Driptech is an international water technologies company based in Silicon Valley, with offices in Pune and Beijing. Through its proprietary, widely deployable manufacturing systems, Driptech produces affordable, high-quality irrigation systems designed for small-plot farmers. The company distributes its products through local governments, corporate partners, and NGOs in India and China.
The World Economic Forum selected Driptech as a 2012 Technology Pioneer and the Tech Awards honored Driptech as a Laureate in 2009 for its innovative use of technology benefiting humanity. BusinessWeek featured Driptech as one of the top five most promising social enterprises of 2010, and as one of the 25 most intriguing new startups of 2009.
Our mission is to alleviate poverty by creating extremely affordable, water efficient irrigation solutions for small-plot farmers in developing nations.
Global water usage is unsustainable from a food security perspective. Available water per person in developing countries is 20% of what it was fifty years ago. In these same places, agriculture accounts for 81% of total freshwater usage, primarily for flood irrigation. In addition to wasting water, flood irrigation leads to lower yields for many crops and is very labor intensive. At the same time, most small-plot farmers cannot grow crops throughout the year due to insufficient rainfall and are unable to afford existing irrigation systems which are either too expensive, too complicated to use, or of too poor quality. Under these conditions, small-plot farmers are limited in ability to improve their livelihoods.
Compared to flood irrigation or relying on rainfall, drip irrigation increases crop yields 20-50% and requires less labor and less money spent on diesel or electricity for pumping water. With our proprietary manufacturing technology, Driptech is able to produce and price drip irrigation systems at least 50% lower than the nearest competition. Unlike other drip irrigation systems, our systems reduce over 12,000 parts per acre by eliminating the use of complex and expensive emitters, meaning easier installations and maintenance.
Company founder Peter Frykman visited Ethiopia during his mechanical engineering PhD program at Stanford University, as part of the course "Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability." During his visits there, he witnessed that the exisiting irrigation systems did not fulfill the needs of small-plot farmers. Peter envisioned an innovative manufacturing process that could produce affordable drip irrigation. During the summer of 2008, he developed the technology behind Driptech's innovative manufacturing process and incorporated the company.
Driptech conducted a five month pilot test with farmers in Southern India, refining the Driptech irrigation system into today's final product sold to farmers. With a validated product, the company formed a series of successful distribution partnerships. During the summer of 2009, Driptech partnered with a provincial government in Northern China, and sold systems to local greenhouse farmers. In 2010, Driptech achieved commercial scale manufacturing with its proprietary manufacturing machines. The same year, Driptech formed a distribution partnership in India with the multi-billion dollar conglomerate, Godrej, and launched retail sales in the states of Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Today, Driptech is growing rapidly to address the needs of the 600 million subsistence farmers who lack appropriate irrigation.