Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization


What is the name of your solution?

Soil Intelligence Platform- Carbon Fixation In Agriculture.

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

Soil Intelligence diagnostic System for Low Income Small Farmers to improve yield through a patented IoT device and AI Agronomist.

Film your elevator pitch.

What specific problem are you solving?

Every year around 3400 Farmers suicide in India and Approximately 228 M globally Small farmers face the issue of crop waste due to climate change and soil infertility because they have no tools to monitor soil health data and utilize the resources.

We are on a mission to provide farmers with a more sustainable farming option. According to the Food and Agro Organisation (FAO) Around 65% of excessive Nitrogen and Fertiliser, we use in our agriculture remains in the environment and destroys 1/3 of global crop waste, one of the leading problems for productivity as well as environmental issues. Lack of Real-time Soil information leads to poor soil health and crop degradation and loss of millions in low crop yield, financial losses, and carbon-nitrogen emission. India is a more than 873 B USD market, a Huge, untouched market that really needs Impact innovation. We are solving one of the global issues of farmers to know about the soil and crop condition to get real-time that help them in better decision making. Being the largest occupation in the rural sector with over 550 M small to mid-size farmers, Agriculture is always lacked innovation and is outdated, more than half of the percentage of farmers live with a daily income of fewer than 40 USD with an average area of farms of 2 hectares or less which need innovation that helps them to grow well with technology innovation.

What is your solution?

Sensegrass is a Soil Intelligence Platform that helps small mid size farmers to reduce the excessive nitrogen and fertilizers from the soil using a patented NPK sensor and optimize the crop data through Artificial intelligence Agronomist to grow better with low fertilizer intake to make future of food 

We have developed wireless NPK soil sensors with Proprietary Technology using the optical FTIR transmission that detects, measures, and analyzes NPK, soil nutrients in real-time on our platform with an AI prediction engine recommending best sustainable practices to improve crop yield, And then our AI Agronomist optimizes the crop and soil data to inform users to get right decision to use nitrogen at right time, right place in the right quantity. 

 We help Users to- 

1- Reduce Excessive Fertilizers 

2- Improve Crop Yield 

3- Increase Farm Income.

We are making a world-first smart soil sensor for NPK detection using our patent technology that measures more than 12 parameters from micro soil data (including NPK fertilizers) detection and gives solutions and predictions to farmers for better decision-making to get the best crop yield and save money in farms. Most affordable Tech solution for Small size farmers.

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Agriculture is one of the largest industries in the world, Without any recession, it remains going on. India is agri based economic system so many other developing economies, While Agriculture is the most dominant industry it's still broken and based on many outdated methods which are based on wisdom and old practices. So the market is huge, and the need is big. 

We serving to small to mid-scale farmers in the developing economies, those who are fully dependent on agriculture as a primary occupation. Around 118 Million farmers in India and approx 550 Million around the globe are the people we would like to serve. These are generally come under below the pyramid and earn less than the basic min income threshold as per the rural income index. 

Our solution is fit for the global market and we have tested with paid customers while our focus on small to mid-size individual farmers which are around 72% of the global workforce responsible for 90% of global food production and require a solution like this which is fitted with small farms and crops they grow.

We help small scale low-income farmers communities in developing economies through two impacts- 

1- Environmental- Reduce carbon emission and input cost, save land to become infertile. 

2- Socio Financial - Improve income and help them to grow healthy crops with higher prices. 

Our focus currently on India and Developing markets where we currently in operation with a major number of our customers with most revenue comes from here. Huge market with a lot of potentials to grow.

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Third Generation farmers started Sensegrass to solve the problem of which we were part for a long time. We started Sensegrass a couple of years back to solve the agriculture biggest challenge and know each other for 15 years and worked together in past with an exit.

Dr Lalit Gautam- Full Time. Lalit has a degree in pharmaceutical Medicine (Pharm Doc) with an MBA in International marketing and entrepreneurship with over 10 years of startup experience. MIT 35 Under 35, Forbes 30 Under 30 for Technology Manufacturing and also a finalist of Social Entrepreneurship. Lalit has One exit as well.

Rahul Gundala- Full-time Rahul Gundala working full-time at Sensegrass as CPO has completed masters in product development from the University of Maryland Recently & a Bachelors's from IIT-D in CS. He has 11 international papers in Siggraph, IEEE, HCVI among others in the fields of robotics, computer graphics & design principles. 

Shamal- CMO- Shamal coming from a minority area of India, lead of marketing with over 18 years of exp.

Swapna- Design Officer- Swapna is having 12 years of IT and Design experience and worked with many organizations prior to sensegrass 

Varun Pandit- Chief Research Officer- IIT Graduate and over 8 years of microeconomics and Machine Learning experience.

We have some board of advisors and mentors helping us to build the great product but also connecting with org to scale from companies like Corteva, Microsoft, etc.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Adapt land and coastal areas to more extreme weather, including through climate-smart agriculture or restoring natural ecosystems to mitigate impacts.

In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Delhi, India

In what country is your solution team headquartered?

