In our day to day, we encounter numerous new technologies and inventions. There are many that we are using to give our life an easy and sustainable swing. We cannot deny the fact that our lives are dependent on our lands, where we live, where we cultivate our crops and eventually become a part of it one day. There are so many farmers in the country, who are diligently working to nurture our lives by constantly giving their hard work in abundance to feed others. GroGuru on the other side, making farmers’ lives easy by providing them with a sustainable water management system and advancing their agriculture practices. By integrating AI based systems, the world of cloud really helps farmers in irrigation and taking farming related decisions timely to avoid any misshapen.
Below are the highlights between GroGuru and Business Leaders Review
Tell us about GroGuru? What was your inspiration behind entering the Agri-tech field?
GroGuru is all about strategic water management for commercial farmers. We help farmers make more money by increasing crop yield while more efficiently using water, and other scarce resources, in a more sustainable way. GroGuru has a patented solution including an artificial intelligence engine in the Cloud and gives recommendations on when and how much to irrigate. Our business model is software as a service, and we have a $1M revenue run rate. Our leadership team includes PhDs in wireless, machine learning, soil sensors, and crop science.
The GroGuru founding team saw a major need for farmers to be more efficient with water and increase crop yield. The existing irrigation monitoring and management solutions in the market were expensive and not very scalable, and they did not take full advantage of the ability to add artificial intelligence, or what GroGuru calls “Agronomy in the Cloud’.
Tell us about the top-notch features or aspects of GroGuru.
GroGuru’s solution uses its patented wireless underground system, GroGuru® WUGS, that enables the permanent installation of soil sensors in annual field crops like corn and soybeans, eliminating the need for annual installation and removal of sensors required by all competitive alternatives in the market. The GroGuru WUGS solution is cable-free from the underground sensors to the above ground telemetry, so it is also an excellent solution for other crop types including fruit & nut trees and potatoes, where cables can be chewed by rodents, or cut by farm equipment or workers. GroGuru also offers their software as a service, SaaS, GroGuru® InSites, as a stand-alone solution that works with third party hardware. The GroGuru system is soil sensor and irrigation equipment ‘agnostic’.
GroGuru adds data in the cloud, then uses machine learning or AI, and adds other data like weather forecasts, crop models, and the ‘as-applied data’ from the irrigation system, to create recommendations to farmers about when and how much to irrigate. The recommendations come through a simple, intuitive, farmer-friendly user interface that can be accessed on a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
How do you think technological advancement has helped farmers and businesses in the agriculture sector for an efficient and sustainable yield?
The agriculture industry has been a laggard in adopting digital technologies, but they have started to accelerate adoption over the last five to ten years. The technology has reached a level of maturity that farmers can now trust the reliability of solutions, but they still look at things with a sceptical eye until the technology has been proven in actual commercial farming conditions. Application of technology in the agriculture market will be essential to ensure food security and conserve water. Fortunately, GroGuru has a proven solution that is endorsed by farmers and has been deployed for multiple growing seasons. That is why GroGuru is now poised for massive scalability and sales growth.
How do you induce and implement technological advancements in business offerings and operations at GroGuru?
GroGuru relies heavily on farmers and our dealer network for feedback about what is important and the value of our solutions. We have also built an enormously powerful ecosystem of strategic partners which will continue to grow. Partners include some of the top irrigation equipment companies, farm input companies, weather forecasting companies, and soil sensor technology companies.
Tell us about the challenges the company faced at its early stage of entering the agri-tech market.
Building trust with farmers has been essential for GroGuru’s success to-date and will continue to be crucial for our continued growth. Fortunately, we have members of our team with deep market domain expertise and very solid customer and market channel relationships.
How has the recent COVID-19 pandemic has affected farmers and other ventures associated with the agriculture sector? What do you think will be the future of agriculture post-COVID-19?
COVID-19 created an overall disruption in our end markets. Many of our competitors did not survive. But GroGuru did. And we are well positioned as farmers continue to accelerate the adoption of technologies that are key for sustainability, water conservation, efficient use of fertilizer and energy, and increases in crop yield. GroGuru does all those things.
Tell us in what ways GroGuru is contributing to the betterment of farmers and society.
70% of the world’s freshwater is used for agriculture irrigation, and we need to increase the amount of food by 50% by the year 2050, just to keep pace with population growth. Clearly that math does not work without significant changes in farming practices. GroGuru is about solving those problems.
What are your future aspirations for the company? Where do you see GroGuru in upcoming years?
GroGuru is well positioned for very rapid and profitable growth. Our solutions increase crop yield by 10-20 percent and decrease input cost by 10-20%. The payback period is less than one growing year, and we deliver a 6-8X return on investment (ROI) to farmers every single year. We also increase the scalability of soil monitoring and management by over 30X versus competitive alternatives. We are currently raising capital on WeFunder, which is an equity crowdfunding platform. You can check us out there. Now is the time to invest in sustainable agriculture, food security and water conversation. GroGuru is addressing market needs in all these areas.
What advice do you want to give to budding entrepreneurs aspiring to enter the agriculture field?
Patience and persistence. Make sure you field trials with ‘teaching customers’ that are willing to be early access partners and provide feedback. Build relationships with customers and strategic partners. Be patient and persistent.