Large corporations can often be quite rigid and poorly adaptable; it can be difficult to change their established processes even if they are no longer effective. But innovative projects can help with that. There are solutions on the market aimed at helping large companies improve their internal processes and increase business margins. Below are five Russian startups that can help logistics and agricultural companies.
MAgroTech: Increasing crop productivity and saving on fertilizers
The team of this AgroTech startup, finalist of Unicorn Battle EU-2020 includes agrochemists, agronomists, mathematicians and programmers. They have created technologies at the junction of these fields that help large agribusinesses increase crop yield profitability by up to 30%.
The company, a Skolkovo Foundation project, describes itself as a smart decision system for improving agribusinesses’ economic performance. MAgroTech’s yield formula is based on the analysis of more than 10,000 studies, seven years of experience and machine learning. Their theoretical research combined with field experience helps farmers – the startup’s clients – to accurately calculate their crop yield and profitability of land, make a cost estimate and evaluate losses. MAgroTech developers help their clients introduce these innovations into business processes.
The team has developed a mathematical model of the influence of fertilizers on crop yields, which takes into account the point of maximum efficacy of fertilizers and prevents their overuse. The company’s solutions also help optimize the cost of plant protection products and manage resources (agroinputs) more effectively at large crop farms with minimal involvement of analysts and highly qualified professionals.
With the company’s tech solutions, a hectare of outdoor cropland becomes 10-50% more productive. Major companies such as Agro-Alliance, Steppe, MIRATORG and other Russian agricultural giants have taken advantage of MAgroTech services.
ID Technology: Livestock marking goes digital
This resident of the Novosibirsk Innovation Foundation technology park develops software, equipment and products for identifying agricultural and domestic animals, as well as beehives. The company’s catalog contains products that automate the branding process and simplify the vet’s work ranging from microchips, ear tags and electronic tags to scanners and marking tools. The company also makes blood sampling systems and disinfection equipment.
Its electronic ID tags support FDX and HDX data formats, so the information they contain can be easily and accurately read by modern devices. Electronic labeling also enables farmers to collect statistics on each animal to increase herd performance.
Visual ear tags are made of a special kind of soft plastic that remains stable at low and high temperatures, and can rotate when installed, which rules out damage to the animal’s ear. The tags and their locks made of solid thermoplastic material cannot be removed and reused, which makes keeping track of the animals more reliable, and the farm products safer. Reusing ear tags is not allowed under the requirements of the International Committee for Animal Recording.
ID Technologies guarantees that its electronic and visually readable tags are resistant to any external influences throughout the animal’s life.
Alta Planta: effective and fully organic fertilizers
The third AgroTech company on the list is Alta Planta, manufacturer of organic fertilizers and integrator of innovative technology in agriculture. Eight people work on the product and technology, including experts with Ph.D. in biology and engineering, agricultural chemists, masters of soil studies and managers with years of business development and scaling experience.
Alta Planta combines nature-like technology with advanced developments. The company’s flagship product is Pospeta, a 100% organic fertilizer made according to international standards, EU regulations and suitable for organic agriculture.
Pospeta fertilizers and enriched soil help increase the harvest by 20% and more, as well as reduce costs, cut the use of mineral fertilizers and improve the quality and safety of fruits and vegetables. Alta Planta’s major clients using the technology and products include AgroKompleks and Southern Rice Company. The company is building a plant in the Pskov Region that will become part of a local closed-cycle eco-village.
Tsuru Robotics: stock control made easy with computer vision
Inventory procedures in storage facilities are usually conducted manually, which requires closing the facility and spending money on staff and equipment. Operators sustain direct losses and miss profits as a result.
Tsuru Robotics offers a semi-automated stock control system for storage facilities based on computer vision algorithms.
Inventory count requires hiring only one driver for the loader on which the system is mounted. No charging or batteries are necessary as the system is powered by the forklift’s battery. It takes 0.7 to 2.2 seconds for Tsuru Robotics to process one pallet.
Thanks to this technology, stocks can be counted two times faster, with 99.9% accuracy due to excluding the human factor. The system can operate equally well in different lighting conditions, with different types of packaging, bar codes. Data is instantly transferred to a WMS system or an Excel spreadsheet.
WareVision: drones automate pallet storage
The WareVision startup decided to go even further and remove humans from the stock control equation. Consisting of a mobile platform with a fleet of UAVs, the company’s system is suitable for inventory counting at up to 15 meters above the ground. The core technology stack includes SLAM algorithms for the mobile robot, active perception for the autonomous drone and various algorithms for recognizing labels. The project also uses AI and SWARM (swarm intellect).
With this technology bundle, the robot can autonomously navigate, localize and detect humans. The system can operate autonomously for up to eight hours and its operation does not require closing the storage facility even for complete inventory control.
The company has won several technology competitions and was included in the world’s top 20 science-based startups at Falling Walls Venture in 2018. WareVision technologies are used by L’Oreal, Samsung, FM Logistic and leaders of Russian e-commerce.