Solution Overview

Solution Name:


One-line solution summary:

Soil Health Analysis By Fertilizer Reduction in Soil for low income small size farmers to Improve food production.

Pitch your solution.

Every year around 3400 Farmers suicide in India and Approximately 228 M globally Small farmers facing an 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. 1/3 Of Global crop waste due to poor soil condition that affects 550M Small size farmers.

Sensegrass developed the soil intelligence system through patented NPK sensor which gathers real-time micro soil data and measures 18 parameters from the soil and crop to predict the right usage water, fertilizers etc for improved crop yield.

Sensegrass help farmers to double there income by improve crop yield and reduce the chemical fertilizers, its help to improve soil and land fertility by right amout of fertilizers and water at right time, right area. 

Impacted 9500 small farmers to bring there smile back. 

Film your elevator pitch.

What specific problem are you solving?

We are on a mission to provide farmers with a more sustainable farming option. Climate change affects agriculture drastically by changes in average temperature, rainfall, Co2 emission and increase pesticide in the soil which leads to a huge effect on Farmers that results in loss of crops, low crop yield etc.Agriculture is most dominant industry in our addressable market, Overall Agriculture industry is the largest industry in the world, Morethan 2 Trillion USD market if we estimated in Developing nation with only in India its more than 873 B USD, Huge, untouched market which really need Impact innovation. We are solving one of the global issues of farmers to know about the soil and crops 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occupation in the rural sector with over 550 M small to mid-size farmers, Agriculture is always lack of innovation and outdated, more than half of the percentage of farmers live with a daily income of less than 40 USD with an average area of farms of 2 hectares or less which need an innovation that help them to grow well with a technology innovation.

What is your solution?

We making soil intelligence system for fertilizer management and detect crop diseases to improve crop yield with water control tools for small farms through smart IoT and AI. We are developing the worlds first IoT + AI interface technology for the farmers for soil diagnosis and prediction tool for nutrients and other values in the soil to improve the soil efficiency. 

Our IoT Sensor is Implemented with the Nano-Satellite analytic which measure values from both under and above the soil for high efficiency. Our inhouse Smart soil sensing device cover and predict accurate data surveillance under and above the soil. We are making world-first smart soil sensor for NPK detection using our patent technology that measures more than 18 parameters from micro soil data (including NPK fertilizers) detection and giving solution and prediction to farmers for better decision making to get best crop yield and save money in farms. We are implementing a Machine Learning algorithm, to eliminate no human involvement for complete artificial intelligence analyzing of data to give precise solutions for better cropping. 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 industry without a recession, While Agriculture is the most dominant industry it's still broken and based on many outdated technologies so the market is huge and need is big. 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.

Our focus currently in the Indian market where we currently in operation with major number of our customers with most revenue comes from here. Huge market with a lot of potentials to grow.

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

Support small-scale producers with access to inputs, capital, and knowledge to improve yields while sustaining productivity of land and seas

Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Challenge and your selected dimension.

We making soil intelligence system for fertilizer management and detect crop diseases to improve crop yield with water control tools for small farms through smart IoT and AI. We are developing the worlds first IoT + AI interface technology for the farmers for soil diagnosis and prediction tool for nutrients and other values in the soil to improve the soil efficiency.

Our aim is to developed Sensegrass solution is to impact 550 M small to mid-size farmers with a low income facing issues during day to day agriculture practice of low crop yield, crop waste and excess use of  fertilizer. 

Who is the primary delegate for your solution?

Chief Executive Officer- Lalit Gautam

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several communities, which is poised for further growth

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

New Delhi, Delhi, India
More About Your Solution

If you have additional video content that explains your solution, provide a YouTube or Vimeo link here:

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new technology

Describe what makes your solution innovative.

