AGRIVI | X-Europe Startup Interview
Welcome to the eighth article of our X-Europe startup interview series. We have virtually sat down with a number of our founders from past cohorts to hear all about their solutions, vision for the future, and what made them tick during our X Europe programme. So whether you are a deep tech founder looking for startup support, an eagle-eyed investor, or simply interested in the possibilities that technology can bring to society, then we welcome you to take a read. Please meet AGRIVI, a global AgTech company with the vision to change the way food is produced.
Hi, What's your name? Hi, I am Mate Knezovic, Chief Operating Officer of AGRIVI.
Can you briefly explain what your solution is all about? What’s unique about it?
We focus on solving problems in the agri-food value chain having in mind farmer’s challenges and challenges of an industry that works closely with farmers.
Our technology supports farmers in making their crop production profitable while making their life easier.
Our core product is AGRIVI farm management platform. We are proud that we succeeded to build one of the most comprehensive farm management platforms that have actual customers across continents, supports both the agronomy and business side of farming, and supports the collaboration of the value chain with farmers. That combination is unique.
In our platform design, we insisted on the localization capabilities that are very complex when it comes to serving a global market – so the platform supports different languages, measurement units, currencies, but also our algorithms are fine-tuned with our local databases for pests and diseases, crop protection products and fertilizers with details about ingredients they are made of to enable intelligence and insights.
How can your solution impact the AgriTech sector?
We support farmers in making the entire farm operations efficient, mitigating risks of yield loss, applying practices that are compliant with food safety, quality and sustainability standards, and much more. Often, we see our farmers doubling their profit margin as a result of cost control, risk mitigation, timely and right decisions.
Besides farmers, we work with other organizations from the agri-food value chain, like food companies, retail companies, agribusiness banks, insurances, and other stakeholders that collaborate with farmers. As a company, we focus on solving real-life problems in the food production process.
What’s the biggest milestone your startup has achieved so far, and what challenges are you still trying to overcome?
Our farm management platform is now at the level of maturity where it serves the requirements of the leading organizations in the agri-food industry globally. Today we are in the top 10 farm management software industry companies.
The biggest challenge is change management – changing the habit of making decisions based on intuition towards data-driven and fact-based decision making. We do not compete in an existing market where there is quality or price competition. Agritech is a new market and we are building a new product category. We are happy that the education stage of the market is done, farmers know that there are actual benefits from using the farm management software.
How has X-Europe helped you during the past few months?
X-Europe program is great for setting-up quality fundamental knowledge of different parts of the business, from understanding the basics of digital marketing, improving presentation and negotiation skills to learn how to find the right talents for your startup.
It has been great to share experience, hear other companies’ paths in our industry, since we are in new market sharing learnings is very valuable for each company. Today, networking takes more time since everything is online, but X-Europe has found a great way to connect people in the same industry and create opportunities.
After joining and benefiting from the services X-Europe has provided/will provide to you, what next steps do you envision?
Our focus in 2021 is to strengthen our market-leading position in Europe, increase the market share in our target segment in the USA, and build up partnerships for other regions. On the product innovation side, our focuses are on predictions based on AI-driven insights, data collection automation, and compliance with food safety, quality, and sustainability standards.
What advice would you give to an entrepreneur trying to pave his/her way in the AgriTech sector?
It’s important to set up a clear vision of what you want to do, there are many possibilities and different paths to achieve that vision. Still, the entrepreneurs have to know what drives them, what is the goal. In the end, it’s not only about the product, but also in creating the company that is about solving real-life problems and to get things done, that is the key. Technology helps solving problems and making life easier, so the focus needs to be set on customer’s needs, customer’s processes, and making it efficient as possible. That is one of the learnings that we AGRIVI went through and what is still keeping us on track. As soon as we realize something is not generating the results we wanted, we shift the way of doing it, try to identify how to do it differently, change approach, find a new path. No matter what, we keep in mind the same setup vision from the beginning and do our mission, but through a different approach.
What’s unique about the X-Europe programme?
The program is a real mix of different knowledge sets delivered through various formats from training, matchmaking, presentations, workshops to keep it dynamic. It is special for gathering like-minded people who are passionate about digitalization and share the same vision to have a better future for food.