AirAgri - James & Paul Diamond
Hone TEK Program 1
1 Nov 2022
James has a unique background having an extensive expertise in digital and data-driven marketing, yet remaining closely associated with his family's third-generation cattle property in Victoria. Recently, James sought to combine these two passions, together with his brother Paul who remains active in their farming operation, to co-found agtech startup, AirAgri. Using his deep exposure to the worlds of digital and data, James was eager to bring farming into the modern age, providing a suite of digital tools to farmers to allow them to be more productive, profitable and have better control of their data. Whilst AirAgri was launched prior to joining the HoneTEK program, James was eager to establish deep industry connections, be exposed to growth opportunities to refine their MVP and continue to validate their learnings as an early startup.
AirAgri is an open platform allowing farmers with farming enterprises of all sizes and shapes to create a digital twin of their property, assets and livestock. The core tenets of the AirAgri platform is allowing farmers to create a digital farm map and then incorporate an extensive suite of tools which respond directly to that farming operation, such as to-do lists, weather updates, property information, safety advice and much more. AirAgri is only in the very early stages of its development, but James believes its potential is limitless, as once farmers are comfortable to start capturing on-farm data and present it in a useful manner, there are endless opportunities for customisation and analysis of that information.
Having made the decision to focus on the problems of farm safety, AirAgri utilised the skills they learned through the HatchTEK pre-accelerator to carry out primary research to validate tehri assumptions around the problems their proposed customer segments might be facing, particularly leveraging their existing customer databased.
James and Paul have worked together to identify the highest priority problems in this space utilising insights from customer discovery at all stages of the supply chain as well as desktop research, for example, accident reporting. They have leveraged their broader AirAgri know-how and partnerships to incorporate elements into their product innovation around connectivity, development of app-based solutions and weather insights.
AirAgri were also able to do a deep dive into the brand identity and establish a protocol for product naming while retaining the overall AirAgri brand and took steps to address IP protection for these names. This safety focused product is “Homestead by AirAgri” and comprises a funnel to incentivizing an up-sell from an initial freemium subscription to their broader product offering through a SaaS model.
During the HoneTEK program, James and Paul addressed the absence of shareholding and business partnership agreements. This step was important for them, not only personally, but also to ensure AirAgri is investment ready as they grow towards their aspirational goals.
We would have been another statistic, and skeleton in the start up grave yard had it not been for farmers 2 founders.
AirAgri have set some aspirational targets following the completion of the HoneTEK program. In the next six months they plan to:
Increase from a few hundred beta-users trialing the prototype Homestead product to a target 4,000 users at MVP by end 2Q2023
Further development of prototype and production of enabling hardware devices
$700K capital raise commencing February 2023
Raising profile and carrying out further customer discover and business development through key events and farm safety focused key note engagement from 1Q2023
Development of retail and commercial partnerships to enable scaling
Longer term goals include:
Encompassing early detection of mental health conditions
Integrate world’s first weather radar constellation
Development of a predictive risk assessment algorithm
AirAgri’s initial market focus is Victorian livestock farmers, with a view expanding across commodities and into national and global market growth as they gain traction.