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Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable with Matt Battaglia

The show where Entrepreneurs, High Level Executives, Business Owners, and Investors come to share insight and ideas about the future of business.

BRT 2.0 looks at the new trends in business, and how classic industries are evolving. We Profile the current Players weekly in an Interview format to give you an inside look, to learn from their own experiences.

Popular Topics Discussed: Business, Entrepreneurship, Investing, Stocks, Cannabis, Tech (AI, VR, Biotech, Chips, Electric Battery), Blockchain / Crypto, Real Estate, Legal, Vehicles, Franchising, Farming, Sales, Charity 


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Jun 9, 2022

BRT S03 EP23 (122) 6-5-2022 –

Monarch Tractor Brings AgTech to Farming w/ Praveen Penmetsa


Things We Learned This Week

  • Monarch Tractor is AgTech working towards a future with Clean Farming
  • Farmer Jobs & Farmer Safety – tech assistance, more data, lower costs, less time on the tractor, more efficiency, & not around chemicals
  • AgTech – Tractor uses AI, Autonomous Driving, GPS, Data, + EV Battery
  • EV Battery - 10+ hours & 4.5 hours to charge, No DC fast charging – tractor design – 220 volt can charge, Battery swap capability – mobile swap cart in 10 mins in field
  • Monarch Team includes: Former Tesla Gigafactory Head to build scale, Engineer to be CTO with AI & Autonomus Exp., Farmer w/ Vineyard Exp., CEO w/ 2 decades in Automotive & EV Industry




Guest: Praveen Penmetsa - CEO of Monarch Tractor


Praveen Penmetsa has nearly two decades of hands-on experience in translating creative visions into products for startups to Fortune 50 companies alike. He co-currently serves as founder and CEO of Motivo Engineering, a product-engineering firm with clients in the Mobility, Energy, AgTech, and Aerospace sectors. Praveen holds an MSME in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.



Monarch Tractor: Working Toward a Future With Clean Farming

Labor shortages, climate change, and food safety concerns create a multitude of challenges for farmers. Monarch Tractor provides a farmer-first approach to innovation, making each decision with our end user and their biggest challenges in mind. Our dedication to solutions for the farmer also means healthier solutions for the planet, for the consumer, and for the global food ecosystem.




Mark Schwager, Pres./Co-Founder -Former Gigafactory head & Tesla veteran 2010 – 2015 at Tesla, build volume at scale, to be reliable and robust

Carlo Mondavi, Chief Farming Officer / Co-Founder - Family farms in winery biz

Dr. Mark Omohundro, CTO / Co-Founder - farming, AI & autonomous


Autonomous tractor maker Monarch raises $61 million

Brian Heater@bheater / 7:00 AM MST•November 17, 2021


Way back in March, autonomous tractor maker Monarch announced a $20 million Series A. Now, a mere eight months later, the company is tripling the round, with a $61 million Series B. This latest raise is led by sustainable food fund Astanor Ventures, with participation from CNH Industrial, At One Ventures and Trimble Ventures.



Praveen – 2 decades in the auto industry and worked in EV cars.

Circa 2015 – Farmers asked about AI & EV

Farming – labor struggles, sustainability data

Next generation tractor solves problems

Farming setup – big farms with big commodity crops

Specialty crops – fruits, veggies

Hundreds to thousands of acres

Need 3x labor for organic, Spray more with different pesticides

Agriculture – low margins, intensive work

Global problem for labor

Skilled labor needed for tractor drivers, pays well but hard to find workers

Seasonal – when can grow crops

Food ecosystem –

Technology – data and AI, automation in farming now

Compact tractor – specialty

Tractor powers an implement – mower, sprayer, harvester

  1. Existing tractor capability
  2. Driver optional features –AI and autonomous
  3. EV and data components – tractor is a mobile generator. Fleet conversions – enterprise product.

Data and real time updates – visuals / cameras

3 years field testing – field trials with customers. Learn new info, capture data and adjust. , ETA of Q4 2022 roll out to public, have pre-orders

Fleet operators – 1 person manage fleet of 6-7 tractors

Battery – 10+ hours and 4.5 hours to charge

No DC fast charging – tractor design – 220 volt can charge

Battery swap capability – mobile swap cart in 10 minutes in field

$50K to $68 K cost with options

Get diesel and labor savings of $20 K/yr. , 20-30% savings diesel, 70% labor savings

ROI and CAPEX analyze = 2 yrs ROI on cost of tractor, Tractor lasts 4-8 yrs

Sensors in roof – upgrade roof with sensors or battery AI, geo tracking, GPS in future

Data to farmer in the field – Train fast to learn tech and alerts w/ App on phone or tablet

Monarch website can give all data to farmers

Base station on farm for wifi and radio beacon to connect to Tractors onsite

Safety – No diesel, less CO2, No rider – AI, no chemicals                                                                                                                                                          

Dangerous implements connected to tractor, Sensors for collision, roll-over. OSHA worker safety


Insurance – possible future savings, Safer to remove driver from operation

Controlled environment – no people walking around in field

Tractor stops when people are detected

Co-Founders of Monarch Tractor – different backgrounds

Staff of 200

Future tractor models will be bigger

Investors in Monarch - Tractor companies, C&H, Industrial

Trimble – data and farm management is an investor

Auto suppliers and manufacturers to scale to hundred of thousands of units

License agreement –

Astanor – European investor

Silicon Valley investors

Long Term

4 Quadrant farming – manage land better with Monarch Tractor to make most of seasonal harvest, Multi use / multi purpose tool for different crops

Data saved – crop apps, plus Field mapping

Demos – digital and on site demos of Tractor for farmers

Tech hires – farming employments and workers will involve with need for CTO type hire




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Business Roundtable with Matt Battaglia

The show where EntrepreneursHigh Level Executives, Business Owners, and Investors come to share insight and ideas about the future of businessBRT 2.0 looks at the new trends in business, and how classic industries are evolving

Common Topics Discussed: Business, Entrepreneurship, Investing, Stocks, Cannabis, Tech, Blockchain / Crypto, Real Estate, Legal, Sales, Charity, and more… 

BRT Podcast Home Page:

‘Best Of’ BRT Podcast: Click Here

BRT Podcast on Google: Click Here

BRT Podcast on Spotify: Click Here                   

More Info:

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this program are those of the Hosts, Guests and Speakers, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities they represent (or affiliates, members, managers, employees or partners), or any Station, Podcast Platform, Website or Social Media that this show may air on. All information provided is for educational and entertainment purposes. Nothing said on this program should be considered advice or recommendations in: business, legal, real estate, crypto, tax accounting, investment, etc. Always seek the advice of a professional in all business ventures, including but not limited to: investments, tax, loans, legal, accounting, real estate, crypto, contracts, sales, marketing, other business arrangements, etc.