FoodBytes! made its recent debut in Chicago, where 15 startups had a chance to pitch their innovations to a panel of judges and the audience. In the agtech category, a wide range of technologies took the judges on a whirlwind tour, from closed-loop sustainable and traceable salmon to the use of bacteriophages to prevent and treat infections in livestock.
Serbian startup Agremo also pitched in the agtech category, describing for the judges its cloud-based and AI-powered agriculture sensing and imagery analysis software platform for growers, agronomists, and drone professionals.
Agremo’s mission is to help agricultural professionals achieve higher and more sustainable outputs through the power of better data comprehension. Agremo has received funds from a non-fundable non-equity grant from EU firms, and in 2018, it raised a seed round.
The startup’s CEO Milan Dobrota took a few minutes on the sidelines of the event to tell us more about his startup.
How do you differentiate your tech with others in the farm management software space?
Our technology is a B2B software that does data analytics. The data comes from aerial images collected by drones, satellites, and airplanes. We developed a unique AI technology that using it we are able to extract the most accurate and reliable info from imagery data powered by a vast amount of sample data collected over five years from thousands of fields and other inputs.
This means it’s capable of learning new technical challenges and it supports any sensor or data input type, translating to much more accurate and reliable information for imagery data. Our tech can also tackle much more use cases due to the types of data it can process.
What data capturing tools do you use and did you develop them in-house?
We use any data capture tool. We haven’t developed any of those in-house. We don’t develop drone hardware or sensors. Our technology is learning to do the analytics from different sensor types and some data types are more specific like multispectral cameras and some are generic like RGB cameras.
On the other hand, we don’t use them to service the customers. We develop software tech and only when we have to or when we are asked by our customers, do we collect data and get help from local partners in different geographies.
Who is your customer and what is your business model?
Our model is SaaS-like. Customers pay for a subscription that is mostly based on acreage. We create values for farm management optimization for growers and input producers and for processors. This pertains to everyone who is interested in field and crop status.
We are focusing on large enterprise growers, input producers, and suppliers who want to service customers or use the technology in production as well as agronomy professionals who are serving the farmers. We are not directly focused on serving farmers at the moment.
What specific insights do you provide your customers?
We group insights into determining the number of plants and determining health stages. We have specific analytics like identifying diseases. We have around 20 analysis types and we analyze over 100 crop types and the use cases are elaborated on a daily basis with our customers, along with the core technology and its capability to learn. We also excel at accurately determining the number of plants.
What is the agtech ecosystem like in Serbia?
There are only two industries standing out in Serbia and one is IT or more specifically software and the other is agriculture. So, comparing to the rest of the world, the agtech system is very developed. This gives us a good playground for the development of R&D and technology.
What’s your biggest challenge in scaling?
It’s a geographical challenge. For instance, we have many customers in America, one-third of our customers are in Latin America, 20% in Europe, and then the rest of the world. There are logistical challenges in servicing all of those customers from our part of the world. It’s also a necessity to bridge the gap culturally, know the market, and to get closer to customers.
Do you have plans to expand outside of Serbia?
Yes, we are working on it and planning to expand our footprint next year into the US and maybe Latin America.
How has your FoodBytes! experience been so far?
It’s been great. I’ve met a lot of great and interesting people and I think its really wonderful for not just our exposure, but for networking and connecting to other really important participants in this industry.