Be more effective while doing less…it’s what the AgTech startup Rantizo is attempting to do in the spraying industry.
“We revolutionize the spraying industry,” Co-founder Michael Ott told Clay & Milk. “Agriculture spraying is a big business and has big problems.”
To fix those problems, Rantizo pairs drone technology with an electrostatic spray to target and reach specific areas within a field.
“So if you have a gallon of Round Up you dilute that with over 800 gallons of water and you need a tractor because you have 801 gallons of liquid you need to spray,” Ott explains. “We don’t need that 800 gallons of water, we just need that one gallon. We can put our sprayer on a drone and spot apply where it needs to go.”
Ott says it was a professor at Princeton University who developed the electrostatic spray. What he did with Rantizo is find a way to use it to solve a problem.
“We got to thinking, it’s a cool way to do things, it’s low powered and low weight, where does that have an impact?” Ott says. “Looking at interesting technologies and finding ways to make a good business out of them.”
Ott is based in Iowa City and said him and his co-founder Matthew Beckwith are actively meeting with angel investors to raise capital. He’d like to raise $300,000 by the end of the summer and hire a Chief Technology Officer.
“It’s going to be a fun engineering project for the right person,” Ott says.
He said Rantizo has been in the works for the last 12 months but had been “ramping up” over the last three months. In March, Ott went through the Ag Launch Accelerator program in Memphis and won the pitch contest.
“I think people see there’s a problem and the way we can execute,” Ott says. “We are really going to be a systems play that integrates all the technology.”
Because cotton is such a heavily sprayed crop—and Tennessee is a producer of cotton—the Ag Launch Accelerator was a logical fit.
“When you are looking at spraying things, that’s a pretty big opportunity,” Ott says. “So we wanted to go down there and there was a good opportunity to get capital and work with some people I had known for a long time.”
Ott said they are working to make sure the drone is easy and reliable to operate right from the box. Rantizo will be GPS based and gather imagery on a field. It will use that data to diagnose problem areas and autonomously deliver chemicals that are needed to solve the problem.
“We want to design a solution that reduces the number of people required because we all know it’s hard to get people working in farming while demand goes up,” Ott says. “Then also the equipment is getting more and more expensive so we want to design systems that are small and nimble.”