  • India

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Scale: A sustainable enterprise working in several communities or countries that is focused on increased efficiency

How many people does your solution currently serve?

Proudly Impacted 12,000+  Small to midsize farmers ( Land Area- Upto 4 Hectare) with 20000 Hectares land in 22 States and Improve Income by Double and Reduce fertilizer by 42% and 22% Co2 Reduction.

Three Plan- Our Plan to expand our reach in 50+ States in 7 countries of India and globally with 50000 Farmers with the help of our local Partners.

Why are you applying to Solve?

Social enterprises thrive on impact, motivation and network support, Solve is one of the program supporting and taking social initiatives like us to next level through right resources. MIT Entrepreneurs know this very well. 

We are solving one of the most critical challenge for our food system require support all community members,experts to tackle this issue and create a sustainable food system for our farmers so they can keep feeding us the entire population.

Our biggest motivation to apply for solve divided into four major ask from Solve community that will help us to grow our impact 100X times through a sustainable model based on plant,people and profit.

1- Mentoring and strategic support from MIT community and network of solve, We have moonshot innovation with validation, proven results and market ready deployment stage, we need extensive support from the experts towards business, growth and sales strategy, technology, product development, impact assessment, funding and network to reach out more farmers and markets. 

2- Funding- Grants from MIT solve isn't the only fund we seeking, the validation and award from solve will help us to reach our funding goal we looking for in coming months.

3- Outreach- MIT Solve is leading startup competition, we need outreach, applauds and marketing to share our solution, technology and impact to around the world so it will help us to reach out to people who want this, this can be done through solve, biggest brand and benchmark certification.

4- Support from the peers, Biggest learning comes from your peers, they give you most honest opinion, connection, support and collaboration, MIT solve has the best peer network with wonderful social impact solutions around the world to help each other.

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Financial (e.g. accounting practices, pitching to investors)
  • Monitoring & Evaluation (e.g. collecting/using data, measuring impact)
  • Product / Service Distribution (e.g. delivery, logistics, expanding client base)
  • Public Relations (e.g. branding/marketing strategy, social and global media)

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Lalit Gautam,CEO

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

We are Patented Technology for NPK Prediction under Sensegrass with technology related to agriculture and soil intelligence. We also have a first-mover advantage in NPK sensing technology and so far only two companies are offering real-time probes in the market. Our Core product is a patented IoT based hardware sensor Device, which is the most innovative hardware available in the market measure 14+ parameter from the soil through the patented optical transmission technology and connected over a cellular network, which can be easily used for 360* farming solution at any remote part of the world without any electricity as this is powered with solar panel comes with plug and play model, doesn't require any tech support to use or implement this. Which makes its independently worded and hassle-free installation & usage.

Data Optimization is hard for proper use and we have developed the AI Agronomist SaaS for optimization of sensor and satellite data for actionable insights to users. Our AI neural network with millions of data points tell user for the right usage of resources through smart plant card system and if something changes in field due to weather or water changes it gives warning with a solution to make sure they correct the problem.

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

The next 2-3 years will be highly important for us in terms of expansion and strategic tie-ups with various regional agricultural boards, non-profits, and private partners to get access to 2000000 Farmers in India and other regions. We are raising our Series A capital within the next year and also tie-up with production partners for commercial production of our devices to reach out to across India. 

Our big plan is to get into agreement with the Govt of India to replace lab soil test method with Soil intelligence system on a private-public partnership model.

Next 6 months onwards our solution will be an in a key position in India and other parts of the world as well, post-COVID agriculture and food system will be in a major role towards the transparency of our food and crops, usage of less fertilizer and more sustainable farming options.

As an Indian agriculture start-up, our aim is to create high impact and make agriculture hassle-free by eradication of fertilizers from the soil as well improve the financial condition of our farmers. In the next 1-2 years, we want to bring at least 60% of Agri cultivation to sustainable precision farming, reducing global pollution index & improving land restoration. And have more yield to meet the needs of the upcoming population. Our expansion plan with 8 states in India and continue working in Uganda and Kenya with 120K Farmers for the next two to three years.

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 2. Zero Hunger
  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 15. Life on Land

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

Being an Agriculture focus Social Enterprise, Environmental and Financial Impact is our main key metric to measure our success and bigger impact is our primary vision in the company. To measure our Impact we follow two methods- Primary Assessment Quantitative method and assessment through conglomerate.

We usually create two core impacts- Environmental and Financial, Which are highly aligned with our core business values and model.

Environmental Impact- Being an Agtech company our core value of the company is to create environmental impact by reducing fertilizers in the soil, reduce Co2 Consumption, Improve water usage, More yield, saving soil destruction, etc, and making agriculture more sustainable. We measure our results through our Analytic and Assessment method using the tools to analyze and measure how much fertilizers we reducing and improving in crop yield, etc. So far our user's study on the ground which compares to traditional governments labs and competitions show the

following results-

43% Reduction in Input Cost

35% Crop yield increase

18% Improvement in Income

Financial Impact- 

Our Tech solution helps them to improve almost 38% less fertilizer in the field which not just creates environmental impact but saves money from the farmer and improves the average income by 22% of a small farmer with a landless then 4 Hectare. Our 9000+ Farmers has been improving there seasonal income by double due to improving yield, reduction in external resources usage like fertilizer,s urea, extra water, electricity etc.

What is your theory of change?

First of all we need to know what is the current stage of problem, and what other solution or way our population depend on then we discuss in details-

Currently, only conventional method available in the market is Soil health analysis through lab testing, this is the biggest and main problem related to food and agriculture industry and unfortunately, the only conventional method is traditional soil lab testing method, where a sample of soil from a random area by farmer go to labs and using chemical method they do test, which take a week or two, costly, inaccurate, mixing of samples and outdated technique. No matter you are in the US, Israel, Europe, Africa or India this is the only option available for this problem. This method is not just outdated but also complex, Unreliable, Expensive and waste of resources.

Only method for soil testing analysis and other Technology based startups are either working on above the soil or highly expensive tools for corporate farms. 

Let me share the current level again, A typical mid size farmer In India with 2 hectare land spend 105 USD (6500 INR) for each test if we also add subsidy of government and this test done minimum once in 1 Hectare and 4 times in a crop season so around 4 850 USD in a crop season with a accuracy of 10% or less and other input cost, While he pays the amount he did not get the benefit of the soil test to use the data for proper soil and crop management and loss around 20% crop due to mismanagement of resources in the soil. 

While With Sensegrass he spend $ 19 Per Month with 85% accuracy and AI agronomist system that help farm to make better decision making for right usage of resources, fertilizers at right time, right place and right amount. 

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

Our Core product is a patented IoT Enabled AI Solution, First, the hardware sensor Device, which is the most innovative hardware available in the market measure 12+ parameter from the soil through patented optical transmission technology and is connected over a cellular network, which can be easily used for 360* farming solution at any remote part of the world without any electricity as this is powered with solar panel comes with plug and play model, doesn't require any tech support to use or implement this. Which makes it independently worded and hassle-free installation & usage, Second AI Agronomist that gives personalized Agronomist to give recommendations.

We are world-first Solar-powered wireless NPK soil sensors with Proprietary Technology (Patent Pending) using the optical transmission that detects, measures and analyzes NPK, soil nutrients I real-time on our platform with AI prediction engine recommending best sustainable practices to improve crop yield. While processing macro-scale Nano-Satellite Image mapping for GIS analytics & visualization on users' farmland.

Our 360-degree solution is the best fit for large corporate farms for macro-level monitoring while effectively guiding as AI agronomists for small & mid farms which comprise 72% of global farms with a wide range of crops & topographies. With GIS, we are making agriculture recommendations more precise through nanosatellite field images understanding soil degradation over time-period that helps us design & prescribe crop modelling techniques that improve soil quality by AI

Agronomist engine using ML over the large database for historic crop & soil data & real-time field information.

Over iteration of our IoT solution, we have developed low maintains & fall over ready solutions with the best industry protocols like LoRaWAN, optimized data push frequency to improve battery life.

And we are also prototyping independent locally hosted network grid to operate for data visualization & transmit to the cloud for analytics & crop modelling prescription

Also, our in-house Smart soil sensing has wide coverage and accurate data surveillance under and above the soil parameters. We are implementing a Machine Learning algorithm, to automate human activities involved with artificial intelligence analyzing data to give precise solutions for

better cropping.

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new technology

How do you know that this technology works?

We are done with MVP, Did three pilots, and Post Beta customer acquisition successfully before we launched our solution. We are in the live stage now and s working in India and other nations with over 12000+ Small scale farmers.

Our Technology is advanced for of optical spectrophotometer which is currently use by traditional lab method while we use optical transmission for real time soil chemical analysis which is based on chip based method. 

We have patented out technology for chemical and fertilizer estimation and first moved in the market. We have One patent, One PCT and Two Provisions and generating a revenue and raising Series A next year.

Our Technology is developed and validated by two leading Agriculture and Research Institute, Technion, Israel and Indian Institute of Agriculture Research, India with over two years of research and Development.

We have done Pilots and Research with three different org and markets and validated with the mentioned above Institute with Pilot Reports. 

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Big Data
  • GIS and Geospatial Technology
  • Imaging and Sensor Technology
  • Internet of Things
  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Software and Mobile Applications

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • India
  • United States

In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Nepal
  • Thailand
Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

How many people work on your solution team?


How long have you been working on your solution?


What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

Our team is the biggest strength of the company while coming from a third-generation farming family and representing the three small villages in India from North, South, and west already made a well diverse team of Co-founders. We have a 25% reservation for women in C-Level space, Shamal and Swapna are our Female leaders both come from minority backgrounds of India. Our team represents 5 continents- From Asia, Africa, Latam, Europe, and North America from LGBT to the Muslim community. Its not forces it comes naturally to all come together, We wanted to create a team of work force those have seen this problem in various part of the world, agriculture is one industry that is available in each and every country in one or different forms that connect us 

Solution Team

  • Lalit Gautam Founder, Sensegrass Inc
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