Agritecture announced the upcoming launch of Agritecture Designer, a first-of-its-kind online platform focused on controlled environment agriculture (CEA). As the CEA industry faces economic uncertainty, Agritecture Designer offers a data-driven solution to help those interested in entering or learning more about the sector do so with confidence. The platform will provide users with educational resources, including multiple hours of video lessons on commercial urban farming best practices taught by the Agritecture team and some of its partners. In addition, Agritecture Designer features a farm modeling tool that allows users to create a comprehensive financial projection in seconds, which can then be continuously refined and exported to Excel. This will help users better understand the potential profitability of their farm. The platform also includes a crop pricing tool, which calculates an appropriate sales price for the user’s selected crop based on market research they enter, including information on product price, quality, labels, and sales channel.
To further assist users in setting up their farm, Agritecture Designer offers access to the Agritecture Partner Network, a network of 16 equipment providers and 4 financing providers that have been vetted by Agritecture. Users are offered exclusive discounts and assistance with outreach and quote analysis through the platform.
The platform has undergone two years of beta testing with almost 5,000 users from over 100 countries, and will officially launch on January 9. “We believe that the platform will simplify the first steps for entrepreneurs, with knowledge and expertise from the largest consulting firm in the market,” says Max Chizhov, Co-Founder of iFarm, one of several equipment suppliers that have joined the Agritecture Partner Network. “Each vertical farm can and should be profitable. Agritecture Designer will help to find reliable solutions.”
Agritecture’s digital solution and follow-on services are especially pertinent in today’s economic environment, in which there have been consecutive months of indoor farm layoffs and shutdowns. According to Henry Gordon-Smith, the founder and CEO of Agritecture, “Unfortunately, our current economic reality has highlighted the weaknesses of many producers and investors, primarily an overreliance on hype and unsustainable growth prospects. However, controlled environment agriculture may still produce great returns, both financially and ecologically, with careful planning guided by professionals.” As an example, of the farms modeled during Agritecture Designer’s beta phase, 40% did not demonstrate a positive financial return. However, as users worked with the Agritecture team to research and refine their models, many were able to find a viable path forward. Of those that did model a positive-ROI scenario, the average payback period was 4.6 years.
Further commenting on the announcement, Henry says “Agriculture has demonstrated its capacity to integrate technology with consulting services to expedite project schedules and decrease risk. We are thankful to our strategic partners and investors, particularly Esther Dyson, a seasoned tech investor, and Priva, whose backing enables us to develop and innovate more quickly.”
Agritecture Designer will be available starting January 9, with paid plans beginning at $29 per month, click here for more information.
Image provided by Agritecture
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