Seedstars World hosted its ‘start-up competition’ event in Tehran in September, and they have a winner: Smartbeen, which is making smart assets for greenhouse (IoT) and analyzes greenhouse health (temperature, humidity, etc): Edwin Baboomian, CEO and Founder of Smartbeen, kindly answered Nicolas Bry‘s questions to let us discover Smartbeen more in-depth.
1) Target, Usage
NB: Smartbeen promise is a complete management of intelligent greenhouse through your smartphone, monitoring humidity, temperature, air quality with wireless sensors, a re-interpretation of the farming practices through use of data-centric technologies at your hand: very handy!
- Can you explain what an intelligent greenhouse is, and give us exemplary use cases for your service?
- Who are the typical users of your service (large farm owners, small rural farmers, individuals, urban farming )? What are the main benefits of your platform for them?
- How do you communicate with farmers, who are not so used to technicalities, and IoT industry language?
Edwin: our first customer had a bad story, he lost more than $150K because greenhouse air conditioners stop working while everything was frozen. Another greenhouse owner lost more than $200K because CO2 case leak. So I made a simple product for them, and after that SmartBeen sent an alarm 3 times and save the greenhouse! And that’s what SmartBeen born story is!
This is the picture of our first greenhouse hero!
This device analyzes temperature, humidity (just air), CO2, Lux and panic button for emergency/test with SMS and Internet control.
In the next version of this device, we added 3 channel relays, motion sensor, backup battery, and soil humidity.
So basically our most popular service is this product, but we aim at a bigger market size, and so we will include some advanced products for monitoring and contorting advanced greenhouse such as hydroponic our industrial greenhouse.
We have 3 type of customers:
- Small greenhouse or any other green place. (non-industrial)
- Problem: give water in right time, provide remote access to plant health and monitoring temperature.
- Customers: greenhouse (less than 500 meter), farming or home users
- Solution: build package for 2 water pump, 2 soil humidity sensor, give a remote access to owner and let them set the time or soil humidity logic.
- Medium greenhouse:
- Problem: human fails, air conditioners fails, security, managing greenhouse, watering, CO2, remote access and control for leak .
- Customer: greenhouse (less than 1500 meter)
- Solution: Combined package from useful sensor such as temperature, motion sensor, humidity and etc. and let them farmer access them remotely and manage the stuff.
- Advanced greenhouse: (recommend for industrial or hydroponic greenhouse)
- Problem: Advanced watering system, smart air conditioners system, water quality, and lots of things… Basically farmers cannot manage the hydroponic greenhouse with traditional methods… advanced greenhouse relational logics.
- Customer: hydroponic greenhouse, aquaponic and industrial greenhouse.
- Solution: wireless combined sensors, advanced server for manage them, outside weather station, 40 relays channel, advanced sensors for water quality and energy saving system.
And like you, farmers love do things traditionally, but they also realize when they’ve lost more than $100K dollar! So when I offer them a simple device with is there to notify greenhouse health regularly, they buy it!
2) Business & Ecosystem Marketing
- NB: How do you monetize your activity? Is it a mix of sensors sales and service to help on an adequate implementation?
- Is the cost bearable for small farmers, in an agricultural sector which is known as low margin, and cautious on innovation investment?
- What is your geographic target market? How do you plan to market your platform to the rest of the world, and develop an ecosystem?
Edwin: For now it is just about selling the hardware, and other things are free! But as I say for NOW! In future they will be paid for our other services.
Yes of course it’s bearable! In Iran, greenhouse is a very new business and greenhouse farmers do everything to be a best!
For right now I just try to be cover Mahallat city (in Iran we call it flower-city). But already we have a customer in Turkey (smallgreenhouse).
3) Competition & Environment
Fortunately during last year (almost 1 year) I analyzed all other competitors, I even worked for them to get a lot of information about this business. And right now, some of or local competitor such as Afra-group offered big project to us, because we use wireless technology which makes it low cost to connect large space.
4) Smart Been team!…
Edwin: From left:
Saeed Arian Kia: He joined us in last 10 days, he helps me to build the better PCB and other electrical boards.
Pasatoo Alavi: She joined us in last 15 days, she also helps us to build better products and also good programmer in C++ (JUST C++) 🙂
Edwin Baboomian: It’s me 🙂
And my last 32 startups all of them failed… but I didn’t kill them yet, I keep them in ice for right time! And some of them, I use them fotr SmartBeen service!
For example my favorite startups:
Edinux (an operating system based on Linux) – its boot able and network based! And when you boot more than 2 PC in network, automatically start to share hardware such as CPU in the network so you will be have a big server with some useless devices.
Revenue : $0… L (5 years ago I stop to work on it because of f***ing bad story… )
Animadish: a smart dish for animals/pet and feed them by a gyroscope and motion and you always had a fitness pet. Revenue: $150 (I stop this last year because I wanted to be focused for SmartBeen)
Carpooling in our university: It’s my first web base start-up; I made more than $200 in first month but unfortunately university did not accept to continue that. Revenue: $720 ( I stop it 3 years ago)
Brain sensor: ECG for people how they lost part of body in car accident (for example hand) I work on that more than 3~4 month and analyze different type of brain and mechanical hardware but I did not find any investor in Iran and I lost lots of money and finely stop R&D. (keep on ice J )
Sharpo: another simple application for sharing idea and found a co-founder for that! I love it because its very simple than another start-ups mostly stupidly 😉 . I just launched this start up for finding a co-founder for SmartBeen and learn how the other guys found a co-founder and keep them…
A quick look at my most lovely startups:
- Smart Home. revenue: $4500
- Smart pet take care: revenue: $720
- Digital health for Babe take care revenue: $1020
- Dealer sheep manager online system. revenue: $300
- Restaurant order automation. revenue: $0
- Hospital VIP room. revenue: $0
Just a note:
- When I say revenue = $0 its dose not mean I don’t had customer for them! Its because most of time customer did not pay money to me because in that time I am so young and …
- I built lots of MVP about my idea! Basically I had lots of idea (more than 32!) but I did not build/ or I can’t build MVP for them, so I always say 32 start-ups (even I had more) because I build a MPV for them and maybe got first customer.
- Aaaand as I say before I don’t give up about my last business, I just keep them on ice…
Most start-ups are about hardware, but I also get experience in software and/or online startup. Also some of my start-ups re not about technology and I start different start-ups sinces I am 17.
And last but not least sorry about this large email and thank you for your time 🙂
NB: Thank you Edwin for sharing this with us, your creativity is amazing, and sends us a lot of energy!