Following is an interview between Insights Success and G. Bailey Stockdale, the CEO of Leaf Agriculture, a company which partners with companies around the world to facilitate aggregated, standardized, and secure Agriculture data through the precision agriculture workflow.
G. Bailey Stockdale has worked in Agritech for over eight years as a developer, speaker, and investor. Having experienced the frustration of data inoperability first-hand for years he started Leaf to provide an easy way for developers to work with AgTech data.
Through this interview, Mr. Stockdale shares valuable insights into the AgriTech industry and how Leaf caters to its requirements.
Give a brief overview of your organization and the services and/or solutions you offer. Enlighten us with your inception story and the inspiration behind it.
AgriTech companies use Leaf’s API products to access unified agriculture data and services.
Our products are the digital infrastructure for agriculture and work in the background to enable AgTech companies to scale their products.
We started Leaf after years of frustration working with agriculture data from a wide variety of sources. Initially, we tried to launch an app that connected all farm data points together in a single dashboard. The problem was, farmers didn’t want another dashboard; they wanted fewer dashboards! We quickly understood this and realized that our energy was best directed to making sure that their current dashboards works seamlessly with all of the data their farm generates.
So, we went back and began building the tools every AgriTech company needs to make their products compatible with farm data from any source. Today, Leaf’s products power AgTech products around the world and allow every tool to instantly be compatible with farm data from any other source.
How do you think has the AgriTech and affiliated solutions market evolved and what can be expected in the forthcoming years?
Over the past five to ten years, the majority of farmers have begun using multiple types of farm data from a wide selection of companies, but the data was spread across hundreds of different apps leading to confusion, frustration, and limited value.
This has been changing quickly and today we have companies, researchers, and farmers building massive value with this data by combining it in centralized platforms, creating agronomic recommendation products, employing new business models like outcome-based pricing, offering credit programs based on farm data, etc.
“Our products make working with agriculture data simple, fast, and secure.”
Finally, the true value of farm data is being unlocked by companies building new products on top of it. Previously, the limiting factor to building these types of products was data interoperability. Any new product built on top of Agriculture data would be limited only to other farms using the exact same data companies. Leaf’s technology solves this problem and acts as the infrastructure that AgriTech companies use to scale their products. We’ve been fortunate to see and help many of these projects throughout their development and are extremely excited about the upcoming companies and products being built.
What are the benefits gained by your clients/users from your products/solutions/services?
Simple and powerful APIs are foundational to any modern industry. If we look at Plaid in Fintech for example, they’re providing backend bank integrations for companies like Venmo, Transferwise, Robinhood, etc. instead of worrying about making their apps compatible with a big list of banks around the world, these companies use Plaid to instantly become compatible with all banks so they can focus on their product.
Leaf’s story and role in AgriTech is similar to Plaid’s in Finance. We have companies building valuable products on top of data but struggle to make it compatible across machine brands, weather stations, or imagery providers. Similar to how Plaid helps FinTech companies scale their products across banks instantly, Leaf helps AgriTech companies access data and scale products across all other AgriTech companies.
What obstacles and/or limitations does you and your company face while growing, sustaining or retaining its clientele?
Our current focus is international expansion. While we already have customers in most regions of the world, we’re doubling down on expanding our presence outside of our initial focus on the Americas.