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Updated: 08/2019

UTW (Unmanned Technical Works)

Spain / Madrid , Spain / Website

05/2017 Angel Seed
Agriculture & Fishery B2B Digital Imaging & Photography Drones Big Data & Analytics Sensors
  • Pitch

    UTW is fundraising to build SaaS platform and help olive oil producers to predict and increase crop yields via ML-driven data services.

  • Why

    • Inaccurate production forecasts

      More accurate methods of predicting crop yields will help improve agricultural operations.

    • High wastage

      Water, fertilizers are often wasted through inaccurate quantity estimates for each plot.

    • Outdated farming methods

      Farmers need help to use data insights to boost productivity and modernize agricultural sector.

  • Market

    US$15.34bn

    Estimated total revenue of smart agriculture markets worldwide by 2025, based on CAGR of 13.09% from 2017.

  • Product

    UTW leverages drone photography and satellite imagery to perform varied, highly-accurate land surveys and technical inspections for B2B clients. It also delivers ML-driven data services for farmers, including crop yield predictions, resource-saving and production-boosting recommendations. Plans to introduce cloud-based SaaS to reach wider clientele.

  • Founders

  • Investors

  • Journey

    • 2015–2016 - UTW was launched in Madrid; financial assistance from CDTI and Horizon 2020.

      • The Launch

        April 2015, Spanish engineers Julio Díaz Hernández and Jesus Cano co-founded and launched UTW at the Carlos III University.

        • Business idea benefitted from Spain's new regulations to open up public spaces for civilian drone use. 
        • Established separate company Aventix to deliver personalized hi-tech services and UTW-related products to clients in the engineering and construction industries.
        • Both co-founders were working at aeronautical engineering company ITD and had connections with engineering clients in the industry.
      • Products and services

        AprilDecember 2015, rolled out land survey and technical inspection products.

        • Used combination of ESA satellite images and drone photography using multispectral, RGB and thermographic imagery from external providers.

        October 2015, developed agricultural assessment and predictive data services.

        • Employed two technical staff from Carlos III University.
        • Received technical assistance from local government organization Madrid Institute of Rural, Agrarian and Food Research and Investigation (IMIDRA).
      • Expansion

        4Q 2015,  with extensive contacts in the engineering and construction sectors, the UTW co-founders quickly secured clients and projects for companies like BASF and Iberdrola in Spain.

      • Fundings

        2Q15, co-founders bootstrapped business with funding of €150,000.

        4Q16, the company obtained €300,000 from the Spanish governmental science investor (Center for Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) and the European Commission's Horizon 2020 innovation support program. The money was only received from 2Q 2017.

    • 2017–2018 - Launch of agricultural services; incubation by European Space Agency; Oleo-Sense research project; development of tag-reading drone; ISO certification.

      • Products and services

        1Q 2017, gradual rollout began of agricultural assessment and predictive data services.

        • Agriculture was identified as having the biggest business potential.

        February 2018, received ISO 9001 certification for quality management within Spain.

        May, started work on Oleo-Sense research project in association with CDTI and ESA to lower water and fertilizer usage in olive trees, as well as to predict the optimum ripeness of the fruit. 

        June, designed autonomous drone capable of reading RFID tags, in collaboration with startup Vision4UAV and financed by CDTI.


      • Expansion

        1Q 2018, the European Space Agency (ESA) provided UTW with incubation services, including satellite imagery and access to potential clients.

        • Madrid chapter of ESA based at Carlos III University, UTW's headquarters.
    • UTW has serviced over 50 customers in Spain, including BASF and Iberdrola. The company has also worked on more than 450 projects to date, with over 100,000 hectares surveyed.

      Agriculture is the company's biggest potential revenue earner, especially in intensive and super-intensive olive production. It partners with farming intermediaries, such as machinery manufacturers and certification companies, to sell to their end-users.

    • Seeks financing of 350,000–400,000 to build a cloud-based SaaS platform to expand its B2B services into new markets.

      The agricultural products and services will be available to clients in other countries, starting with intensive and super-intensive olive-producing nations like Italy and Greece.

      Aims to be an industry leader in olive cultivation technology. 

  • Business Model

    B2B services are provided at a per-project variable price to engineering and other industry-related companies . UTW also signs annual contracts with agricultural producers for performance assessments and predictive services.

    UTW collects data and information from a variety of sources including drones, satellites and sensors to produce detailed land surveys and technical inspections for diverse projects like civil engineering and agricultural reports. It also uses data sharpening technology to reduce the number of drone flights required per year.

    Fees are currently charged at €30–80 per hectare assessed, depending on the type of services required. UTW has more than 50 customers and has completed over 450 projects to date.  In order to scale further, the company is seeking funding to develop a cloud-based platform to offer SaaS packages directly to clients.

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