Our investment in Agronomic Technology Corp

Arthur Ventures is excited to announce our Series A investment in Agronomic Technology Corp (ATC)! Cayuga Venture Fund and Armory Square Ventures participated in the round as well.

ATC is based in NYC and are the creators of Adapt-N, an on-demand nitrogen recommendation platform for growers and agronomists. Right now, Adapt-N is specifically designed for corn and will be expanding to other row crops (soybeans, potatoes, wheat, etc.) in the coming years.

We met Steve Sibulkin and Greg Levow back in February 2014. At the time, they were just finalizing a license agreement with Cornell to commercialize a very interesting nitrogen recommendation technology that had been developed at the university over the past 10 years. They shared their goal of productizing the technology into a web-based service to deliver on-demand nitrogen recommendations for corn growers and agronomists. When we reconnected with Steve and Greg earlier this summer, we were blown away at the product, the number of paying customers and the amount of total acres covered by Adapt-N.

Experts estimate that there will be more than 9 billion people on our planet by the year 2050. In order to feed 9 billion people, we will have to produce more food with less water, land and fertilizer. Fertilizer will continue to play a key role in meeting this perpetual challenge, especially nitrogen. Nitrogen feeds 50% of the world’s crops and plays a major role in maximizing yields from production acres.

Due to nitrogen’s high cost, growers strive to optimize their overall use of the necessary input. If you use too little, your yield will suffer. If you use too much, excess nitrogen will runoff, which is a huge waste of money. In addition, the over-application of nitrogen leads to environmental damage due to excess nitrates in our water supply and atmosphere. It’s estimated that as much as 50% of nitrogen applied can be lost to variable soil, crop and weather dynamics. The EPA, other regulatory bodies, and even large corporations like Walmart will continue to put pressure on growers to combat the over-application of nitrogen.

Today, nitrogen recommendation is part science (soil test driven recommendations) and part art (“200 lbs of nitrogen per acre should produce 150 bushels per acre of corn”). But, agronomy is a science and not an art. The real problem is that nitrogen is often grossly misapplied because it’s impossible to know how much each fields actually needs at a given point in time.

Adapt-N solves this problem by taking historical soil data, seed data, planting data and real-time weather data to generate an on-demand soil recommendation. No other system or spreadsheet calculator can provide on-demand recommendations right before the grower begins to fertilize.

We believe in the power of delivering instant financial value to growers, as well as the entire agronomic value chain. Needless to say, we’re really excited to partner with Steve, Greg, Holly and the rest of the team at Agronomic Technology Corp!

Read the press release here.