An Idea for an AgriTech Startup or How New Technologies are Transforming Agriculture
Digital technologies are penetrating all areas of the economy. Today it is already valid for agriculture. Many people already know such AgriTech-companies as AgroDronGroup, Root AI, Impossible ™ Foods, OneSoil.

Based on our experience of agricultural consulting, we would like to propose a new high-tech agricultural project. Investors in the 2020s will not look at the company's profitability, even in the late 2010s this factor no longer meant a lot. Recently, unprofitable companies sometimes show good capitalization growth, for example, this was the case with Amazon, Uber, Tesla and now it is happening with WeWork.

Therefore, the key focus in a new AgriTech project should be paid on the following factors: utility (What problem does the product solve?), the level of technologies, social trends. The main trends applicable to modern realities and related to agriculture are: healthy and environmentally friendly food, reducing the chain of intermediaries, increasing consumer awareness, transparency of production process, decentralization. Business model corresponding to these trends will be appropriate for investors and customers.

We propose to create a Unified Platform for the cultivation and sale of environmentally friendly products (hereinafter referred to as the Platform). This Platform should consist of a software solution (an exchange for the sale of grown products) and a computer appliance for product certification within the Platform.

Farmers from all over the world will be connected to the Platform. They will use a computer appliance for monitoring soils, fertilizers and other means used in agriproduction. Also, the computer appliance will allow to implemenet robotic automation in production process. The computer appliance will record all data on manufactured products in a single register. Based on the analysis of the data received using the computer appliance, the system will make decisions on the issuance of a certificate of a particular level. When buyers purchase a product, they will see on the exchange not only a certificate, but also a description of the production process and all the specifications that affect its quality.

The Platform will create the basis for uberization to the international agricultural market. It will help to organize mass production of goods that are not only popular today, but also positively effects on the health of the people. The product will increase consumer awareness and transparency in the agricultural producer-buyer relationship.

The Platform will eliminate unnecessary links and allow food manufacturers, HoReCa and retail stores to buy agricultural products directly bypassing resellers. Quality control will be simplified, wherein the price of products will be reduced and the profit of agricultural producers will increase.

The Platform will also act as a crowdsourcing platform for manufacturers, consumers, scientists, consultants. The Platform will have a forum to discuss agriculture improvement, to exchange experience in the production, sale and purchase. Subsequently, separate useful projects will be able to emerge from the forum.

To create such a Platform, it is necessary to use artificial intelligence for monitoring, analysis and certification. For data storage, it is best to use blockchain technology, which guarantees transparency for all participants in the process. Over time, when data is accumulated on the Platform, it will be possible to expand its functionality, for example, add the function of the recommended price for farmers or the function of detailed analysis of the demand for goods.

The main method of monetization will be a commission fee from sales on the Platform's exchange. There can be alternative monetization models, for example consulting services for farmers with aim to improve product quality, on-platform paid training courses on farming.

Such a product can receive the first investment without creating an MVP if a competent team of programmers, agrarians, biologists and economists is formed. In this case, founders can find a business angel who will ideologically like the Platform.

Regarding the further investment of this product, after the MVP has been created, there are two ways to go. One of them is the classic method of going through the standard stages of startup investing. We will not focus on this method, since it is already well known to everyone.

The second option is modern and promising. We propose the creation of an international farm association. Such an association will act as an institution for co-financing and quality control of the above-mentioned project. It is also important to note that the development of this project requires not only investments, but also narrow industry knowledge, which will also be provided by the association.

Nowadays, business associations are already losing their former importance. The tasks that they previously solved are either no longer relevant or are solved in other ways (consulting, digital platforms, etc.).

Without considering that it will be so in any case, we should note that this approach is relevant to the common sense, democratic and market principles, it will promote market competition.

It will be possible to create a Platform in the form of an agrarian crowdcorporation by creating an association of farms, between which shares will be diluted. The concentration of a controlling stake in the hands of one person or even a narrow group of persons is dangerous in large projects, especially those related to natural human needs, information, communications, since it allows manipulating the consumer.

On the one hand, the implementation of the Platform according to the crowd corporation model will be possible due to new technologies, and on the other hand, the distributed ownership structure will allow these technologies to be used correctly, which means to broadcast objective data on the quality and cost of goods to consumers.

Authors
Trofim Eremenko Timofey Polomannyy

VINT Consult, LLC (Payer’s registration number 191689433)

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