Investment partners sought for launch of patented software tool that delivers groundbreaking benefits to farmers worldwide
MASONVILLE, CO, UNITED STATES, July 13, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Planting Profits® LLC, an agricultural technology startup, is hoeing an unconventional row to raise Series A funding. The Company is seeking funding partners as it approaches release of its breakthrough crop-planning tool and advisory service.
Over the past four years—while founders Gary Schneider and Sanjai Natesan were building and testing their software—the digitization of agriculture progressed, and investors followed. With a range of suitors and little time for serial dating, Planting Profits® is distributing a Request for Partnership (RFP), targeting organizations in the agricultural space for whom the Company recently demoed their software, walked through their advisory service, and shared a bit of their vision.
Planting Profits® is designed to help row crop farmers who every year bet the farm on their crop decisions. This is complex terrain for many farmers who must balance income and risk with asset use and stewardship. “That’s a lot to navigate. And every farmer and every operation are unique,” Schneider says. “That’s a tall order for software, especially given the geographic diversity of ag.”
A Technological Leap
“Our secret sauce is combining farmer knowledge and local agronomy with our patented planning framework and optimization algorithms,” he says. “In simpler terms, Planting Profits® is sort of an e-hopper: farmers input crop choices, rotation options, acreage limits, asset constraints, stewardship goals and such. Then out comes the single most profitable combination of crops/fields/acres and asset use that meets all stated goals and constraints. There’s nothing else that will do this. Planting Profits enables farmers to orchestrate key management decisions to achieve their optimum balance between income, income uncertainty, and stewardship. It does this by providing the means and methods to simultaneously analyze an operation in ways that couldn’t be analyzed before. The software shows where coordinated changes at the margins generate 10% – 30% higher estimated income. It can be used by any row-crop farmer anywhere in the world who are asking themselves the age-old question: how much of each crop should I plant this year? Farmers who annually wrestle with crop planning decisions, who have seen Planting Profits® have called it magic. For us, that’s affirmation of a technological leap.”
The software is applicable worldwide by simply translating the language and units of measure. For some farmers, using the online advisory service offered by the Company complements the planning tool. The advisory service provides a guided high-touch service component. It provides an easy on-ramp for farmers who want the benefits of the tool immediately without having to climb a learning curve right now. According to Schneider, many aspects of the advisory service will be folded into a future version of the Company’s service-as-software model enabled through AI.
“Planning is vital,” Schneider adds. “With our tools and processes we’re sort of creating a new service category. And we’re betting that what we’re bringing to the farm table will make a big difference in many farmers’ mindshare and mindset.” Read more…
Patented Software Tool
Planting Profits® marries optimization algorithms and AI with a farmer’s knowledge and operational musts and wants. Schneider is proud of their baby.
“What we’ve done is taken a tool previously reserved for large companies and their teams of smarty-pants, scaled it down to the farm and embedded the smarty-pants into the software,” he says. There’s nothing like Planting Profits®. It’s not recordkeeping. It’s not yield forecasting. It’s not precision ag. What it is, is deeptech. It’s applied mathematics crossed with fintech. All of this is wrapped in an elegant farmer-friendly interface. It’s easy-to-use. It increases management IQ out-of-the-box.”
In February 2021, after four years of examination, Planting Profits® was awarded a US patent for its inventive software application and algorithms. Schneider explains, “With our software, a farmer always knows their most profitable crop mix. Always. No matter what changes, a farmer can find their optimal set of crops/fields/acres and asset use. It can handle nearly any use case including quantifying difficult but important to quantify tradeoffs such as how to maximize profit while using the least amount of water, or capital, or labor, or N. Our tool can quantify risk and stewardship when a user wants to go there. It requires minimal data. It takes less than an hour to get a well-thought-out plan that’s easy to change. ROI is immediate.”
The story of Planting Profits® spans decades. Schneider developed the origins of the business over 20 years ago while in grad school at MIT:
“The original rendition of this planning tool was released in 1998. Pre-Web 2.0. Shrink wrapped. Shipped via Fed Ex. Within two months copies were sold across the US and in about 20 foreign countries. That year the software was selected by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers as one of the top-50 innovations in agriculture in the World. That year a forward-looking crop insurance executive called the nascent application the missing link because of how it unified all aspects of crop planning. That year the Wall Street Journal sent a columnist from NYC to Idaho to meet us and to hear our swords to plowshares story. And at the end of that year, regrettably, farmers lost access to this new tool.”
Schneider and his Company were swallowed by an ag behemoth. There, the technology languished in a labyrinth of corporate reorganizations.
