From UAVs to GPS tracking systems to data platforms, crop-monitoring technology is beginning to sprout up all over ag. Most of these innovations are specifically designed to cover lots of ground on commercial-scale farms, but as the AgTech industry advances and evolves, technology for smaller farms, and even home gardens, is beginning to develop. Now, wireless “smart gardening system” Edyn could help growers of all levels — professional farmers and novice rooftop-tomato-plant hobbyists alike — make the most of their plants and resources.
Founded by ecologist Jason Aramburu, Edyn uses two hardware components in conjunction with a smartphone app to give growers a complete, all-in-one reading of the environmental factors that could impact their garden’s potential. The system, which already has 12,000 units on order by The Home Depot for 2015, is capable of measuring soil quality, including nutrient content, pH, and moisture levels, as well as humidity, temperature, and sunlight exposure. There are some competitors on the market, like the Parrot Flower Power and Koubachi Wi-Fi Plant Sensor, but Edyn asserts that its system is unique in that it not only analyzes data, but also offers automated care and makes recommendations about what plants will best thrive in a given area.
For such detailed data tracking and monitoring, the three-piece system functions in a way that’s easy to understand. The Edyn Garden Sensor, a cheery-looking yellow appliance that gardeners place directly into the soil, collects and streams data to the free smartphone app, providing a real-time “snapshot” of the garden’s status. (According to the Edyn website, the sensor has a seven-year battery life and is capable of measuring up to 250 square feet.) The sensor also wirelessly connects to the second piece of hardware, the Edyn Smart Valve, which then irrigates plants with the appropriate amount of water whenever needed. Edyn claims that growers can expect to save around 37 percent in water expenses by using their product.
Edyn recently came out of the startup accelerator Y-Combinator — whose alumni include Airbnb (valued at $13B), DropBox (valued at $10B), Stripe (valued at $1.75B) Reddit (valued at $500M) — and successfully ran a $100,000 Kickstarter campaign last summer. Over $1.75 million has been raised to date, propelling the development of Edyn’s products and ensuring a 2015 retail debut.
Although its primary focus is on the $35 billion lawn and garden market, Edyn is engaged in pilots with Climate Corp and Anheuser-Busch InBev (the world’s largest brewing company) to extend its technology into commercial agriculture. The system is currently in a Preview Period with AgFunder and plans to launch a $2 million investment campaign in the near future, which could give Edyn the opportunity to expand into large-scale farms.
AgFunder will be holding an investor webinar about Edyn on November 20.
FEATURED IMAGE: Edyn Garden Sensor