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A Bulgarian company active in the field of smart agriculture offers a farm automation platform under distribution services agreement or commercial agency agreement. Thе innovative product is a solution that can address the efficiency, labour shortage and predictability issues of farmers. It ensures sustainable agricultural production and profitability of the agricultural businesses in the long run.
A Bulgarian company, founded in 2020 and providing IT product in the agricultural sector is developing an automated system for precise irrigation, fertigation and climate control for various crops - farm automation platform that helps farmers to become more profitable and have more free time for the things that matter.
The product is a controller that connects to and controls the farm infrastructure for irrigation, fertigation and climate control. A specialized software allows the farmers to automate and monitor remotely all these processes.
With it, farmers create their irrigation and fertigation programs and schedules and define their target temperature and humidity levels (for greenhouses only). The system then takes over the management and control of the connected infrastructure so the schedules get executed and targets met, and alarms get triggered in case of infrastructure malfunctioning or other unexpected issues.
With a growing Earth population and limited land to grow agricultural produce on, this product is the solution that can address the efficiency, labor shortage and predictability issues of farmers. This will ensure sustainable agricultural production and profitability of the agricultural business in the long run.
Two of the founders of this company are also founders of a software development company with 15 years of history and 100+ completed projects. Throughout the recent years the company has been primarily focused on Internet of Things development.
The third founder is the company's agritech and sales specialist. He spent the last 10 years in the agri-tech sector, selling and integrating crop technology management solutions across Eastern Europe, working for a leading Israeli company. He also has 15 years of entrepreneurial experience in IT infrastructure projects.
The key functionalities of the product are:
• Irrigation & Fertigation
- Recipes for fertigation - allow to precisely set up fertigation processes by time, quantity, proportional quantity and other criteria
- Programs - perform irrigation with or without fertigation recipes specific to the crop grown
- Schedules - for automated recurring running of irrigation and fertigation
- Wireless control of valves and sensors - ensure low installation costs and easy maintenance
• Climate control (Greenhouses only)
- Target temperature & humidity - complete management and synchronization of all climate control devices in the greenhouse, so targets are constantly met
- Strategies for vents, circulation fans, misting and thermal screens - allow to define specific behavior of all devices throughout the different times of the day, depending on high/low temperatures, humidity, etc.
- Weather station - for monitoring of the external environment
The company is expanding to other countries and is looking for new international partners. The business partners will help with the identification of the right contacts, initial introductions and presales activities like on-site or online presentations. The distribution partners will have non-exclusive rights to sell the solutions in one or several territories. They will also provide integration services, training and Level 1 technical support. Alternatively, to distribution, the company is also looking for commercial agents to represent it and its products to the customers.
The expected outcomes of these partnerships are:
• Increased retention rates
• Improved acquisition rates
• Increased revenue
• Reduced costs
• Process improvements or efficiencies
• Increased profitability
• Increased word of mouth
• Increased conversion
• More upsell and cross-sell opportunities
• Increased market share through the identification of new sales channels
• Expanding into new markets or regions
Economic benefits are visible right from the first harvest. Saving money on resources such as water, fuel, fertilizers and also minimizing the cost of human error guarantees stable increase in the crop yield and improved financial results! The key benefits from using the product are:
- Up to 85% less water usage thanks to precise water management and control;
- Up to 50% less use of energy as a result of optimized and reduced use of electricity, diesel, gas and other fuels;
- Up to 40% increase in crop yield whilst reducing the cost of fertilization and chemical treatment;
- Up to 60% reduction of losses resulting from human factors.
The competitors’ landscape is fragmented and there is no clear marketing leader. The main competitors of this company are mostly agritech hardware companies by nature and manufacture irrigation systems for years, providing automation only as a complementary service, but not as their core solution. Their systems are expensive, the user interface is complicated and not user friendly. They are difficult to install, configure and update hence requiring the involvement of high paid professionals. This makes the small and medium size farms, which represent ⅔ of all farms, practically underserved.
The differences of this product:
- An all-in-one solution that integrates with existing farming infrastructure
This product is a single controller responsible for the irrigation, fertigation and climate control in a farm. It can integrate with any infrastructure already installed on the farm.
- Easy to use
Unlike most of the competitive solutions the product has an intuitive interface that any farmer can instantly use.
- Competitive price
The package pricing makes farming automation suitable for small and mid-sized farmers.
- Excellent 24/7 support
Reliable support and guaranteed response times in emergency situations. Easy and fast remote updates of the software.
Three customers already completed a full crop cycle with the product and shared the results they achieved. These results are presented in detail in 3 published client case studies (more coming soon). The numbers are:
- 30% Reduction in human resource used;
- 30% Water savings registered;
- 30% Energy savings registered;
- 20% Reduction in fertilizer used;
- 20% Increase in crop yield;
- 3x Faster reaction to failures in the infrastructures managed by the product.
The numbers specified in the advantages may vary depending on the farm equipment, crop, location, size, etc.
European Union, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia
The business partnership allows the partners to tap into the success of the product by referring potentially interested customers to the company.
The business partners familiarize farmers with the product, present the solution via informational materials and demos, set up introductions, assist with signing up a deal with customers. A commercial agency agreement will be used to form the business partnership. The role of commercial agent would be to act on behalf of the company in order to present its products to the final users for the purpose of their market realization.
The business partners handle the following activities:
• Introduce farms to the product via word of mouth or promotional materials (every partner will have promo materials posted and emailed)
• Organize demos at partner demo installation
• Gather and provide to the company team the potential customer details
• The company prepares an offer and work together with the partner to ensure the offer meets the needs of the customer
The business partnership program is perfect for any business professionals or companies who interact with farmers and supply them with products such as seeds, fertilizers or agricultural
equipment, as well as companies providing agricultural consultancy and advice.
The distribution partnership allows the partners to tap into the success of the product by signing up customers for the company, completing the entire integration for them and technically supporting them.
The distribution partners handle the following presentational, sales, integration and support activities:
• Actively develop the market by organizing regular demo and other promotional activities
• Demonstrate the product platform at one-on-one meetings or events
• Present product offers to the customers
• Perform product integrations - using their own team or subcontractors
• Take the responsibility for technical customer support - up to 3 on-site service visits per customer per year. If a customer is within the 1-year warranty period or has purchased extended warranty - any replacement parts (if parts need replacement and if these parts have been purchased through the company) will be provided by the company.
The distribution partnership program is perfect for companies who interact with farmers, perform agritech integration or consultancy services for them or supply them with agricultural equipment. Such companies should have a technical team who can be trained to perform the integrations and emergency equipment fixes or replacements, or should be able to subcontract one.
The following solution providers might find the best value in becoming a partner:
- Greenhouse manufacturers;
- Irrigation system manufacturers;
- Integrators of agricultural hardware or software;
- Manufacturers of agricultural equipment;
- Agricultural trading companies;
- Agricultural consultants, agronomists or other experts
Partner spreads the word about this solution and thus helps more farmers to increase their profit margins.
The company has 2 international partnerships – one with a distribution partner for North Macedonia and another one with a business partner for South Africa.