GroGuru Raises $2.9 Million in Seed Funding

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GroGuru enables farmers to increase crop yield and reap the benefits of AI in their irrigation decisions.

Giving farmers real-time insights into the water in the ground near the root zone of a crop is essential for maximizing crop yield and efficiently and more efficiently using water and other scarce resources in a sustainable way.

San Diego startup GroGuru today announced it has raised $2.9 million in Seed funding, including investments from The Yield Lab, Longley Capital, Mentors Fund, the San Diego Angel Conference, Right Side Capital, and other angel investors. GroGuru helps farmers make more money by increasing crop yield while more efficiently using water and other scarce resources in a sustainable way through improved strategic irrigation management.

The GroGuru patented wireless underground system, WUGS, enables the permanent installation of soil sensors in annual field crops like corn and soybeans, eliminating the need for annual installation and removal of soil sensors. GroGuru then uses machine learning and other data in the cloud to give farmers recommendations about when and how much to irrigate.

"Giving farmers real-time insights into the water in the ground near the root zone of a crop is essential for maximizing crop yield and more efficiently using water and other scarce resources in a sustainable way." said GroGuru president and CEO Patrick Henry. "By having soil sensors permanently installed in the ground, then adding other information about crop type, soil type and weather, we can help farmers make better irrigation decisions and eventually drive automation of the irrigation process. The application of machine learning, or AI, to this data, makes the recommendations to farmers even better over time."

Patrick Henry is a serial entrepreneur with multiple exits including an IPO of Entropic Communications that resulted in a one billion-dollar valuation. Mr. Henry also held CEO positions at QuestFusion, Pictos Technologies and LinCom Wireless. Earlier in his career, Mr. Henry held senior management positions at LSI Logic and C-Cube Microsystems, now both a part of Broadcom. Mr. Henry brings a wealth of experience taking companies from early stages through rapid growth.

Farooq Anjum, PhD, and Jeff Campbell, PhD, are co-founders of GroGuru. Dr. Anjum is the company CTO and VP of engineering. Earlier in his career, Dr. Anjum held key engineering management positions at On Ramp Wireless, Qualcomm and BellCore. Dr. Anjum is a specialist in wireless communication, system engineering, and machine learning. Dr. Campbell is GroGuru’s Chief Scientific Officer, and has over 30 years of experience in soil sensor technologies and near field communication. Earlier in his career, Dr. Campbell held lead technical positions at Vitel, Inc. (now Steven’s Water), Advanced Sensor Technologies, and UgMO.

"AI, ML, Edge, IoT, 5G are technology acronyms that are accelerating a data driven world where information is real-time, anywhere, and anytime. GroGuru has assembled an experienced team of entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists with the right business and technical expertise to leverage these new technologies to solve a huge problem for farmers; real-time soil analysis,” said Rory Moore, CEO at EvoNexus, and a GroGuru board member. "Increasing crop yield and lowering costs begins with water management. GroGuru's approach is both scalable and builds a platform to enable additional soil analysis beyond irrigation. Developing and bringing transformational products to market also requires experienced and visionary investors. GroGuru is fortunate to have an outstanding and growing investor base that recognizes the opportunity and believes the team can scale the business."

Investors are excited about GroGuru’s target market size and growth, its team, and the key agriculture technology, AgTech, that GroGuru is delivering to the market that is solving a critical problem for farmers.

"The Yield Lab is thrilled to bring GroGuru into its portfolio,” said Matt Plummer, Principle at The Yield Lab. “We believe they have a solution that is going to greatly impact growers and consumers alike. We believe the strong GroGuru team will fit in well with our mission and scale and grow the company.”

“With unmatched technology and powerful AI, Groguru is revolutionizing the Agriculture industry,” said Denise Longley, managing director at Longley Capital. “As an early investor in GroGuru, we are excited about what lies ahead in the next few years.”

“Mentors Fund loves startups that have the potential to transform traditional industries,” said Umair Khan, founding partner at Mentors Fund. “GroGuru is addressing a proven need in the agriculture sector: its technology addresses the global issue of fresh water scarcity. Farmer’s worldwide need solutions like GroGuru that solve real problems for them and create real value for our society.”

GroGuru is using its Seed funding to grow its team, scale operations, and deploy critical sensor technologies that will be connected to the cloud to help farmers be more profitable, efficient, and practice more sustainable farming.

About GroGuru
GroGuru is a privately held company based in San Diego, CA that provides precision soil and irrigation monitoring systems to the commercial agriculture industry. GroGuru is focused on enabling farmers to increase crop yields while optimally use water, energy and other scarce resources in a sustainable way. GroGuru sells an innovative hardware-enabled subscription-based solution to farmers that enables optimal irrigation. GroGuru’s 100 percent wireless underground system (WUGS) enables a permanent installation of soil sensors, even in annual field crops like corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and sorghum, that have a destructive harvest. GroGuru’s WUGS-based systems can be buried below the till depth and communicate through several feet of soil wirelessly, thus eliminating the need for the sensors to be annually installed and removed for seeding and harvesting, respectively, for these annual crops. GroGuru is a portfolio company at the EvoNexus technology incubator, the premier technology incubator in Southern California.

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