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This Plant Tech Startup is Capturing the Rapidly Growing Interest in Lawn and Garden Care

As more people take up gardening during the pandemic, long-time lawncare category leader Scotts Miracle-Gro answered this increased demand by airing its first ever Super Bowl Commercial this February.

This should come as no surprise. With more people working from home and upsizing from their condos to suburban homes, it makes sense they are also investing in their outdoor spaces. According to the US Census Bureau monthly report on sales for retail and food services, sales in building materials and garden equipment increased by 14% in 2020.

Data suggests that millennials are driving the surge in lawn care as they enter home buying years and move out of the city into single-family homes with lawn and garden spaces for the first time.

Toronto-based OtO Inc. is also on track to take advantage of this trend with their new OtO Lawn smart sprinkler.

“Despite the challenges of launching during a global pandemic, the timing of the release couldn’t have been better,” says founder Ali Sabti. “Millennials are moving into homes with a yard for the first time and unsure how to take care of it. OtO makes maintaining their lawn in an environmentally responsible way effortless using the same cloud-connected technology they’re accustomed to using inside the home.

It’s exactly what I would have wanted when I first moved into my house.”

The OtO Lawn smart sprinkler is a smart device that connects to the user’s garden hose and runs a weather-intelligent watering schedule that the user can program from their phone. They can also use their phone to control the water stream and set customshaped zones, skipping sidewalks and patios.

It can also apply natural fertilizers and other products, a task that homeowners often avoid due to lack of expertise and the inconvenience of applications.

Despite pandemic-related logistical challenges in 2020, OtO Inc. has been rapidly growing, adding multiple roles. They have already generated a lot of excitement around the product and are in discussion with major retailers and distributors across the nation.

“We wanted to create a solution to the major pain points of traditional lawn maintenance like scheduling and applying safe and natural fertilizer. The result is an automated device that not only saves our customers time and money, but also decreases their environmental footprint without changing their behaviour. It’s a win-win.

We are looking forward to seeing how OtO can help many of these new homeowners in 2021.”

The OtO Lawn is available for pre-order from otolawn.com and is already flooded with reservations from customers coast-to-coast. This production model will be shipped in spring 2021, whereas their line of naturally sourced fertilizers and pest control solutions will hit the market shortly afterwards.

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