Des Moines-based startup AgriSync acquired $450,000 in seed funding earlier this month to continue to develop and market its two-way video app that allows agriculture advisors and experts to give visual remote support to farmers in their fields.
The funding came from several investors, including a multi-owner diversified farming and livestock feeding operation, a media and data company, an angel network including ex-agribusiness executives and an ag equipment dealership. AgriSync was also awarded $15,000 from the American Farm Bureau’s Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge.
The new AgriSync application, similar to FaceTime and Skype, allows farmers to access real-time, video advice right from their mobile devices. Using standard smartphone capabilities, AgriSync allows trusted advisors – such as agronomists, service technicians and precision agricultural specialists – to see what their farmer customer sees in a real-time video support session.
Common farm issues that lend themselves to the AgriSync solution include: precision technology troubleshooting, evaluating crop health and equipment setup.
According to Iowa State University, over 60 percent of farming decisions and problem-solving activities involve an off-farm expert’s opinion, and AgriSync allows for that advice to be given right when the farmer needs it.
“AgriSync provides an alternative to an advisor having to get in his truck and drive a significant distance to assess any in-field issues,” said Jerrod Westfahl, co-founder of AgriSync. “That’s not only a timely and delayed response, but it’s also costly, especially if it occurs several times a year.”
The app and service are free for farmers, and a subscription is available for advisors, including agronomists, equipment dealers and precision ag tech providers.
The company began working on a prototype in early 2014 and spent most of 2015 getting feedback from farmers, releasing the app in December 2015. AgriSync is available for both farmers and advisors at the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.