Fresh produce is in high demand globally, with many trends like climate sustainability and a rapidly growing population influencing the availability. Considering these two pivotal factors, using current methods of conventional soil growing, which has a comparatively poor productivity will create a shortfall in supply of crops and produce globally, Phytoponics will be the leading technology provider in the hydroponics industry, a $20 billion global industry growing at a compound annual rate of 7-8%.
Our product is an innovative growing system combining both hardware and software components that use a form of hydroponics; Deep Water Culture, a method that has been limited to small areas of land and home use previously due to poor scope for effective scalability. Our system addresses the scalability issue. Hydroponics is a way of growing crops in water for high levels of growing control, to improve a grower’s productivity with operational and capital costs at a level that allow high profitability. Our patent-pending growing system combines many growing features for precise growth control, in a scalable flexible polymer design that can be efficiently mass-manufactured; designed to allow high productivity through improved crop yield levels and quality, at lower operational capital expenditure levels than competitors, resulting in improved profit and returns on investment. Our current products serve the vine crop and salad sections of the fresh produce industry, with an automated multi-crop nutrient system that captures data for growth control through our software platform.
Due to the uniqueness of our product, we manufacture our flexible hydroponic system and install with infrastructural components in the client facility. Current manufacturing facilities are small scale and it is our objective to scale up our production capacity to facilitate 1 hectare per month sale fulfilment. Using production technology designed to mass produce food packaging, Phytoponics is disruptive by bringing the technology to agricultural growing systems, to drastically reduce costs.
Phytoponics operates a business model based on technology provision to large commercial growers in a B2B market. Through selling large scale installations on the hectare scale, the competitive advantages of our product provide Phytoponics with a 30% profit margin on the sale, forecasted to rise to 60% in later stage development through mass manufacture. There are 480,000 hectares of greenhouse around the world operated by thousands of major commercial growers, who we will aim to target.
Targeting commercial growers with a sales strategy based on solid business cases, we are initiating small pilot programs to validate our business case to the customer and secure large multiple hectare sales, with finance options amortising the customer’s capital cost affordably to achieve accessibility and raise sales levels. Our current sales pipeline has four scheduled and ongoing trials with fresh produce producers, forecasted to result in £1.08m in sales revenue by 2019, with an estimated combinted sale value of £70m. Further sales will be acquired through accelerated development of our sales pipeline, potentially funded by EU regional development grants, and additional customers joining the sales pipeline from marketing and business development activity.