A STORY OF A SUCCESS WITH THE HELP OF I4F (IIA and GITA)

I4F - Israel-India Foundation

Background

The Company:
Agrosolar
Agrosolar
Irrigating Systems Ltd. is an Israeli “start-up” company, that during the years 2015-2017 developed an innovative solar pumping system for “off-gird” small-holders, in evolving economies (India, Africa, South America etc.). The idea was to effectively pump water using solar panels, enabling farmers to irrigate their 1-2-hectare farms during the “dry season”. We planned the system to ensure higher volume of water pumped by the system in less energy produced by the solar panels.


The Foreign Partner:
Vyoda
Vyoda is an agri tech start-up with a vision to deliver affordable Smart Irrigation solutions through product innovation and to promote sustainable agricultural practices for a better tomorrow. Vyoda has established a R&D facility in Tel Aviv to leverage Israel’s strong product development capabilities and expertise in agriculture. To ensure that the products are affordable to small and medium farmers, Vyoda has set up a state of the art manufacturing facility in Mysuru, India. Vyoda is a part of NR Group, Mysuru.

Successful Innovation

During the 18 months of the project, we successfully achieved most of the goals and were exposed to the Indian market and received few awards (see below). Our innovative solar pump passed the UL test in India and also the MNRE one. Our Solar Pumping System is approved to be sold in India and participate in official tenders there. In 2020 we started to manufacture 50 units in India to be installed as “pilots”, out of which 5 were already installed at farms in Karnataka. The company plans to start mass production and sales in mid-2021.In early 2018 we were informed about the Israel-India bilateral Fund I4F. On one hand we knew that this was the ideal fund suitable for our needs since the 1 st call for proposals included projects in water and agriculture areas. But on the other hand, we realized that we need to have an Indian partner and finding such a partner before the closing date in March 2018 was not easy. With the help of our Indian investors, we started to work with Vyoda private limited from India, and both companies quickly studies all application forms and prepared the required agreements.

Not until we started to actually work together, after the approval of this project by GITA and IIA (the budget of which was US$ 1.2 M) did we really understand how hard it was to coordinate two teams living on two sides of the ocean and how crucial it is to develop close relationship between our both teams for becoming a successful story.

During the 18 months of the project, we successfully achieved most of the goals and were exposed to the Indian market and received few awards (see below). Our innovative solar pump passed the UL test in India and also the MNRE one. Our Solar Pumping System is approved to be sold in India and participate in official tenders there. In 2020 we started to manufacture 50 units in India to be installed as “pilots”, out of which 5 were already installed at farms in Karnataka. The company plans to start mass production and sales in mid-2021.

"The I4F bilateral fund was the right solution for Agrosolar at the time. With the help of the I4F we had the opportunity to get a closer look at our target market and ended up with the best understanding of the Indian market (and other similar markets) we could think of. We also managed to reduce manufacturing cost and with the help of Vyoda have a good marketing capability which hopefully will result in a nice income for both companies, and by that - contributing to India and Israel economies"
Rafi Brum, Agrosolar, Product Manager & Marketing