Kirchner Impact Foundation Announces Investment in Innovative Irrigation Monitoring Service
PONCE provides instant equipment performance information to farmers through a simple-to-use app
Jacksonville, FL, and Mar del Plata, Argentina, October 12, 2022 – The Kirchner Impact Foundation, through its Mexican cohort of the Kirchner Fellowship program, is pleased to announce today that it has completed an investment in AgTech company, PONCE. Founded in Argentina in 2017, the company now has additional operations in Mexico and Chile, offering a unique irrigation monitoring service that provides important information to farmers, in real time, about their water management.
PONCE empowers growers to enhance the performance of their equipment in order to optimize the usage of water and energy, improve yields, avoid failures, and lower the cost of irrigating. The PONCE monitoring system allows the farmer the ability to monitor their irrigation equipment from anywhere in the world. The user receives periodic reports with key metrics and recommendations related to the management of their machines and a detailed record of the operations of the equipment as well as its historical variables: pressure, flow, rainfall record, irrigation sheet, etc.
“Kirchner’s participation in our financing round is a great joy, not only because of the investment but also because it means the incorporation of a highly committed team to our family that will empower us to grow fast and strong. The process allowed us to learn about Kirchner’s culture and vision through its fellows, finding a perfect fit with the one we have at PONCE. We are really excited about this great milestone!” commented Jose Robetto, Founder and CEO of PONCE.
The PONCE sensors can be installed on any brand of irrigation equipment without interfering or modifying its normal operation, and the system is adapted to work with any type of automatic sprinkler machine meaning center pivots, linears and irrigation reels. PONCE builds a digital twin of each piece of monitored equipment and feeds it with in-field data. By doing this, the grower can receive instant alerts when the equipment behavior is not as expected.
“The enormous quantity and quality of projects that the Fellows found and evaluated throughout Latin America during the Fellowship program makes us very satisfied with the investment decision made. We are confident that the positive impact on resources and famers that PONCE has will continue to grow.” added Adrian García, Director of the Kirchner Fellowship Mexico.
“We were looking for a company that provided innovative solutions for efficient water use and management, led by impact-driven people with a genuine interest in helping farmers,” commented former Fellow and current Director, Abigail Napsuciale Heredia. “PONCE is not just about saving money for the farmer but working to manage a critical resource that is under incredible strain yet is critical to agricultural production and food security.”
In addition to PONCE, the Kirchner Impact Foundation’s, impact investment program has invested in innovative businesses. The portfolio includes: Solena, a biotechnology research company focused on soil health; Siembro, anonline multi-lender lending platform connecting farmers with financial institutions at the point of sale; Green Zebra Grocery, a socially-responsible convenience store chain, focused on healthy and local options for customers; Kuli Kuli Foods, a consumer packaged-goods company selling healthy food products made with moringa, sourced primarily from smallholder farmers in Africa and Central America; and Tomato Jos, a vertically-integrated agricultural company from Nigeria that works with smallholder farmers to grow and process high-quality tomatoes into tomato paste.
PONCE offers an Agricultural Irrigation Equipment Efficiency Service to help growers improve their yields, avoid failures, optimize the usage of water as well as fuel and electricity to lower the cost of irrigating. Founded in 2017 by José Robetto, Mariano Finochietto and Iñaki Albisu, PONCE has monitored over 1,000 machines in Argentina, Chile and México. Today the team has grown to 15 talented individuals working every day to change the way water is applied to agriculture – committing to save water for future generations. www.ponceautomations.com
Jose Robetto | CEO & Founder | PONCE | email@example.com
Kirchner Food Fellowship
The mission of the Kirchner Fellowship is to strengthen impact investing ecosystems in areas underserved by capital markets through training and empowering a diverse next generation of investors to allocate equity investments into early-stage companies. Through the use of a “real world, real time, real money” model, the program has proven that it is possible for newly-formed investment teams to become effective capital allocators in a matter of months. www.kirchnerfellowship.com
The Kirchner Fellowship is an initiative of The Kirchner Impact Foundation (501 (c) (3)) one of the “returning arms” of Kirchner Group, that focuses on harnessing the positive power of enterprise to make a difference in addressing some of the most important issues of today. www.kirchnerimpact.com
Hattie Brown | Co-Manager | Kirchner Impact Foundation | firstname.lastname@example.org
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