Alex Ross’s passion stood out from our very first meeting. As a long-time outdoor enthusiast, Alex left Tinder in March 2020 to push forward on understanding the living world, focused specifically on plants. During our conversations with him, he routinely shared startling insights about society’s limited knowledge of plants including:
- Only 0.9% of plants have been genetically sequenced
- We don't know yet whether plants are net greenhouse gas sinks or sources
- Of the roughly 400,000 known species of plants, around 300,000 are edible. Yet humans consume only around 200 globally, and most grocery stores carry only 40
- We don't yet understand why leaves turn red in the autumn
The Greg team is on a long-term mission to help people better understand, care for, and eventually grow more plants, be it houseplants or food crops.
"The Greg team is on a long-term mission to help people better understand, care for, and eventually grow more plants, be it houseplants or food crops."
To get there, Alex and the Greg team are building the first intelligent plant care app that helps plants thrive. Unlike wading through Google search results, Greg tells you exactly how to care for each of your plants using machine learning models. To train these models, Greg taps into the world’s largest (and fastest-growing) plant dataset, generated by their community. The product also incorporates physics algorithms that have been successfully leveraged by large-scale commercial farmers. The product recognizes each of your plant species and morphology automatically, tells you where to place each plant, reminds you when to water them, and gives personalised care recommendations based on plant type, pot size, sunlight levels, season, and your activity.
Since launching in August 2020, the Greg community has grown from 100 beta users to over 50,000 active users today. In that time, 300,000 plants have been cared for with Greg and plants have been watered using Greg over 2 million times. In addition, partners like The Sill and over 100 other retailers have started sharing Greg to help their customers care for newly-purchased plants.
"We believe Greg will empower the masses to become future growers and create a more sustainable future and could not be more thrilled to partner with the company on this journey."
We’re excited to partner with Greg in their seed financing, a $5m round led by Index Ventures with participation from First Round Capital and an exciting group of industry expert angels and advisors, including Elie Seidman (previous CEO of Tinder), Eliza Blank (founder of The Sill), and Darryl Cheng (author of the best-selling book The New Plant Parent and Instagram account @houseplantjournal). This financing also represents our first investment from our Index Origin fund. We believe Greg will empower the masses to become future growers and create a more sustainable future and could not be more thrilled to partner with the company on this journey.
Published — May 27, 2021