Boardroom 6/13- GroGuru

by | Jul 15, 2022 | Latest News

Last week was another volatile one in the equity markets, and though we may be getting used to BIG SWINGS in the major indices by now, familiarity doesn’t breed comfort.  In wild times like these, I like to focus on companies that are led by people who have demonstrated the ability to PIVOT WHEN NECESSARY, and use unconventional thinking to keep their businesses moving forward no matter how challenging the environment.

One such company that was born in uncertain times, faced early headwinds, but found a way to persevere is AirbnbBack in 2007 founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia moved to the Bay Area from New York and realized that the lack of available hotel rooms was an opportunity ripe for exploitation! Soon after, a company called “Air Bed and Breakfast” was born, and the initial business model consisted of three strangers paying $80 to crash on the founders’ floor.

The path to the top wasn’t a straight line, however.  Soon after launch the young company had only two registered users, one of whom was one of the founders.  The company needed capital, and quickly, so the founders seized an opportunity which presented itself in the form of the Democratic National Convention held in Denver in the runup to the 2008 election.  This event yielded 600 bookings and gave the company time to figure out the next move.


This success was short-lived, though, and the company needed an influx of cash.  The founders were able to make a short-term pivot and seize upon the election zeitgeist to bring in cash from an unorthodox source.  They sold election-themed cereals based on candidates Barack Obama and John McCain to make a fast $30,000 and keep AirBnb afloat.  This move bought the founders time, as well as an additional $20,000 from Y Combinator.


Soon after that, a trip to New York City to meet some early adopters demonstrated to the founders that their next problem was BIG– although pretty simple to fix– specifically, the pictures that featured the listings were NOT good.  A camera upgrade fixed that, and better pictures allowed AirBnb to feature more than just shared spaces, which proved to be a major catalyst for growth. 


Companies’ paths to success most often aren’t straight ones–such as with AirBnb– but a willingness to pivot when necessary, and the GUTS to seize an opportunity when it presents itself are factors I like to see when evaluating startup investments.  Making the right moves at the right time can work wonders, even taking a company from three random strangers on air mattresses to a $74B market cap!

Companies like Airbnb have taught us that it’s imperative to be able to seize upon market opportunities, and sometimes those opportunities arise from less than stellar situations.  With that, let me introduce you to my Featured Company…

Sponsored By:

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has thrown the global food supply into question since the two countries are major wheat producers.  Therefore, recent developments like this have shown us that we need to explore all options to ensure we can grow enough crops to feed everyone on the planet. 


Companies like GroGuru are responding to this challenge.  In particular, GoGuru is  employing AI technology to monitor farm soil, allowing for optimization of water to maximize crop yields and minimize waste. In particular, GroGuru is utilizing a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform to optimize water usage for farmers, allowing them to use LESS WATER to grow MORE FOOD.  

Further, GroGuru helps farmers earn more from their efforts by providing a suite of decision support tools that allows farmers to deploy increasingly scarce resources like water, labor, and fertilizers in optimized ways. Optimized irrigation can INCREASE crop yields by 10-20% and the investment can PAY FOR ITSELF within a single growing season. 


The company’s solution utilizes wireless technology to transmit and interpret data, allowing farmers to use intelligent irrigation insights to maximize yields. In the U.S. there are approximately 313 acres of farmland, and 4.2 billion acres worldwide, so optimizing irrigation to increase crop yields can get our world closer to the goal of eliminating world hunger!


With that, I encourage you to take a deeper look at all the amazing things this company is doing by visiting

And if you would like to consider making an investment in GroGuru, please visit:

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