THRIVE startup GeoVisual is leading a breakthrough in farm automation by enhancing the art of forecasting with the science of artificial intelligence. Its OnSight platform provides farmers critical crop information over broad areas, in real time and well before harvesting. Agronomists use it as an early warning system, to spot and mitigate problems in time to prevent losses. Growers and shippers use it to plan when and where to harvest, to manage supply and demand, optimize profitability and reduce labor costs. By combining aerial imagery, agronomic and weather data, and field information collected as part of daily operations, OnSight is able to analyze crop status over thousands of acres and deliver timely results to decision makers, in the office and the field.
Founded in 2010 as an advanced image analytics company focused on the forestry and ag sectors, GeoVisual developed OnSight with over $1 million in grants from NASA and first applied its computer vision algorithms to satellite imagery for global monitoring of forests, cropland and pastures. Its first commercial sale was to one of the three largest forest conservation NGOs in the world, which is today using GeoVisual’s technology in South America and Madagascar.
In the process, GeoVisual identified the relative lack of a compelling ROI for the use of aerial imagery in the fresh produce industry, particularly since users had no way of connecting what they saw in imagery to specific causes and effects on the ground. GeoVisual distinguishes itself by being able to quickly and inexpensively demonstrate an ROI to new customers and help them set up a monitoring program that integrates with product management and business processes. Depending on the specific crop and customer need, GeoVisual can apply its proprietary analytics to imagery from satellites, aircraft, drones and mobile phones. It recently booked its first revenues from the ag industry in California and is conducting a growing number of trials with major producers. Customer validation has proven an ROI and revealed a large opportunity industry-wide and internationally. In the coming year, it will be expanding both the acres and diversity of crops covered by OnSight.