From Start-Up To Sustainability Leader: Smart Yard Innovator Rachio Marks A Decade Of Conservation


The concept of ‘tech for good’ is usually overplayed and unachievable for a lot of start-ups and bigger tech corporations. But for some applications there’s a natural connection between delivering modern products and contributing to a more sustainable world.

Denver-based Rachio hit the market in 2014 with an award-winning smart sprinkler controller, a technology that conserves precious resources. The corporate just marked its 10-year anniversary with a significant milestone: 150 billion gallons of water have been saved with their smart watering products. Rachio has also made a commitment to avoid wasting 3 trillion gallons of water by 2030.

This month the corporate released their newest product, a Smart Hose Timer which builds upon its flagship model to automate manual hose-watering. On the core of Rachio’s products is the free Rachio app which enables its users to avoid wasting water through features like hyper-local weather forecasting and climate data that monitors and controls their scheduled watering from anywhere.

I connected with Rachio CEO Kim Sentovich just before Earth Day about their water conservation efforts and the way their recent B Corp Certification and the way they’ve applied IoT technology in modern ways within the smart yard industry.

Christopher Marquis: Are you able to tell me the background and founding of Rachio? Ten years is a protracted time in today’s technology landscape. How have you ever stayed ahead in innovation?

Kim Sentovich: The thought for the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller got here about when co-founder Chris Klein saw sprinkler systems watering within the rain during a drought in Denver. He noticed all of the water being wasted and as each an engineer and yard aficionado, he worked with co-founder Franz Garsombke to form Rachio in 2013 with a goal of using smart technology to resolve inefficient yard watering. By 2014, the primary generation controller was available on the market. Since then, we’ve introduced two additional generations of our flagship sprinkler controller and just introduced our recent Rachio Smart Hose Timer.

We proceed to innovate and stay ahead because we’ve got an incredible team that’s at all times trends within the smart yard space, and so they’re so captivated with each technology and conservation. They give the impression of being for brand new problems that buyers are attempting to resolve for his or her outdoor spaces, and we really need to assist our customers “Connect Outside.” That’s why we created the Smart Hose Timer, for all of the households that don’t have in-ground irrigation. And we’ve built in-app integrations with other smart yard products that provide more tools to make yard care easy for our customers.

Marquis: Rachio has product lines for a wide range of market segments including consumers and professionals. How do you differentiate them? How do you communicate the differences?

Sentovich: Our consumer line of products are built for homeowners and end users who wish to water more easily and efficiently. These products make installation and setup easy, and have features like hyperlocal weather data, Quick Runs, Fixed and Flex schedules, and more that simplify the irrigation and yard care experience.

Our separate line of Rachio Pro products is built with features which are designed specifically for lawn care professionals. Features that make it easy for Pros to assist their customers get the yard they need, like “Properties”, to administer multiple sites for quick routing and “Wire Status”, which provides Pros with real-time current and voltage monitoring with malfunction alerts.

Marquis: Individuals are spending more time investing of their homes and outdoors. How are you appealing to the expansion of those smart home categories?

Sentovich: We spend a lot time researching, talking with our customers, and understanding their needs, that we only launch products and features that work the best way our customers expect them to. Landscaping is a giant investment, and we don’t take it calmly that they’re trusting their Rachio to assist protect that investment. With our sprinkler controllers and smart hose timers, you realize your plants are getting the proper amount of water. Our products tailor your watering to deliver the proper amount in your yard and plants, so that you don’t find yourself over or underwatering anything. A single tree purchased from a nursery for instance, can easily cost a whole bunch of dollars and provides hundreds of dollars of home value.

Moreover, because the leaders within the Smart Yard, we’ve continued expanding our partner product offerings with the Rachio Market – a web based marketplace of products that work together to offer customers a full smart yard experience that extends the comfort of home into their yards. Some partnerships include Weather Stations for hyper-local weather data, water flow monitors, and even a sensible umbrella that retracts if its’ too windy! As persons are spending more time outside, we’re leading the charge into the smart yard…and, there’s quite a bit more to come back.

Marquis: You’ve got the EPA WaterSense certification. What’s that, and does this matter to customers?

Sentovich: The EPA WaterSense label signifies that a product meets “EPA’s specifications for water efficiency and performance, and is backed by independent, third-party certification”.

Our smart sprinkler controllers have earned the EPA WaterSense label consequently of proven water savings. Which means that while you shop Rachio controllers, you realize they’ve met rigorous standards for using less water – not less than 20% less water than other conventional sprinkler controllers.

We discover that customers who’re conscious of their water footprint hunt down the WaterSense designation for indoor products like low flow toilets and water efficient washers, and so they have gotten an increasing number of aware of products that conserve water outdoors as well.

Marquis: Rachio is a licensed B Corp. What does that mean and why is it essential?

Sentovich: We’ve been a Certified B Corporation since 2017, meaning we meet the best standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. For Rachio, getting certified as a B Corp and continuing to uphold those standards is how we be sure our business interests align with those of our people and planet. Being a B corp can be essential to our employees and our ability to draw talent to grow our business, and we’re committed to living by that ethos. For example, for Earth Day this 12 months, our company has a 3 day weekend to volunteer with any style of non-profit organization they feel captivated with.

Our B Corp status helps us really stand out within the irrigation industry, where there are plenty of larger corporations that aren’t mission based and don’t hold themselves to any environmental or governance standards. B Corp really resonates with customers who wish to support businesses which are doing higher for the world.

Marquis: What can we expect in the long run from Rachio?

Sentovich: Well, since we just launched our Smart Hose Timer this month, you may expect further expansion of that product – multiple valves, recent features and more advantages for the client. Also, we’re continuing to take a look at what else in a yard can profit from becoming “smart”. Our market research team is the following big problem that our incredible engineering team can solve, and where else we will bring a bit of Rachio flare!

And in fact, you’re going to see quite a bit more development on the software side of our business. I at all times say that Rachio is a software company enabled through hardware products. We stand apart because our in-app experience is second to none – and we don’t have any monthly fees for that software. So we’ll proceed to bring the features, services and functionality that our customers want, to market. We’re at all times the newest technologies, be it AI, integrations, machine learning or whatever else, to make it easier for patrons to construct, maintain and monitor their smart yard through Rachio.


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