We have developed-first Solar-powered wireless NPK soil sensors with Proprietary Technology (Patented) using the optical transmission that detects, measures and analyzes NPK, soil nutrients in 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 Technology and Product design efficiency make us competitive and the first mover in the market gives us a competitive advantage with real-time NPK monitoring. Our Patented Technology comes with Fourth Generation Infrared optical transmission which gives real-time precision results for NPK and other parameters. Our IoT device comes with Special Firmware to monitor 15+ Parameters which make our product most innovative hardware in the industry. We are the only company to measure these 18+ Parameters in real-time from the micro soil data without any need of sending soil samples to a lab or limited data capacity. Our Unique value is not limited to hardware but the software makes our first one with instant Personal AI-based agronomist software which makes farmers highly efficient to use the data for better decision making and the product comes with Data and solutions with instant notifications like a personal human agronomist to help each farmer with own expert for farming. Our third Component is high-efficiency Nanosatellite indices to measure and give extra precision through satellite to measure and predict Crop acreage and risk assessment which help users to know the real crop yield value much before the crop grow. 

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

Our Core product is a patented IoT based hardware sensor Device, which is most innovative hardware available in the market measure 18+ 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.

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 in 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.

Provide evidence that this technology works.

We are done MVP, Did three pilots and Post Beta customer acquisition successfully before we launched our solution. We are in live stage now and s working in India and other nation with over 9500+ 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.

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
  • Robotics and Drones
  • Software and Mobile Applications

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. 

Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Women & Girls
  • Pregnant Women
  • LGBTQ+
  • Elderly
  • Rural
  • Peri-Urban
  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Middle-Income
  • Refugees & Internally Displaced Persons
  • Minorities & Previously Excluded Populations

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

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 15. Life on Land

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • India
  • Uganda

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

  • Kenya
  • Nepal
  • Philippines
  • Thailand

How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

Currently we have impacted and serving 9500 Small to midsize farmers ( Land Area- Upto 4 Hectare) with 2000 Hectare land in 22 Villages and Improve the Income by Double and Reduce fertilizer by 42% and 22% Co2 Reduction.

One Year Plan- Our Plan to expand our reach in 50+ Villages in 7 states of India with 21000 Farmers with the help of our local Partners.

Five Year Plan- A Target to reach 200 Villages in India with a 50000 farmers outreach and next 4-5 years.

Within Five years our plan is to expand in other Countries as well with total People Serve will be around 150,000 Farmers. 

What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?

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 partner 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 12 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.

What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?

We are Hardware based company where we making IoT sensors based devices and as a Hardware company commercial production, deployment of devices and financial needs are the biggest challenges to grow at an initial stage, We have customers line up and so far we got the great responses by Governments and tech companies to buy our products so we are assured we are safe, apart from the financial part coming future technology into Agtech will be one challenge and our technology privacy too which we solved already through patenting them.

While our customer acquisition model is through Public-Private model where we work with these organisations as Technology partner to deploy our products through them in bulk deployment. 

While the Production is the only challenged, IP and Copyright issue also associated with this problem to avoid the risk of technology leak through unreliable sources and security of the technology is a key challenge as well.

Apart from the technology, Business Expansion is another challenge especially working with farmers directly and customer acquisition cost to get each small customers are some times quite challenging and to overcome that challenge we working through PPP model as technology providers to all big and small enterprises.

How do you plan to overcome these barriers?

We have divided our challenges into three Parts- Financial, Market entry and Technical (Hardware), We have explained our challenges and how we can potentially overcome them but let u explain here in detail.

Financial- This is our core challenge in terms of expansion and might be a key barrier in our success growth and we have clear plan to solve this plan through our growth expansion strategy and sustainability plan. Our Financial sustainability is based on the trust we build through our solution, Currently, we working with 105 B2B companies and some of them are biggest in world like Bayer, etc with 4800 USD MRR and 0% churn Rate, We see 41% annual growth, Also closing Pre Series within 2020. Our Plan becomes Break Even in early 2021 and half-million ARR by 2023 with expansion in more nations. While our goal is to strategically work with Governments and leading banking to reach out to big numbers of farms. .

Hardware- With a sustainable Finance plan our another key problem of commercial production of our hardware units can be solve easily through a efficiency production partner which we have solved already.

Market Barrier- Agriculture is a traditional industry entry into traditional market like India and educate the farmers is most critical challenge, this we have over come through the local program partners to reach out to them on a large scales.

