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IntTerra launches an agricultural platform

Having raised $15 million in investments, the agriculture technology company IntTerra is launching an integrated agricultural platform by the same name.

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On June 6, it announced that all its services for the digital transformation of agricultural business are now available on a single integrated platform. The company offers custom IT solutions for each agricultural segment based on it. Agricultural producers can increase the efficiency of horticulture process management and consult with the manufacturers and distributors of crop protection agents, seeds and fertilizers using SkyScout.

The same service allows planning production technology using deep analysis of farm fields and optimizing costs, accounting and monitoring technological operations, analyzing crop development in real time, and receiving timely notifications about the risks associated with weather conditions or pests.

Farmers can purchase the necessary technologies on IntTerra Market while the suppliers of crop protection agents, seeds, fertilizers and equipment can increase their sales using the crop analytics tool in SkyScout Advisor with early identification of hidden crop development problems in the customers’ farms and by offering them custom solutions before the season starts.

IntTerra Finance allows attracting funds, selling crops, and using field indicators as an additional tool to support credit history before banks.

According to IntTerra’s commercial director Yuri Vasilkov, the project is growing as an ecosystem, i. e. it is a complex of agricultural technology solutions that the company has been developing since 2016 grouped around the basic needs of agriculture participants such as farmers, producers, suppliers of seeds, fertilizers, equipment and crop protection agents, agricultural consultants, traders, bankers financing industry deals, and more. The platform is fully independent and is not controlled by beneficiaries in the agricultural market.

Leading industry companies are already using the platform developed by the startup. These include 25 producers of seeds, fertilizers and crop protection agents that make up about 50 % of the entire Russian market (Avgust, Shchelkovo Agrokhim, Agro Expert Group, FMRus, Zemlyakoff, etc.). The biggest federal distributors of seeds, fertilizers and chemicals are also using the platform services (Agrotek, FES Agro, and Agroliga). The module for organizing and conducting experiments (part of SkyScout Advisor) is used by Russia’s biggest fertilizer producers: EuroChem and PhosAgro. Launched in 2020, IntTerra Finance helped finance seed procurement deals for more than RUB 1 billion.

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As of the moment of the announcement, five banks were ready to become the project’s partners. In 2021/2022, platform clients will be able to use an updated version of IntTerra Finance, which will be a single window to access banks’ financial products. The platform will allow comparing various offers and apply for financing. Farmers that actively use SkyScout will receive an agronomic score of their fields and provide it to banks as an additional confirmation of their creditworthiness. It is planned to add a pool of insurance and leasing companies to the service. Some banks are trying to create similar ecosystems of support services for farmers. With My Farming, the Russian Agricultural Bank had the most success. This case confirms that this direction is attractive for all market participants, including fund holders.

IntTerra’s general director Vitaly Buzu notes that the single integrated platform model brings competitiveness in the industry to a new level where the farmer gets the maximum benefit and the best offer because they can choose, compare and analyze technologies and offers in the most convenient format. 

«This approach provides additional benefits to producers and distributors using the platform: since they better understand the technological processes and the state of crops of their clients, they can not only make offers that meet farmers’ needs the most but also significantly increase sales efficiency thanks to the processes of creating demand for products and their teams’ work with farmers being fully transparent,» he said.

«Our team started implementing SkyScout Advisor a little less than three months ago as part of the development of the agricultural support project, and it has become a crucial tool for daily work. Thanks to the platform’s analytical capabilities, we managed to achieve full transparency in evaluating the performance of each team member at any given time. Even in this extremely short term, the total cost of the demand for products created by the team in SkyScout increased the costs of introducing the software by many times,» added Yu. Vardimiadi, head of the agricultural support project at Agrotek.

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There are about two dozen projects in the online trading platform in the agricultural market, but each of them provides limited functionality within a certain niche or business process, say IntTerra specialists. For example, Smart Seeds allows ordering or performing seed transportation similar to Uber Freight, Yorso allows selling large amounts of seafood, while AgroBase provides a portal for classified ads for purchasing and selling agricultural equipment. Agro.Club and Direct.Farm are developing as electronic trading platforms without offering services outside private tenders to farmers. Until now, the market did not have a universal solution that would unite all core agricultural processes from collecting analytics data before implementing an agricultural technology to managing product demand generated thanks to it.

In May, it became known that the land bank managed with IntTerra’s digital services in Russia reached an area of 7 million ha. In the same month, the agricultural consulting service SkyScout (part of the IntTerra ecosystem) became available to the clients of all 1,300 branches of the Russian Agricultural Bank.

Opinion of the market and project participants:

Mikhail Danilov, marketing and sales director at Avgust:

«First of all, SkyScout, which we use at an area of more than 1 million ha, allows planning the time of our consultant technicians, which is extremely important during busy periods of a season. Second of all, field and technological operation history is stored in one place and can be easily viewed by authorized users at any time, while numerous reference books on pests, protection agents and chemicals allow agronomists make more informed decisions».

Yuri Vardimiadi, head of the agricultural support project at Agrotek:

«Our team started implementing SkyScout a little less than three months ago as part of the development of the agricultural support project, and it has become a crucial tool for daily work. Thanks to the platform’s analytical capabilities, we managed to achieve full transparency in evaluating the performance of each team member at any given time. Even in this extremely short term, the total cost of the demand for products created by the team in SkyScout increased the costs of introducing the software by many times».

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Anton Grebeshev, executive vice president for business development with companies of the agro-industrial complex of Gazprombank, believes that the development of the project in the chosen ecosystem configuration will benefit all participants:

«The combination of a marketplace and financial technologies on digital platforms opens great opportunities for partner programs between banks and producers, which will allow creating more interesting financial products for agricultural companies».

Yekaterina Makeyeva, head of the agro-industrial complex direction at OTP Bank:

«We believe that the platform solutions provided by IntTerra are an efficient and modern communication format for all agricultural market participants. For us, working with such platforms means an opportunity to offer products developed especially for the agricultural sector to more clients as well as receive quick feedback from the market and make our products even better».

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Fedor Bukharov, Tinkoff vice president, director of Tinkoff Business:

«Such financial and technological solutions will provide agro-industrial complexes with simpler and quicker access to various credit products, including those under Federal Law No. 44-FZ, and allow investing in more expensive crop technologies and increasing business efficiency».

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