Startup Battlefield Mena 2018: Pure Harvest (Finalist)


why don’t I start this this is what we call home this is a picture of our farm in Abu Dhabi taken in March this could be a piece of land in any clear arid climate anywhere in the world traditional farming on such a piece of land is incredibly inefficient both in terms of resource utilization and of course the quality of production in fact in the GCC we utilize over 80% of our freshwater resources producing less than 15% of our food supply and less than 1% of GDP further the population is growing quickly and it’s making this problem worse it’s expected by 2030 we’ll have over 12 million additional mouths to feed in the GCC alone and in arid climates around the world this number is closer to a billion currently in the face of these challenges how does the middle-east cope with it we import over 85% of our fresh produce and what choice does that leave a consumer with one local low quality fresh produce which which is available but but again very low quality and seasonal or – extremely expensive aerated imports this is that same exact site just three weeks ago this is the first ever pure harvest smart farm and this is the future of Agriculture and arid climates around the world here harvest has developed a sustainable climate agnostic technology solution for food security anywhere in the world we design build and operate high-tech greenhouses and what you’re seeing here are images of one of our greenhouses our vision is to become the region’s leading technology enabled agribusiness producing a wide variety of crops sustainably grown always available and at a materially lower cost than air freight adem ports we are a pioneer and controlled environment agriculture having developed an IOT enabled Triple Play climate management system that uses mechanical evaporative a high-pressure fogging cooling system all controlled from one brain let us show you what our brain looks like right now we’re taking you to Abu Dhabi where you’re actually porting into our climate management system outside the temperature is currently 28 degrees we’re sorry there it is sorry 38 degrees with relative humidity inside or outside of 16 inside it’s a breezy 25 degrees with 64% humidity and as you can see there are tons of additional measurements we track and control everything inside the greenhouse and in addition we dose co2 which provides additional fuel for the plants and allows us to accelerate growth 30% we capture a ton of data and this data is used to both inform our design in the future and of course our operational efficiency the top line is the climate outside the bottom line is the climate on the inside and with in this climate corridor of 16 to 32 degrees you can grow just about anything anywhere every darn here we are while our plants are in plant heaven they produce incredibly sweet fruit I invite the judges to actually open up the sample in front of them please and try our product this is a Brix meter that measures the sweetness of the tomato and it’s scoring nine point four world class is eight to ten and further our plants are incredibly healthy because our technology helps them to resist disease and of course pest pressure and when a pest gets in we use an army of beneficial insects to attack that and eliminate that pests our plants are protected by nature not by chemicals our competition is in two tiers local low quality seasonal production that uses over 240 liters of water per kilogram of production and then there’s the European import product or predominantly European using modern technology but that’s higher quality however expensive and also unsustainable because it’s traveling over 2,000 kilometres to get to us our solution is 7 times 7 to 10 times the yield using 1/7 of the water and it’s grown just one hour from 85% of the population of the UAE we are gonna scale quickly currently our farm is producing one ton per day in this sub scale proof of concept but by next year we expect to have over a hundred and twenty thousand square meters of production in two countries producing over ten varieties of fresh produce the market for fresh food veg is huge globally it’s over 250 billion dollars in the GCC alone over 6 billion and in our home market of the UAE it’s over a billion and we’ll access the market going direct to retailers and wholesalers eliminating what is typically a five step tip to distribution channel into just 2 lastly we’ll do so because we have a strong and diverse team of engineers private equity investment professionals experienced controlled environment agriculture executives and even retailers with an X DP from Carrefour envision a world where any country can invest in its own food security water conservation and economic diversification by deploying this technology while offering its people fresh premium produce that is locally grown that future is now okay judges before we start the questions how did it taste thumbs up thumbs down tastes like tomatoes good to hear tastes like it tastes like they should it’s all my package yeah I have a question can you talk to us a little bit about your business model how are you making money all that absolutely so we design build and operate as we said the greenhouse but fundamentally we’re selling directly to the retailer or the hospitality districts distributor or to customers like Emirates flight catering well our price points at the retail level are anywhere from twenty to forty percent below comparable quality imported product so for instance this product you sampled is identical to a product called core division and those from the UAE might know it on the shelves that that retails at 22 to 24 dierence per kilo we expect ours to retail around nine that’s what we’re happened but where are your costs coming from you have the interest you have the infrastructure cost and then maintenance costs it’s all big costing I mean that’s all covered within the right that’s all covered within all rights we’re cutting out a big portion of the cost which is the distribution coming in from Europe and the way that we also grow allows us to bring down our cost structure namely we can probably increase the prices even beyond what is coming in from Europe but our business model is to create a brand the local brand that people can relate to and that’s also low cost people are