About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

If you selected Other, please explain here.

We are For Profit Social Startup.

How many people work on your solution team?

5 Full Time Staff

3- Founders

1- Non Founding Members

1- Employee

2 Part Time Staff

1 Employees

1 Interns

How many years have you worked on your solution?


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

Third Generation farmers started Sensegrass to solve the problem which we were part for long time. WE started Sensegrass couple of years back to solve the agriculture biggest challenge and know each other since 15 years and worked together in past with a 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. Forbes 30 Under 30 for Technology Manufacturing and also a finalist of Social entrepreneurship. Lalit has One exit as well (Handscart)
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 & Bachelors 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.
Abhishek Khandal, 23- Full-Time Abhishek is Co-Founder and CTO of Sensegrass and Computer Science Graduate. Abhishek finds his entry into tech and business at the young age of 13 an achievement wherein his entrepreneurial spirit made him find a startup at the age of 16. In the later years, he consulted and led corporate training for Korean Govt.

Apart from Founding Team, We have Two Key Non Founding Team Members.

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

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

What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?

Currently we working with Ministry of Agriculture, India to provide our solution to 118M Small to mid size farmers as Pilot Partners to replace the traditional lab soil testing method to real time Soil Intelligence system.

Our Technology partners are Microsoft, Facebook and Qualcomm helping us to develop and deploy the technology to remote areas in India.

Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

We are a SaaS/LaaS startup.

A. AI software analyzes sensor data and image data to give reports and recommendations to farmers (for pesticide usage, moisture, temperature, etc.) Comes with Personal AI Agronomist. Available in Mobile App and Web Dashboard.

B. NPK Sensor (Hardware IoT) This data is gathered via Smart soil Sensors, hyperspectral sensors (all of which are made in-house and sold as part of a service to farmers) Measure 18+ Parameters from in-depth soil in real-time. (Highest in a market in a single device)

C. Nano Satellite Data Analysis- Users can subscribe to the service, which includes some on-site setup and consulting, along with access to the mobile applications and Web with the detailed precision report and real-time detailed information.

We are targeting Companies and our users( farmers) with smart revenue model and effective cost structure which is easily expandable around the world-

All services come in a package with the following Pricing model.

1199 USD (Enterprise and Government) One Time Cost, Or

65 USD Per Month (Business/Individual) and

29 USD (B2C).Small Size Farmers

While Our Revenue model will be Sensor Device, Thats comes in three variants- Rover, Scanner and Sensor. AI Agronomist SaaS software, Satellite Analytics.

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, or to other organizations?

Organizations (B2B)
Partnership & Prize Funding Opportunities

Why are you applying to Solve?

Being a social enterprise 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?

  • Product/service distribution
  • Funding and revenue model
  • Board members or advisors
  • Monitoring and evaluation

Please explain in more detail here.

Our key requirement is outreach, expansion and distribution of our service/product to the market and beneficiaries we looking for, this is the most important need of Sensegrass. We have a market ready product, distribution will help us to reach to highest beneficiaries to create impact for which we created sensegrass.

Funding and strengthen the revenue stream- We not just seeking grants or funding but also want experts support work on our revenue streams, model and reach out to more partners, with a profitable and sustainable revenue streams.

Another biggest need of us is board of advisors, mentors and experts support to grow exponentially, we are young team members, experiences and tech business background but the experience senior advisors and mentor will bring is exception and fusion of young talent and experience mentors. 

What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

There are many organisation which we have marked to work with through MIT Solve Program. Being a Research based company MIT faculties and research students will be our key partner to work for better plant based phenotyping to improve soil efficiency.

We also like to work with Food and agro companies, local governments and specially non profits like gates foundations, technoserve, microsoft etc partners to reach last mile small low income farmers to provide a sustainable income source and make our food system fertile.

We would like to explore the other key partners in the program to align our goals with them to work on this challenge with our solution towards environment and climate change effect on biodiversity.

Solution Team

  • Lalit Gautam Founder, Sensegrass Inc
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