Competitive Agribusiness Software Dynamics and Implications
How do agribusiness software companies like TELUS, Bushel, Ever.Ag and AgVend win?
In June, I talked about Digital Battlegrounds where we see the convergence of functionality across multiple vertical software providers from the likes of EverAg, Bushel, AgVend, Smartwyre, and others coming together:
Agronomy/Farm management/Crop planning software
Customer-facing digital portals
Sales management software
Grain and merchandising management
Marketing campaign management
Supply chain optimization
Just like farmers do not want multiple software and applications, neither do farmers’ trusted advisors or agribusiness professionals within organizations.
Not to mention the benefits of having various aspects of farmer relationships data closer to one another and interoperable— such as agronomic and geospatial information and transaction information, like I have talked about before. It brings a holistic view of the farmer to the organization's agronomists, salespeople, and everyone.
For example, Bushel began down the route of bringing transactional and agronomic data together with its acquisition of FarmLogs and Ever.Ag has had capabilities surrounding this for years (more on them below).
This reality lends itself to natural extensions of product offerings and increasing convergence of those capabilities into one company— whether via partnerships, internal product development, or acquisition.
The driver of the convergence is not only brought on by customer demands but also business realities for these companies. There are only so many agribusiness customers to go after in each portion of the value chain and only so much propensity to monetize one segment of the agribusiness value chain, which means these agriculture software companies are naturally going to have to do two things:
Expand product and service offerings to current customers, such as financing, sustainability programs, insurance or enhanced features such as supply chain management or CRM features.
Move upstream or downstream to other customers in the value chain with software as a service offering— or enable their current customers with new embedded features or functionality (eg: embedded finance).
In the image below, each vertical is a point of the ag inputs and grain value chain, one in which most software companies started and some expanded out. Each point also has its own profit pool for these software companies to tap into: