We are now investing in AgronetPRO! The agrotech startup is digitizing agriculture and getting ready to expand in Western Europe￼
AgronetPRO is a Polish startup in the agrotechnology segment. They have created an automated field management system that enables fruit and vegetable producers to monitor the condition of their crops on an ongoing basis and respond to threats related to frosts, droughts, pests and diseases. And we have just decided to invest in the company! AgronetPRO will receive over PLN 1 million from us to further develop the integrated system, as well as increase sales. The company is currently preparing for foreign expansion.
AgronetPRO – creator and supplier of applications and sensors supporting farmers and fruit farmers in field management – started development in 2020. It was just over two years ago that Polish fruit grower, Kamil Koc, along with experts in the field of software and technology development and implementation, Sander de Vries and Dmitry Kolesnikov, decided to join forces. They started working on an automatic system that would make it possible to monitor crop conditions and integrate weather stations and modular field sensors through the use of their proprietary application. They wanted users to be able to receive real-time information that could prevent the effects of, e.g., extreme weather phenomena. Kamil Koc, one of the founders of the startup, saw an opportunity in this area when a local frost destroyed most of his crops in just one night, causing losses of hundreds of thousands of zlotys.
Today, the AgronetPRO application can warn users against upcoming frosts, droughts, and pests 24/7, and also monitor conditions in detail – incl. levels of ethylene, O2, and CO2 in warehouses. The system makes it possible for users to control crops in large areas, while its sensors send data to mobile devices up to every two minutes. Many foreign investors have seen great value in the startup. Among them are the French Albatros Group, which includes RIMpro and Tellusia, as well as private investor Stefan Sikora – known in the industry for his contribution to the development of sustainable agriculture. And now we have also decided to invest over PLN 1 million in the development of the company, thus expanding our investment portfolio with the AgriTech sector.
– AgronetPRO, creator of an intelligent crop management system, has covered orchards belonging to more than 100 fruit growers in just over a year, allowing users to monitor a total of about 300,000 hectares of land. The company’s innovative, scalable solution has quickly gained recognition for responding to the needs of fruit and vegetable producers. Crop management, especially in terms of environmental and climate conditions, has been burdened with an increasing risk. This has created a growing niche for AgronetPRO, in which they have successfully developed effective technologies to automate the control of crops, including water and fertilization. We have decided to invest in the company because it also receives support from experienced entrepreneurs who know the market very well – emphasizes Rafał Sobczak, managing partner at Unfold.vc.
AgronetPRO is based on LoRaWAN technology (a dedicated IoT solution), which connects devices to the Internet wirelessly and manages communication between the sensors and the IT system. The application informs users of any changes that require their attention. It also presents detailed analyses and predictions based on historical data. The company’s representatives emphasize that the product became popular very quickly among fruit growers who were, at first, the company’s main customers. AgronetPRO sensors are so versatile that they are used in soft fruit crops (raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries) as well as tunnel crops (e.g., tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers).
– Based on our knowledge of the industry and of the problems that farmers have had to deal with in farm management, we quickly acquired new customers and partners. We started in 2020 with two sensors in Kamil’s orchard. Today, there are over 300 of them in fields all over Poland. We have 8 kinds of sensors with 13 different parameters, and there are more just waiting to be implemented – says Sander de Vries, co-founder and president of AgronetPRO, who has been a software consultant for Polish companies for over 10 years, as well as for foreign operating companies in VR and IoT.
The AgronetPRO solution is a modular one. Each device can be installed separately and, depending on user needs, their placement can be changed. “By purchasing more than one device, you can create a modular weather station tailored to your needs. This allows users to make the best decisions and optimize costs,” adds Kamil Koc, co-founder of the startup.
Plan for product development and foreign expansion
The agrotech startup wants to take another step towards supporting the efficiency of crops by using comprehensive technological solutions. Therefore, the obtained financing will be allocated to the further development of an intelligent farm management system. As part of the new software version, it will be possible to not only record the weather forecast, current weather conditions, and soil quality, but also to monitor the entire farm. This is all made possible via cloud solutions, requiring minimal user input. In addition to the further development of their system, AgronetPRO also has a plan to strengthen their position on both the local market and abroad. Already in 2023, the company’s products will be available in France, opening a new chapter in the company’s development.
Agriculture 4.0 in Poland
Although the Polish AgriTech market is not as developed as its global counterpart yet, projects like AgronetPRO fit in very well with the dynamically changing landscape of the industry in Poland. More importantly, it is also in line with the EU’s sustainable economic policy. The European Green Deal assumes that the agricultural sector will be reducing the use of chemical pesticides by 50% and fertilizer use by 20%. Improving agrochemical efficiency o will also reduce the amount of total resources used – which is what the AgronetPRO agrotechnical company is striving for.
– The threat of pests and diseases is growing year by year, while agricultural requirements regarding the quality of crops from the EU are becoming more stringent. By using advanced disease models, we can predict whether crops are under threat and then select the appropriate preventative action. More importantly, much less agrochemistry is needed for disease prevention as opposed to after disease has already struck and requires treatment, ”explains Sander de Vries.
As Rafał Sobczak from Unfold.vc admits, there is no shortage of ideas for innovative projects in the agricultural sector in Poland.
– Real-time access to information on soil moisture, the analysis of historical yields, sensors that help lower water consumption, as well as more precise weather forecasts – these are just a few of the solutions that have been developed by Poles, and which are also simply the benefits of intelligent farming. The digitization of this sector will make it possible to increase the efficiency of crops, protect natural resources and ultimately improve the quality of food. Technological progress in agriculture is most visible in Europe. This is an opportunity for companies to take advantage of this trend. We see promising potential for development and growth in AgronetPRO – sums up Rafał Sobczak.
According to last year’s report “Technologies in agriculture”, from the Startup Poland Foundation, nearly USD 30 billion was invested in startups in the global agri-food industry in 2020.