Name: Rain Systems
Legal Name: Rain Systems, Inc
Location: Los Angeles, California
INDUSTRY – Smart Agriculture Technology
Size: $4.50 billion in 2015 (Source: Analysis of the Smart Agriculture Technology Market)
Projections: $9.00 billion by 2020 (CAGR of 14.8%) (Source: Analysis of the Smart Agriculture Technology Market)
Rain Systems is an agriculture technology company that creates devices to reduce water consumption while maintaining green spaces in a sustainable manner.
Rain Systems’ patented proprietary technology, the Precision Injection Machine (PIM), uses a computerized water injection system to implant hydrogel into existing green turf or agricultural land. The hydrogel increases the soil’s capacity to retain water and absorbs the water, thereby reducing its wastage due to evaporation or drainage. The hydrogel stores the water and releases it gradually into the ground whenever needed to make sure the turf remains hydrated and is not over-irrigated.
The hydrogel used by Rain Systems in its PIM has been tested and approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the company’s website, this hydrogel is 100% biodegradable, non-toxic, and effective for up to 3 years.
Origin and Founding Team
Rain Systems was founded in 2016 by Elaine Sibert, who currently serves as the company’s CEO, and Jim Sibert, who is the CTO.
Elaine holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Texas Arlington. She founded her first production company – Three (One) O, in 1994 at the age of 26 without any external investment, and grew it into a multi-million dollar company with revenues of more than $150M. As the CEO and Executive Producer at the company, Elaine oversaw operations as well as produced projects both in the US and internationally for clients such as HBO, Showtime, ABC, Fox Broadcasting, Sears, Walmart, 7-Eleven, McDonald’s, Gatorade, and many others.
Jim refers to himself as an ‘entrepreneur throughout his life’ and has invested in developing real estate, including prominent bars and restaurants, in Dallas. In 2009, he found out about hydrogel soil conditioners and identified a potentially significant need and a market for such solutions. He found that no machine or technique existed at the time that was capable of installing hydrogels into the ground without tilling it and disturbing the green cover. Over the next few years, Jim worked on developing and patenting a water conservation system that could distribute hydrogel into the ground with enough precision that it does not impact the turf or the soil’s potency for agricultural production.
Performance and Trends
In April 2016, Rain Systems was chosen by Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator for its accelerator program. Following this, the company has executed pilot projects with CalState University Northridge, City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, Los Angeles Unified School District, and Soule Park Golf Course.
The company also received the Innovative Conservation Program Grant for its “Precision Injection Machine Water Conservation Pilot” from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, in June 2018. The company also received $150K seed funding from Quake Capital in the same month.
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