very price sensitive and so we don’t want to charge a premium for having a better product per se and if you own the land or you’re renting the land we currently our business partner Mahmoud IDR emirati local national partner has acquired the land and we’ve leased it from him because we’re proving a model everything about this commercial scale proof of concept was to prove a model which is that we can assimilate land design build and operate a high-tech green house in partnership with locals we are not looking to eliminate locals that are farming we want to work with them to farm differently is your is your growth based on distribution or replication like is this something you want to replicate a lot of to microphones so you want to kind of increase the distribution like some in some places in the world what we’re doing is called a food factory so fundamentally we need additional capacity to grow right so in a way as you saw that slide that showed the scale up when we get to say 30 Hector’s it’s really production per square meter but our production per square meter is 7 to 10 times that of the low-tech incumbant farms with 1/7 of the water it is a step function so it’s essentially for us to grow we build more forms of build more farms now there’s other ways in which we can finance the farms but ultimately we build we increase our capacity and sell them to the market and how big does the farm has to be for it to make sense very good question we characterize minimum efficient scale using the micro economic term around 3 Hector’s however ideally between 10 and 24 Hector’s these things kind of peak out on your economies of scale we intend to be building between 10 and 16 Hector’s in the next phases one thing to note as well is that the land that we have right now we’ve built on approximately 1 hectare even though the growing areas point six sectors however we have room to scale almost three acts just on the land where we are and even the way we’ve designed our greenhouse right now is to allow for scaling we built it to this size because this is really the maximum amount of money we can raise in seed capital we raised five point eight million dollars pre-revenue pre-revenue and but ultimately that was the minimum viable product that we can build now we hope with this and we can let people taste the product we can raise more capital continue building leverage it and then yes guys limit and if I could revisit your question earlier which is counter-intuitively or I would say it’s a it’s a feat our thesis really is that you can actually grow more effectively and more efficiently here than Europe and let me I call it the Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations analysis whereby who should make tires and we should make high heels if you look at the factors of production of food its Sun land or in our case space because we don’t need land we can grow on a rooftop we need energy water labour and taxes affect any trade policy in economics of any good across the border go down that list and us against Europe or Hollan for instance which is the second largest food exporter in the world we have twice the light levels a fraction of the labor costs zero percent corporate tax for 50 years in a treaty with all the W global markets we have labored as I mentioned that’s relatively inexpensive we integrate well with solar there’s an abundance of energy in our region so when you go down those factors of production counter-intuitively once you control for climate with technology well one of the best places in the world to grow food and as we scale also our cost structure will decrease significantly one of the major cost structures for example to produce tomatoes for us is co2 ask I mentioned during the presentation that we do Co to to improve the yield photosynthesis for the plants we’re already talking with different parties about capturing co2 and then that almost reduces our cost structure for carbon dioxide by third which is three percent of our to its point we can capture that from what we call a green source so somebody who would otherwise have MIT that into the atmosphere like a desalination plant capture that co2 and create a new utility for them while we of course reduce our cost structure and increase our competitiveness against those import markets all while helping the UAE reach its Paris climate Accord commitments I just want to also notice that you’re looking at the brand at the sticker on the in front maybe one thing we really okay we’re gonna be in the shelves hopefully in a couple of weeks so watch out for us but one thing that we wanted we didn’t maybe emphasized so much is that ultimately we want to do is build a brand right technologies come and go but what survives our brands and so what we want is individual like you to go into a store tomorrow say up your harvest strawberries tomatoes whatever it is I will buy it because I have faith in this brand now different technologies what we will do is integrate whatever other technologies are available and there’s innovations all the time but what we want is a consumer they don’t really care how it’s really grown they care a price point taste and they want to know what’s sustainable etc and of course the absolute nutrient density of our produce is incredibly high and we’ll be measuring that and sharing that with customers we also measure all kinds of things that nobody else really in the market does and we intend to promote this to retailers to raise the standards of food in our country the Ministry of Environment and climate changed last year banned food in the UAE from several markets because of health and safety issues we an impact focused company we intend to help address those issues in addition to building of course a sustainable business alright give it up for pure harvest that concludes this

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3 thoughts on “Startup Battlefield Mena 2018: Pure Harvest (Finalist)

  1. This guy acting like he is an innovator and created this.. bro the american and dutch have videos on here doing this a decade ago.. he is making a mountain of an ego for himself when tons of people already do it this way.. sure iOt is new but its not like he is the only one changing to updated tech data going to your phone in hand

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