Grobo company forecast?

Hello all, I am new around here, looking into finally growing my own green for the first time.

I don’t have a green thumb, and have never grown anything before. I am a software devops engineer by trade, and my time is crazy valuable, so the automation aspect of the Grobo device is what has finally convinced me to give growing a try. I’d say it’s fairly revolutionary in that aspect!

However, as someone who knows very well how these software automation projects can go bad… I’d like to learn a little more about Grobo as a company before spending such a large amount on a device that could potentially become a brick in just a few years.

I realize some of these may be very difficult (or impossible) to answer, and some of them may seem naive since I’ve not really done more than a days worth of research… but my questions are:

  1. It appears that Grobo is mostly backed by venture capital (according to Pitchbook, apparently an early round in 2016, and a second round in late 2019?). How far away is Grobo from being self-sustaining based on sales? What is Grobo’s runway, before they would need to further increase sales or obtain another round of VC funding?

  2. Assuming Grobo did go out of business one day and their software went offline, what would happen to the Grobo unit? Will they all cease to function?

  3. Apparently the Grobo unit requires full-time internet access in order to communicate with the Grobo software/servers. Is there a way to host the Grobo software locally on-premises (enterprise mode), in order to avoid sending outbound network traffic to a Grobo-owned server? If not, why?

  4. Is that outbound internet traffic always secure?

  5. Will Grobo software ever become open source, in order to allow community contributions? For example, adding custom recipes or adding custom sensors.

  6. Are you hiring? How can I help?

Just curious!

Despite the price, the Grobo system appears to be overwhelmingly the best automated growing solution on the market. But you know, you often get what you pay for. I’m pretty excited to be living in a time where something like this exists. I’m looking forward to ordering and growing something for myself.

Thanks!

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This is a good question for @Stephen and @bjorn to answer. I don’t think many, if any, of us are qualified to answer your questions. :slightly_smiling_face:

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We,d all like those answers too. Maybe well hear back

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@VermontGrobo - Thanks for the ping!

Hey @soverance,

Welcome to AG!

Those are awesome questions. While I can’t publicly share all the details, I’ll do my best to answer as much as possible for you:

1. It appears that Grobo is mostly backed by venture capital ( according to Pitchbook, apparently an early round in 2016, and a second round in late 2019? ). How far away is Grobo from being self-sustaining based on sales? What is Grobo’s runway, before they would need to further increase sales or obtain another round of VC funding?

Correct, we have been VC funded for most of our 6 years in business. That said, Grobo quietly became profitable in early 2020. COVID has been a wild ride, but we remain in a good financial position moving forward.

2. Assuming Grobo did go out of business one day and their software went offline, what would happen to the Grobo unit? Will they all cease to function?

Our software hosting costs each month are relatively affordable so I would make sure to continue supporting you by keeping it online. We would also do our best to continue supplying all of the consumables that you need.

3. Apparently the Grobo unit requires full-time internet access in order to communicate with the Grobo software/servers. Is there a way to host the Grobo software locally on-premises ( enterprise mode ), in order to avoid sending outbound network traffic to a Grobo-owned server? If not, why?

The unit can function offline for a period of time, however our algorithms primarily run on our servers which is why the internet connection is required. The unit does make some system level changes, but it also sends back data packets multiple times an hour that are used to improve your grow.

4. Is that outbound internet traffic always secure?

Yes, we work hard to keep your data secure. We also connect almost no information from our users. This is the reason that the app only asks for your email address and nothing else.

5. Will Grobo software ever become open source, in order to allow community contributions? For example, adding custom recipes or adding custom sensors.

We don’t have any plans to make it open source at the moment.

6. Are you hiring? How can I help?

Thanks for the offer! We are definitely hiring. I actually have 11 phone interviews this afternoon for a new Firmware Engineer and our new CS Rep started yesterday! (Hey @stacey.grobo!)

I hope these answers help! We’re always working to do things better and every day I get more and more excited about the future of Grobo!

Happy growing,
Bjorn

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hey @bjorn, thanks for the quick response!

I’m super happy to hear that Grobo has become profitable and is growing the team and moving forward into the future on stable footing. Such knowledge makes me feel way more comfortable purchasing something like this. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dropped a lot of cash on the next big tech device only to have the thing go belly up and be totally useless a couple years later when the company made no sales and their VC funding dried up. I’ve got a graveyard of previously-fun stuff like that lying around.

Super glad to hear that you guys also take security seriously and collect minimal user data. A little disappointed there isn’t an “enterprise” version of the software (for the times when I would want to run my operation on a hardened, air-gapped, or isolated network), but I certainly understand the technical challenges (and diminishing returns?) behind providing such a service.

Either way, thanks for all the effort. keep up the awesome work!

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Definitely recommend you read my post about the Grobo. Even if bjorn can keep the backend going (which is not guaranteed if only because Grobo could be sold and shuttered by a competitor), there’s huge flaws in the hardware, software and development process.

Also remember, just because the backend keeps working doesn’t mean the system will. This box has tons of issues for many people and hides all of your data behind Grobo’s customer support team. If they go out of business, you’ve just gotta hope and pray.

If you’re concerned about security, reliability and ability to operate for years, build your own. There are ample resources out there to get you started, including this forum. Grobo’s biggest and best feature is the marketing to get you comfortable to grow and order the product. Their second best feature is this community
Once you start having issues (within the first year based on other users in this forum), you’ll be kicking yourself in the butt.

Thanks for the feedback @Tito. We are continuously improving the design, components, features and notifications. Couple updates for our community…

  1. We continuously update our product to improve on issues like the air pump, noise, and more.
  2. We have just opened up sales to the EU market. Grobo’s are on the way now, should be landed and shipping mid Oct.
  3. Our support team has grown. (again) We will soon be offering support 6 days a week, as we continue to grow our team.

Love the feedback you’ve offered so far, we hear it and want to improve.

Cheers,
Stephen

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