Today, data is revolutionizing every industry. When it comes to the agriculture industry, many existing challenges can be resolved by leveraging data science. It was this idea that led to the inception of SciCrop.
SciCrop was founded by Jose Damico and Renato Ferraz to help companies transcend impossible problems in the agribusiness sector through data science and analytics. Previously working for many years in the analytics market for financial institutions, Jose and Renato joined forces to create a company that would become the leading player in advanced analytics for top ag multinational companies.
As pioneers in the Brazilian agtech market, SciCrop became a trusted advisor and a reference for all the community. It started to solve complex data integration problems in the ag supply chain, quickly expanding operations around Brazil. SciCrop’s mission today is to be the biggest partner in the journey of digital transformation of the main companies in the agribusiness chain. With a business model of analytics as a service (AaaS), SciCrop has already earned more than 25 international awards in 7 countries, as a prominent innovation, tech and scaleup start-up.
We at Insights Success caught up with Renato to know more about the company and how it has made its way to be known as the leading analytics provider for the largest ag companies.
Being Market Fit
SciCrop faced many challenges in its journey, but the market fit was the bigger one. Its first defeat was the market maturity, which was not prepared for this kind of digitalization at the time. Many offers of SciCrop depend on data that should be integrated in a data warehouse with a regular frequency and volume to enable the analysis process and algorithms development.
In the first three years, SciCrop has been racing to develop its infrastructure and protocols to facilitate the adoption of its clients in the analytics journey. Today it offers the complete solution from the beginning, adding to its scope the service of data management and cloud support. This process also helped SciCrop to pivot its business model and solve the challenge of the solution market fit. At that time, SciCrop was focused on the B2F (Business-to-Farmer) suffering to monetize, and then it started the B2B model.
Serving Large Agribusiness Companies with Advanced Analytics
First of all, SciCrop is a technology company. As any company today needs technology to scale its operations, SciCrop has been surfing the wave of being one of the only startups to serve large agribusiness companies with state-of-the-art in advanced analytics. Its services and solutions meet the main challenges of the agribusiness chain, providing what it calls agriculture 4.0.
In an increasingly competitive market, SciCrop’s clients’ operations need to be optimized to the limit, providing gains that are only possible to be realized when data shows how to execute those operations. Its AgroAPi is a classic example of a solution that serves the entire chain and allows its clients’ flexibility to analyze and generate insights into their operation. If someone needs something customized, SciCrop also offers a solution and that way it positions itself as the main technology supplier for the ag industry in Brazil.
Giving Freedom of Creation and Space for Employees
When it comes to maintaining a positive work culture, SciCrop keeps its team young, always seeking to update the main technologies and market practices. It gives freedom of creation and space for employees to develop as a person. It all starts with the hiring process. At the beginning of its journey, the company was incubated by Google, and it learned how to hire in the right way, and today it has almost no resignations. People like and believe in the company’s mission.
Becoming a Reference in Technology for Agribusiness
Renato mentions that SciCrop has a practice of working with open source and always contributing to the software community, maintaining some projects for the sector. It also innovates with its R&D; it has partnerships with research institutes that provide the development of new cutting-edge technologies. For SciCrop, it is simply an obligation to become a reference in technology for agribusiness.
Supporting Sustainable and Scalable Agribusiness
Moreover, SciCrop has always been very close to the community, both in technology and in agribusiness. From the beginning, its objective has been to bring technology to improve ag productivity and reduce production costs in agribusiness.
As Renato mentioned, SciCrop is adept at the open-source, and many solutions it develops have already helped create new products by other partners and by the market. SciCrop is a part of innovation hubs that help technify producers, and it is present in sustainability initiatives that empower the community, such as the Sustainable Soy Program in the Cerrado, supported by the Land Innovation Fund. Supporting a more sustainable and scalable agribusiness is at the base of SciCrop’s values, and consequently enables farmers to be prepared to compete internationally with productivity.
Maintaining Credibility with Current and Future Clients
Talking about the future of SciCrop, Renato expresses that the competition in the AgTech industry is growing every year. In the last 3 years, the number of startups in this sector has tripled, and they all want to be in the cradle of agribusiness: Brazil. He considers it is important for SciCrop to be well prepared.
Renato believes that the company will have a little more peace of mind by being positioned throughout the chain and in a more infrastructural part of the technology. What SciCrop does is difficult to deliver, so good competitors will emerge, but they will be less compared to other segments. SciCrop plays its role, always being aware of what is new and disruptive and creating new solutions to serve customers.
“Evolving is always necessary in this world of technology. And connections/network are even more important in the agribusiness sector. So, positioning ourselves as a trusted advisor is critical to maintaining credibility with current and future clients. In the end, it’s all about keeping a talented team, having a good vision of the future, and above all, being faithful to our values, and here in SciCrop our main value is to change people’s lives for better by bringing greater productivity to agribusiness that should feed more than 9 billion people in 2050,” concludes Renato.