2022 brought the first downturn in FarmBot’s growth since 2016. We experienced a 23% drop in revenue over 2021 in part due to the delayed first production runs of FarmBot Genesis v1.6 and Express v1.1, a lack of kits being available from inventory for most of the year, the ongoing economic impacts of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, and global supply chain shortages.
The financial pressure from the drop in revenue prompted us to re-examine costs and work to reduce spending across the company from shipping to marketing to servers. We also moved to a 4-day work week primarily to promote a healthier work/life balance, though with the added benefit of being a 25% wage increase for all employees on an hourly basis without incurring added cost.
Our products continued to improve over previous generations with the successful introduction of the FarmBot Genesis rotary tool, improved electronics in FarmBot Express v1.1, and a total of 20 software deployments throughout the year.
However, despite these improvements, it became more clear than ever that maintaining inventory is a necessity to drive growth. Thus, we reprioritized our hardware strategy with the top goal of maintaining inventory and deprioritized the goal of improving the hardware with each manufacturing run, which has historically introduced delays and risk.
2022 thus marked the first time we manufactured a version of FarmBot (Genesis v1.6) three times without substantial changes between runs, and we intend on further increasing the number of runs between versions going forward.
Through 2023, our focus will be on honing our business operations and product offerings to ensure we deliver the core values of FarmBot to the most people: stability, agricultural capabilities, ease of use, and being available from inventory. I look forward to seeing where this refined roadmap takes us!
– Rory Aronson, CEO of FarmBot Inc
January 13, 2022 — Added the jobs popup to the FarmBot Web App, allowing users to track the status of long-running tasks such as full-garden photo scans via complimentary Lua helpers.
January 14, 2022 — Launched the FarmBot Genesis Rotary Tool, included with all v1.6 kits, featuring a 24 volt DC motor, interchangeable implements, and an adjustable motor angle allowing FarmBot to perform light duty weed whacking, soil surface milling, and drilling operations.
February 4, 2022 — Celebrated co-founder Rick Carlino’s last day at FarmBot. As FarmBot’s original software developer, Rick architected and built much of the FarmBot web app. His tenure of 8+ years of open-source development will leave a lasting legacy, and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!
February 11, 2022 — Implemented support for three new sequence variable types: peripherals, sensors, and sequences, as well as new Lua helpers to facilitate access and use of these new variables.
February 11, 2022 — Implemented a new FarmBot OS download wizard to help guide users in selecting the correct
.img file for their FarmBot version and its internal computer.
February 11, 2022 — Released FarmBot OS v15, marking the end of Rick’s tenure as the lead FarmBot OS maintainer.
March 4, 2022 — Published new featured sequences for executing sequences in a grid pattern and dispensing a volume of water in mL. Also added first-class custom settings to the FarmBot web app to better support custom Lua code.
March 10, 2022 — Supported an interdisciplinary team of students at Curio , a vocational school in the Netherlands, who developed a prototype FarmBot gripper tool for harvesting crops.
March 29, 2022 — Continued fostering our partnership with John Wells, PhD, of Virginia Tech by supplying equipment for his multigenerational STEM learning programs.
April 5, 2022 — Redesigned the sequence editor for more quickly adding commands, added support for selecting a sequence to run on boot, published a pick from seed tray sequence, and added a variety of new Lua helpers.
April 13, 2022 — Integrated the discovery of featured sequences into the FarmBot Web App.
April 29, 2022 — Added many small features to the web app and documentation hubs including improved navigation, garden notes, customizable landing pages, and panel refreshes.
May 17, 2022 — Made improvements to the setup wizard based on internally collected data and user feedback.
May 31, 2022 — Refreshed the photo viewer and significant portions of content in the software documentation hub.
June 20, 2022 — Implemented new group sorting methods and a toggle peripheral command.
July 8, 2022 — Added a connectivity history tab, collecting and displaying 24 hours worth of FarmBot’s telemetry data.
July 18, 2022 — Published a FarmBot Genesis v1.6 complete unboxing video.
July 22, 2022 — Implemented a 4-day work week for all employees . For the same pay, the “Full-time” expectation was lowered from 5 days/40 hours to 4 days/32 hours per week, with every Monday becoming a part of the weekend .
July 26, 2022 — Implemented documentation search hotkeys and full-screen viewing, making it faster and easier to find information .
August 10, 2022 — Improved the manual movement controls to show movement progress, informational popups, and indicators of a button’s action.
August 23, 2022 — Implemented new go buttons, companion crop suggestions, and improvements to the camera view in the map.
September 24, 2022 — Refreshed the sequences panel with improved search, quick run buttons, and streamlined controls. Also added a new pin bindings UI and power button to the controls panel, and a new mounted tool graphic to the tools panel.
October 27, 2022 — Improved the app’s grid line labels, organization of settings, and drag and drop of sequences and folders.
November 18, 2022 — Implemented the FarmBot trail feature in the profile viewer as well as a plant depth field. Also added many new Lua helper functions to FarmBot OS.
December 14, 2022 — Added a first-class water flow rate field for watering nozzle tools and a gantry height field.
December 19, 2022 — Published a FarmBot Express v1.1 complete unboxing and assembly video.
December 19, 2022 — Made improvements to the setup wizard based on internally collected data and user feedback.
Our revenue was down by 23% in 2022 compared with 2021. We believe this is due to a few factors including not having inventory available from stock for nearly the entire year, our increased prices due to the increased cost of manufacturing and shipping, and the economic uncertaininty and high energy prices caused by the war in Ukraine.
|Product||2021 Total Sales||2022 Total Sales||% of 2022 Total|
|Express XL v1.0||$158,751||$5,785||0.5%|
|Express XL v1.1||$29,072||$96,824||8.7%|
|Genesis XL v1.5||$121,285||—||—|
|Genesis XL v1.6||$463,262||$356,038||31.9%|
Due to a large number of outstanding pre-orders heading into 2022, shipments were significantly higher than new sales as we caught up on our backlog.
|FarmBot||Quantity Shipped||% of Total|
|Express XL v1.0||4||0.7%|
|Express XL v1.1||64||11.5%|
|Genesis XL v1.6||144||25.8%|
Use Shipstation to generate this table: Shipments > Filter by date > Export > Filter by Kit
The following table breaks down our FarmBot sales into three main market segments based on end-use of the machine: Education, Personal, and B2B.
The Education segment includes K-12 schools, universities, and extracurricular educational programs such as 4H and robotics clubs. The Personal segment includes homeowners, families, and DIY enthusiasts who use FarmBot non-commercially. B2B includes family farms, research facilities, farm-to-fork restaurants, and other entities that are not in the business of education.
|Segment||FarmBot||Quantity||Gross Revenue||% of Total|
|Country||Total Sales||% of Total|
Shopify report for this table.
|State||Total Sales||% of US|
Shopify report for this table.
The pandemic continued to impact our supply chain through the first half of 2022, resulting in longer-than-usual production times for sample parts, delayed sea shipping of production runs, and higher than normal sea shipping costs. We were also forced to make some product changes due to shortages of certain electronic components including Raspberry Pi computers and Molex connectors.
Most costs and delays came under control through the second half of the year, allowing for relatively quick second and third production runs of Genesis and Genesis XL v1.6.