Ucrop.it

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Ucropit is focused on unboxing crop cycles and delivering remote agronomic certainty through blockchain technology to the market. Live broadcasting of crop evolution empowers farmers with immediate financial and commercial benefits in the form of better financing terms, better inputs/products prices and logistics terms, better crops quality understanding and market access, better sustainability practices and regulatory management compliance,amongst other positive externalities from digital certified traceability.

Background

Global consumers lack visibility into how crops are produced. This undermines farmer's value in a significant way by raising transactional costs within the agriculture value chain due to a lack of fluent timely information across all the stakeholders involved in maximizing the opportunity of a given crop.

The lack of crops-cycles visibility limit farmers on their capacity to differentiate and unleash value within the agricultural value chain to improve their gross margins and overall operation. Some examples of farmers transaction costs are: increasing social unrest to understand how crops are produced, financing is a shadow business with narrow credit lines and fewer farmers being financed solely based on their fixed assets holdings as opposite to their crop management and capabilities and throughput, increasing environmental and regulatory liabilities on farm’s inputs use, hard times for farmers to evidence grain quality standards achievement for harnessing better commercialization terms with off-takers, understanding and agreeing with suppliers on which technologies add more value at the field and increase grain yield or crops intrinsic quality, overall concerned on farmers sustainability practices, amongst other business concerns. Farmers and their agricultural value chain partners lack a cost effective way to deliver crop certainty, certified crops visibility, in a remote way thru the crop cycle to enable a better collaborative environment where a shared truth everyone can agree on may suppress transactional costs and unleash more value for them all.

Business Model

Ucrop.it's initial addressable market is composed of 2 customers segments: B2B farmers and Ag Companies. The service is free for small-to-mid-size farmers. In LATAM alone there are 102 MM hectares of crops being sowned every year, 82 millon are large farms hectares and 10% of that, roughly 8 million, are B2B farmers (Source FAO STATS http://faostat3.fao.or 2018). B2B farmers usually with >300 – 500 hectares or more are the low hanging fruit segment that benefits fast from the value proposition. They frequently have several crops production locations with distributed operational teams and/or sharecropping agreements with smaller farmers to partner on crop production efforts. They are in need of crops and operational teams/partners performance visibility upon what it was planned ahead vs actual crops performance or even to make on-time-decisions to counter act risks and unforeseeable crops stress events that frequently appear during the crop cycle evolution. They also benefit from better financing terms and commercial conditions that come through sharing the crops evolution and story with the market in an au ViVO fashion. Then, Ag companies are an additional customer vertical which includes input suppliers, Biotech firms, off-takers, commodities processors, large Dealer networks, amongst others and are interested on innovative ways to digitally integrate with their farmers customers and improve their access to them for their product and services deployment. An example of this is Ucrop.it's implementation with INDIGO AG, whose business model is to finance large growers on its microbiological seed treatment product until harvest season and collect on any yield upside potential realized. Ucrop.it certifies the on-field Indigo's value proposal for creating a shared truth between growers and Indigo as an agreement upon which Indigo could collect on upside yield value with growers acceptance.

Ucrop.it has a mobile web app which users such as farmers, agronomist and field advisors employ to certify crops-cycles evolution live and register IoT on-field-evidence into Bitcoin blockchain through different layers of softwares that used for that purpose. The decentralized mobile app interfaces allows us for "uberizing" the customers' agronomist and farmers at the field in order to leverage their distributed resources into creating trustful digital off-line last mile evidence for delivering remote certainty through crops' cycle evolution from inception to harvest. As crops' realization data is packed and recorded into blockchain, it enables information and functions that serves commercial and financials purposes for the benefit of farmers and other agribusiness partners. Because Blockchain recording enables them to certify electronic on field evidence from a decentralized collective labour force and machinery, in doing so, centralization and/or proprietary resources is avoided since customers’ associated growers and agronomist for this job. They claim this results in a 1/3 fraction of the cost corporate customers pay to existent incumbents such as Control Union, Cotegna amongst others.

Ucrop.it's revenues are derived from a SAAS fee business model. They invoice 1,5 USD p/hectare on average for a certainty fee, enabling customers remote understanding on how crops-cycles and growers/agronomist/partners are performing LIVE! at the production locations for different business purposes. This is their entry-level-service. They also tailor proposals to specific business needs such as smart financials tools for stage-by-stage crops-trade-financing using blockchain and smart contracts to activate credits by tranches as crops matures from one stage of the crop cycle into the other for example. As they trade on the same hectare information to different market players (with farmers agreement and permission of course) for achieving differente commerciao purposes (for which also the farmers benefit in the process as for example Louis Dreyfus prefer logistics terms for ucrop.it farmers that trade their cotton fiber just at the moment prior to harvest upon the visibility of what fiber quality, volume and porcedence do they have) they compound to an average 3,5 - 5 usd p/ha on the certainty saas fee.

