Athens-based AgTech startup Reservoir has pivoted from its original moisture sensor product to a wireless irrigation system after further exploration of the market. Now, the startup is ready to kickstart its beta following the close of a seed round for an undisclosed amount with Macon, GA-based Central Piedmont Investment Group.
“With these funds, we’ll be continuing product development to make it better. We’ve brought engineers on board to develop the hardware and software needed for the product,” says founder and CEO Jesse Lafian, a UGA horticultural graduate.
“This will allows us to do beta testing with 10 client businesses, including irrigation design, nurseries, and tree farms. We’re excited to get it out there, get some feedback on the product, and start bringing in revenue.”
The wireless irrigation system, called Spoke, allows landscapers and other agricultural customers to install new valves without running wires and still connect them with any pre-existing ones. Spoke also allows for easier maintenance, remote monitoring through a proprietary app, and a reduced risk of lighting damage.
“Reservoir is poised to be the first to market with a solution that irrigators have wanted for decades,” said Bob Easter, managing director of Central Piedmont Investment Group, in a statement.
Lafian decided to pivot from his original idea after attending several trade shows to dive into his target market’s needs.
“I was previously focused on developing a moisture sensor that was above anything else on the market,” says Lafian. “I did a lot more customer discovery through trade shows with more than 200 potential customers, and realized that the moisture sensor market is saturated, and proportionally to this new opportunity, there aren’t that many people interested in it. We will probably introduce it eventually.”
The startup previously raised $66,000 through grants and pitch competitions and is currently part of both the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) accelerate program and Athens incubator Four Athens.
Lafian credits these organizations as catalysts for his successful pivot and seed round closing. In the next few months he hopes validate his idea further during the pilot program.
“I’m looking forward to the feedback from the beta testers,” says Lafian. “I want to develop a solution based on how they want it to be made and put my customer’s needs first.”