant press media (magazines and newspapers) like Observador, Dinheiro Vivo, Público, Económico, Startup Magazine, etc...
Despite these achievements, one of the most important accomplishments to date have been the fact that we have garnered 700 registered users since the initial commercial launch (September, 2016) of our first product (Agroop Operational). In 2016 our total revenue was about €20k and now that our entire solution is almost validated in Portugal we believe it's time to scale to other important markets where we already have clients (Italy) and committed partners (Australia).
It's time to conquer the world!
1) HARDWARE | Through Stoock sensors:
Master sensor (That communicates with Agroop's cloud server) - €900.
Slave sensor - still under development (That communicates with the Master sensor) - €650.
Note: These hardware products can be bought as a "one time" purchase or via a "monthly fee" which will be diluted in the general monthly subscription.
2) SOFTWARE | Through Agroop Operational subscription:
We intend to implement a monthly fee per farmer of €20.
Note: The Agroop Cooperation is intended to be used by agronomic engineers and other technicians that need to centralise the information and monitor the farm of each one of their associates/clients. This license is free, however these agents can only obtain information from their farmers who already use Agroop Operational.
3) BIG DATA | In the long run, we plan to generate additional revenues by monetizing the data that we are collecting through our products.
Interesting fact: Monsanto bought a startup company called Climate Corp for $1 billion. See why on https://techcrunch.com/2013/10/02/monsanto-acqu...
Use of proceeds
Objectives for 2017:
- Continue validating and developing the Agroop Cooperation software.
- Develop pilots with strong opinion makers inside and outside of Portugal.
- Improve water usage algorithms.
- Develop risk analysis algorithms.
- Develop and improve analytics.
- Strengthen marketing strategy.
- Hire a commercial sales director.
- Prepare the international expansion.
Objectives for 2018:
- Scale to larger markets (Italy, Spain and/or Australia).
- Integrate and hire international sales representatives.
- Raise further funding.
1ST PHASE | Through Agroop Operational + Stoock:
Farmers, namely the younger ones that may have a higher propensity to use technology and a more professional and sophisticated management mindset.
2ND PHASE | Through Agroop Cooperation:
Agricultural consultants, like agronomic engineers and agronomic technicians that are working in consultanting companies, farmer's associations and cooperatives.
3RD PHASE | Through the big data generated:
Agricultural and other corporations, as for example phytopharmaceutical producers (Syngenta, Bayer...), retailers (Costco...), bank and insurance companies (Deustche Bank...), government entities, R&D centers, the United Nations (FAO), etc...
Characteristics of target market
TAM | Total addressable market:
*2 This is already a proven market which is growing and according the international global food policy research institute, the total world agricultural public expenditure is currently (2014) valued at over $500 billion.
SAM | Serviceable available market:
*3 From this vast market and taking into account only the target countries that Agroop wants to reach in the next 5 years, namely, Spain, Italy, Australia, France, Germany, UK and US, the SAM should be of approx. $50 billion.
SOM | Serviceable obtainable market:
*4 ES Research shows us, that agricultural companies in Portugal spend on average, 21% of their budget in "Other goods and services", the slice in which we believe Agroop fits. For this reason, we estimate that the core market, based on this % applied to our target countries, is valued at approx. $10 billion globally.
*2 | 2017 global food policy report from IFPRI.
*3 | 2017 global food policy report from IFPRI.
*4 | ES sectorial research.
Interesting facts: According to the World Bank, since 1971 the value added in agriculture has been increasing by 2,6% on average each year. Trade in agricultural commodities is also expected to expand considerably. For example, net cereal imports into the developing countries would increase almost three-fold to reach nearly 300 million tonnes by 2050 (High Level Expert Forum, 2009). What's more, the world population is expected to continue growing, and we can easily expect that the agricultural sector will have to keep up with new demand.
Our marketing strategy is based in the following main channels/activities:
1) We believe even Stoock (hardware) is highly scalable. It can be sent in the mail to anywhere. It is made to be easily installed by the untrained end-user (farmer), allowing us to not be limited to markets where we have local presence.
2) Agroop Cooperation has been developed to allow us to build a more efficient commercial approach. Instead of selling our solution (Agroop Operational + Stoock) individually to each farmer, we intend to create partnerships with key actors, agronomic engineers and technicians in order to provide a "group package solution" to their associates or clients. However to motivate these agents and convince them to be our prescribers, we are developing an added value software - Agroop Cooperation - at no added cost to them, to make their lives easier and to allow them to centralise information and provide useful insights into their associates/clients. The more there are end farmers who use our system, the more advantageous it will be for these agronomic agents/ key actors.
3) Agroop's team is also very focused in developing and deploying pilots with the support of opinion-makers in the target countries mentioned. Through this approach we are convinced we will be able to reduce our learning curve, find new added value paths and create credibility and awareness in the agricultural community.
Apart from that, we are continually testing other inbound and outbound channels in order to increase our conversion rate and our revenue.
Based on our observation of the competitive landscape, these are the main differentiation factors:
1) COMPLETE RANGE:
There are some worldwide competitors, however we believe Agroop is different and unique, thanks to the broad scope of its product offering, collecting on the one hand operational information (through software), and physical parameters on the other (through hardware). This is very relevant in our opinion because we should be able provide more complete and meaningful insights not only to our customers but also to other agricultural agents. The aim is to have more manual and automatic parameters in order to build an efficient big data analysis system, since Agroop operates in both the management and in the monitoring business streams.
To create an unique value proposition it is critical to deliver a complete package capable of creating added value for a large spectrum of customers and in that sense, it is very important to build something very scalable and mass market orientated. Thanks to our products characteristics, from this perspective we believe we will have a clear advantage, because even our hardware (Stoock) can be easily shipped and installed by the farmer, wherever he or she may be. To our knowledge, the vast majority of our competitors that are operating on the monitoring side are stuck with non-scalable hardware products, that may be difficult to install and to configure (they need local presence with people near the customer to setup and install).
3) SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE:
Management companies like Isagri (+15.000 users) aren't SaaS model based and therefore we believe the final cost of their solutions makes them only accessible to larger farmers.
Another important point is related with the user interface and usability. Our team has a strong background in design and man-machine interface development which allows us to differentiate ourselves in user-friendliness. It's important to understand that we are still working in a conservative market and we believe that having the ability to build something intuitive and simple can be highly differentiating.
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