Competitive Landscape

  • Global Established Certification companies

- Control union - Cotegna - Bureau Veritas - Intertek

  • Agtech - Foodtech

- Conservis - Auravant - Sima - other players with crops traceability capabilities

Milestones/Results

- 2018 Oct - UCROP.IT founders/shareholders agreement. - 2019 Jun - MVP Readiness and POC (Proof of concept execution). - 2019 Sep - Selected #44 amongst the 100 most innovative LATAM start-up ranking (amongst 1700) Top 2% Innovations Latam Awards, BR. - 2019 Dec - PreCommercial platform performing 100% agronomic events registration + evidence functionality. - 2020 Jan - INDIGO AG first customer to purchase UCROP.IT service for cotton microbial technology performance monitoring and certification. - 2020 Jan - GENSUS SA second customer to purchase UCROP.IT service for cotton certified market seed sales footprint enhancement. - 2020 March - LOUIS DREYFUS COMPANY negotiating UCROP.IT service purchases for cotton planned sourcing and traceability. - 2020 April - 10 + sales deals with relevant corporate customers in the pipeline valued at USD 265 K for the next 6 month. - 2020 April - As of today 22.020 hectares and 36 growers on cotton crop running in Ucrop.it. - 2020 April - as of today 6.000 hectares and 4 corp growers on row crop running in Ucrop.it. - 2020 June - Enhanced commercial platform readiness with LIVE information dashboards and A.I functionalities. - 2020 July - Selected for CDL ROTMAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT aceleration program in Canada and START UP CHILE (Corfo) aceleration program in Chile.

Team

DIEGO HOTER - Co-founder & CEO. Diego is former Monsanto LAS (Latin American South) Marketing Lead, 10 years in the agricultural industry for row crops with special focus on soybeans biotechnologies. Led the go-to-market efforts on 300 USD millon soybeans biotech launch in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay achieving 65% of soybean area (15 mllion hectares) on growers' user licenses signed with 9.000 growers aprox. Further, Diego designed and developed a biotechnology functional robot to automate the biotechnology detection in soybeans grains. The prototype was acquired by Monsanto and a large-scale machine facility today centralizes all soybeans biotech tons detections in Argentina based on Diego's design. Diego holds and MBA from The Edinburgh University Business School UK 2005 and has extensive startup leadership experience both on a personal and corporate grounds. Diego has been following the blockchain technology development since 2011 and due to his former experience working on commodities trade financing at Inoks Capital, previous to Monsanto, he understood how blockchain could deliver remote crops cycle realization certainty to favor crops trade financing efforts at a distance. That's how the ucrop.it concept was first borned.

MATIAS O'KEEFE - Co-founder & CTO. Matias heads all product development needs and oversees ucrop.it entire architecture and development efforts. After 7 years designing cellular networks for Motorola, Matias started-up a software company in 2002, for USA customers. In 2004, its operation was absorbed by UVCMS, an e-learning startup whose main client was McGraw Hill, at UVCMS Matias worked for more than 20 universities and managed 60 direct reports developing a series of 200 online courses. In 2009, obtained and EMBA from IAE, sold his shares and founded Lyncros a leading blockchain developer in Argentina with private/public customers including the National Service for food health and quality dependent from the Agriculture Ministry of Argentina for which Lyncros developed the fitosanitary export blockchain certification process and associated software.

MARCOS BOTTA - Co founder & COO. Marcos leads CX, sales pipeline and operations execution. Marcos is former Black River / Cargill Colombia CEO and have +15 years in relevant agriculture companies leadership roles. Marcos started up and run as CEO, on behalf of Cargill’s Black River Assets, Colombia Agro the leading agriculture integrated operation in Colombia with 65.000 hectares under management. After that experience Marcos later on repeated the format in Mexico, Peninsula de Yucatan, transforming 40,000 hectares with agro potential to agriculture land on one of the largest row crops land transformation in the country.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

PABLO VAQUERO. Director in Ucrop.it, Pablo is former MONSANTO LAS Vice President for Latin America South and Corporate affairs Director for 15 years.

SANTIAGO CASARES. Director in Ucrop.it, Santiago is President of CAZENAVE & ASOCIADOS an Argentina leading agriculture services firm planting 60.000 hectares of multicrops all across Argentina on a yearly basis.

MARTIN EPELDE. Director in Ucrop.it, Martin is Head of LYNCROS an established +20 years software development firm specialized on Blockchain development with corporate as well as gubermental agencies as customers. LYNCROS has recently developed all blockchain processes for digitally transforming SENASA's (the National service for food quality and security dependent from the National Agriculture Ministry) fitosanitary processes into blockchain processes.

CESAR LEVENE. Director in Ucrop.it, Cesar is Head of STARKUS a leading startups business and legal enabler in Argentina and his legal bureau ESTUDIO LEVENE advises ucrop.it on all legal & tax related matters.