Twenty years later Schneider and Natesan decided to use their own savings to rebuild the application in the latest web technology and make it available to farmers worldwide for free.
Schneider says, “Not having access to this tool or something similar over the past 20 years has likely cost US farmers tens of billions of dollars in lost income and unneeded exposure. Global opportunity costs are likely many times that. I believe this to be true from my experience building crop plans with farmers— seeing where a farmer started and where we finished.”
“Imagine the aggregate societal loss if use of spreadsheets for financial analysis had been delayed by 20 years? That’s how powerful our technology is,” Schneider says. “Now, we’re wanting to make up for lost time. As we emerge from stealth mode, we’re looking for partners across a range of channels and business models who can help us rapidly deliver the benefits of Planting Profits® to all farmers who can benefit.”
Opportunities to Partner
There are strategic opportunities for would-be partners. According to Schneider, “Fairly quickly Planting Profits® could affect allocation of millions of acres of US cropland and hundreds of millions of acres globally. We create value by enabling farmers to see more by giving them the tools and the framework to easily rearrange key pieces of their planning puzzle before breaking ground or buying anything. Most of this new value will be captured by farmers. But there are many related business opportunities. After farmers make their crop-planning decisions, they’re ready to purchase inputs and services, buy crop insurance, sell some crop, secure operating loans, etc. This represents hundreds of billions of dollars in annual transactions. That’s just in the US. Based on the value we bring, there are more than half a dozen harvestable revenue streams.” Schneider also believes Planting Profits will engender a lot of goodwill from a lot of farmers.
Candidate partners include:
• Global and regional agribusiness players on either side of the farmgate
• Crop insurance companies
• Established and emerging digital ag platforms needing to enhance their planning offerings
• VCs specializing in the F&A space whose investment zone is ag-tech, fintech and regenerative ag
• SPACs looking for rollup plays in F&A
• Media and content publishers targeting rural audiences
Beyond equity partners, the Company offers collaborations in licensing, reselling its advisory services, APIs with other digital solutions, training and workshops for farmer organizations, and NPR-like sponsorships. The planning service could easily be franchised.
As an aside, the Company’s online optimization application can, with minor modifications, be used by nearly any manufacturer to help plan how many of each product to make. Like with farmers, easy access to this technology could be a big deal in the near-term. Schneider says there are fundamental similarities between crop planning and manufacturing that makes their production planning tool directly transferrable to many small and mid-size manufacturers everywhere in the World, where things are made.
“We’re focused on ag and serving farmers,” he says. “That’s where our heart is. But the potential for licensing, a spinout or a pivot to this opportunity dwarfs the ag market.”
Rollout and Roadmap
A soft launch for farmers who want to use the online service is planned for late summer. The software will be available to growers in time for the 2022 planning cycle. The founders have bootstrapped the Company to soft launch and rollout. The UX and tech-stack have been updated. There is no technical debt. Schneider and Natesan are seeking funding to support a more aggressive rollout and roadmap. The founders have experience leading large systems implementations, so they decided to use a Request for Partners (RFP) process. The Company is launching an open search with a fixed timeframe to solicit and evaluate investor interest and partnership fit for Series A funding.
“Our goal is to find the best partner(s) as efficiently as possible,” Schneider says. “We’re reaching out to companies in the ag community with whom we’ve recently demoed our software and our online advisory service. But there are likely others who would make excellent partners, so we’re trying to connect using this approach. Planting Profits® is transferrable to any country by simply changing the language and units of measure. Our application is farm-size neutral. Opportunities are global. For foreign governments and ag / development NGOs who can help us help native farmers we’d love to hear from you. We have an altruistic bent and a .org.”
Request a Demo
As part of due diligence, the Company looks forward to hosting demos for cohorts of farmers and other interested parties. Says Schneider, “Most farmers who see Planting Profits® for the first time get it. Like magic…”
Create the Future
The Company is open to a range of partnerships including ones that are evolutionary, or with the right partner, acquisitive. The Company has a light footprint, but is open to relocation.
About Planting Profits®
Planting Profits® LLC provides tools, training and services that help farmers with their crop-planning. Planting Profits strives to serve farmers. We aspire to integrate solutions that improve customer experience. Our online planning tool is free for farmers to use. Our online advisory service is guaranteed or there is no fee. Planting Profits® saves farmers time, makes farmers money, and gives farmers peace of mind.
For More Information
For more information contact Gary Schneider at 970.420.1656 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.plantingprofits.com.
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