Water Ways Technology is a global provider of Israeli-based agriculture technology, providing water irrigation solutions to agricultural producers. With 138 projects complete, their mission is to make agricultural technology accessible across the globe.
Recently, The Market Herald caught up with the company’s Director, Ronnie Jaegermann, for some further insight into the company.
TMH: Could you start by giving us a background of the company and the advanced agricultural technology that you have?
RJ: Water Ways Technology is an Israeli-based technology company which focuses on one thing, delivering smart irrigation projects to farmers around the world. By smart irrigation, I mean we’re using drip irrigation technology, which means that instead of flood irrigating a field of crop somewhere in the world, we actually put hoses near the plants or the plant root. Those hoses have small holes, and water and fertilizers are transported through the hoses and dripped into the root of a plant. We are looking at saving about 90% of irrigation water when we use this system and about 30% of using fertilizers. This is a very green method.
The biggest consumption of drinking water in the world, over 70%, is irrigation and in the world, guess what? Water is becoming scarce. We have heat waves. There’s less and less range around the world, and farmers to supply us with the food would need to irrigate, and we have the best and most water-conserving method in the world. It’s based on Israeli technology, and it does one more thing. The farmer has much better yields if he uses drip irrigation because the plant needs exactly the amount of water and exactly the amount of fertilizer or food that it needs. No more or less. These systems are fully computerized. They may be operated through satellites or GPS from the iPhone. It’s a completely closed computer control with very smart software getting big data on climate, of soil, of the plant itself, of night and day, and all these parameters are put into the control system. It’s a very smart and very unique system.
TMH: As a company, you design, supply, install, and maintain irrigation systems. Is this something you pride yourselves on, and what is the reasoning behind doing it all yourself from start to finish?
RJ: Well, we don’t do everything from start to finish. We source a smart irrigation system that has about a thousand components. Doesn’t matter if it’s 20 hectares or a thousand hectares, but there are a lot of components. We source the components, but the basis, we are a systems house, if you wish. Like IBM, we provide solutions to farmers, not hardware, and the smart thing we do is planning. We have 20 years of knowledge of how to put in irrigation systems. We know crops, we know agriculture and what makes this work is the advanced knowledge that we have about irrigating and the cultivation of several crops.
TMH: You have successfully installed projects all around the world, and the company is now expanding now to Canada as well. Could you talk us through the importance of that worldwide growth?
RJ: We took the company public in 2019 with the intention to build a massive, major irrigation company. We’re trying to do that with two kinds of growth factors. The first of them is organic growth by our own sales force, but we’re growing through geographical mergers and acquisitions. We did the first acquisition when we started our business in Canada by acquiring a Canadian irrigation provider that irrigation provider with a small company in the south of London, Ontario, with sales of about $2 million a year, practically breaking even. We acquired the assets of that company. The CEO remained because they had a lot of contexts for the Canadian farming industry, and he runs the company actually now. We were able within two years to grow the sales of the company from CAD$ 2 million to 6 million or rather 6.5 million. That is sort of the strategy we do. We target a market. We target a good entrepreneur. We either buy a hundred percent of our business or 51% of the business, and that’s how we’re expanding worldwide. We did the same thing in Chile about a month ago.
TMH: Could you share some details regarding some of the recent, most significant projects or installations?
RJ: The most significant business we’ve done this year is actually acquiring one of our clients in Chile, a project provider to the Chilean AG community. It has about 15% market share in Chile and has about 40 employees, all engineers and agronomists. They provide irrigation projects to Chile and farmers, and we acquired the company. We closed the acquisition about a month ago. The company had revenue in 2021 of about US$ 8 million, or that is today probably, 10/10.5 within 10% EBIDTA, and we acquired the company for CAD$2Million and a million in shares. I think it’s a very good deal. We acquired 51% of the company, leaving the current CEO with 49%. That’s our strategy because the CEO of the company needs to stay along for at least five years because it’s a relationship business, and together with the company, we actually acquired his relationship business with Chile and farmers. We’re going to have a strong foothold in South America, which is a major AG market for us. We will go into Argentina; we’ll go into Brazil in the coming years, and that’s part of the growth factors of the company.
TMH: Before we finish off, is there anything else you would like to let investors know about Water Ways?
RJ: Water Ways has been traditionally very dominant in Eastern and third-world country markets. We have a subsidiary in China, which has suffered a little bit from Coronavirus because of the closures in China. We have a significant business in the African country of Ethiopia. We have good business in Uzbekistan, which is in Central Asia, a former Soviet Republic country, and we have traditional good business in South America, Peru, Chile and other countries. But our goal for the coming years is to go for the North American market. We’ve formed a subsidiary in Canada. The sales are doubling almost every year, and the major blue sky for us is in the US market, which is where we think we can bring our know-how and our historical success with bringing Israeli technology, at least especially drip irrigation technology, with smart irrigation to farmers. We also found there’s a big need for this both in the Canadian market and in the American market, and it’s easier actually for us to work in North America because, guess what? The language is English, and everybody can understand everybody. Whereas in Spanish or some dialects in Africa, Chinese, it’s much, much harder. So, our blue sky is North America. That’s where we intend to grow in the coming years.
Water Ways Technologies is trading on the TSX-V under the symbol WWT. You can also learn more at waterwaystechnologies.com
I’m Daniella Atkinson for the Market Herald. Thanks for watching the Topline.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by The Market Herald.