Tell us a few words about the founders and how the idea came
Zenvus is an intelligent solution for farms that use proprietary electronics sensors to collect soil data like moisture, nutrients, pH… and send them to a cloud server via GSM, satellite or Wifi. Algorithms in the server analyze the data and advice farmers on what to do in their farms to maximize yield. As the crops grow, the system deploys special cameras to build vegetative health to help detection of drought stress, pests and diseases. The data generated is aggregated, anonymized and made available via subscription for agro-lending, agro-insurance, commodity trading to banks, agro-insurers and agro-investors.
Link to online video (if available)
Your products and services
We offer two products – Zenvus Smartfarm, a soil fertility sensor, and Zenvus Yield which is a high spectral camera for vegetation mapping. Our services are:
- zManager – zManager is an electronic farm diary that helps Zenvus farmers record all phases of farming from planting through harvest to sales. It keeps all records – financial, staff, tools… in one secure place.
- zPrices -zPrices empowers rural Zenvus farmers with real-time produce prices across major cities. It provides farmers with data to effectively negotiate prices with merchants who normally pay them little.
- zCapital – zCapital helps Zenvus farmers raise capital (loan or equity) by providing independent farm data from our sensors to help banks and investors evaluate overall profitability of farms.
- zCrowdfund -zCrowdfund helps Zenvus farmers crowdfund capital from local donors to whom they can deliver produce after harvest. Our sensors validate these farms providing partners with confidence.
- zInsure -zInsure helps Zenvus farmers insure their farms by providing independent farm data from our sensors to insurers. This helps them evaluate the risks based on actual farm data.
- zMarkets – zMarket provides a platform for Zenvus farmers to sell their produce. It is an avenue to expand their markets by removing geographic limitations. Farmers list their harvest days and buyers connect.
Your success factors
Innovation and delivering products and services at less than 10% of cost which big foreign brands deliver the same. We understand that African farmers are cost-conscious, so we work to deliver services at good prices.
Your factors differentiating and disruptive compared to the existing
Zenvus uses electronic sensors to measure soil nutrients, temperature, moisture etc. It uses special cameras to build farm vegetation index to detect drought stress, diseases and pests in crops. Both data are sent wirelessly to a cloud server where analytics use them to precisely tell a farmer when to water a farm, among others. Linked to weather station, it knows when to wait for rain over irrigation. Zenvus reduces water usage by 70% and sells for $200 compared to $120k needed for some big foreign competitors
Your business model (how do you make money?)
We sell our sensors and we also sell via subscriptions the aggregated data (and anonymized) from farms so that banks, insurers and agro-investors can use the same data to make loans and insure farms.
A few words about your competitors
They are big companies selling IOT devices to large farms in Africa. They include John Deere. So far, they have no solution targeting small African farmers. We are pioneering this field of building sensors (IOT devices) for small farmers.