agricultural supplies

Glife digitises agricultural delivery chain to profit F&B gamers

In the event you’ve all the time sought after to do your section in addressing the unethical strategies used to reap the meals you consume, Singapore-headquartered generation startup Glife may well be your answer. 

Caleb Wu’s passion in meals, animals and their members of the family to society used to be piqued right through his college days when he visited a slaughterhouse with an animal welfare staff he used to be volunteering with. 

“For me, this ended in a burgeoning passion within the meals ecosystem and later the meals delivery chain. I in the end sought after to align my profession aspirations with a purpose I felt a robust connection to,” Caleb recollects, and he wasn’t the one one. 

Caleb’s buddy from junior school, Justin Chou, who co-founded Greendot and has intensive enjoy within the F&B business, used to be additionally curious concerning the meals delivery chain and puzzled the place his produce got here from. 

In combination, they held discussions concerning the meals delivery chain — how farmers are concerned, and what the adventure from harvesting to promoting used to be like for each produce — and realised there have been many gaps within the business.

“We realised all the ecosystem used to be no longer clear and farmers could also be at an obstacle given the a couple of middlemen concerned,” Caleb stocks, including that this realisation contributed to their choice to paintings in combination to make a metamorphosis. 

Along side Wayne Goh, whom they met at one in all Quest Mission’s networking periods, the trio introduced Glife Applied sciences in 2018 to attach stakeholders around the meals price chain on a unmarried platform to handle the generally ambiguous seed-to-table delivery chain distribution.

Tapping on prior experience

Wayne Goh, Justin Chou and Caleb Wu of Glife Applied sciences / Symbol credit score: Glife Applied sciences

Ahead of founding Glife Applied sciences, Caleb, Justin and Wayne pursued other profession pathways.

Whilst Caleb took on finance and funding and co-founded MTC Consulting Team (which makes a speciality of ability acquisition consultancy and recruitment products and services throughout Southeast Asia), Justin keen on his first enterprise mission Greendot, a vegetarian eating place chain. 

Being a vegetarian since younger, Justin helped Caleb acquire extra figuring out about other diets and meals alternatives other people undertake, which proved helpful of their concept technology on how they might carry trade to the present meals ecosystem. 

However to grasp their imaginative and prescient, they want a product first, which used to be why they reached out to Wayne. He has a deep experience in tech and product, particularly within the tech start-up ecosystem.

If truth be told, Wayne co-founded All Offers Asia, an aggregator for e-commerce corporations and brick-and-mortars that is helping achieve possible customers, which has since been received by means of Indonesia’s Lippo Team. 

I’m thankful to be in this adventure with Wayne and Justin. Each and every folks have our distinctive set of abilities and feature one thing other to carry to the desk. 

What we now have in commonplace is an entrepreneurial spirit, realizing we will be able to make a distinction [through] Glife. It used to be most effective at the side of them, and the Glife Applied sciences workforce at massive, that we have been in a position to develop our corporate.

– Caleb Wu, co-founder and deputy CEO of Glife Applied sciences

With a robust workforce on the core, Glife Applied sciences used to be created to in the long run feed SEA sustainably throughout the empowering and uplifting of farmers, providers, service provider and F&B companies within the meals and agriculture business. 

Feeding SEA sustainably with the usage of generation 

Those targets set out by means of Glife to succeed in aren’t simple to succeed in. The present SEA meals delivery chain has many inefficiencies that purpose problems reminiscent of meals wastage, unstable meals costs, and needless a couple of middlemen.

Caleb believes those problems are provide on account of a mismatch in delivery and insist, which is led to by means of the loss of transparency and inefficiency within the ecosystem’s knowledge drift. 

Glife seeks to handle those issues by means of using the adoption of virtual answers for eating places. The usage of their tech-enabled farm-to-table community, Glife supplies an end-to-end meals and contemporary produce logistics that distributes contemporary culmination, greens and plant-based merchandise to the resort, eating place, cafe (HORECA) business. 

Their virtual enterprise additionally supplies software-as-a-service (SaaS) answers to digitally turn out to be smallholder farmers and F&B companies during the meals delivery chain.

On the similar time, Caleb understands that call for from F&B shoppers may be an important, because it determines the correct amount of produce to be equipped. To perform this, Glife strategically invested in and partnered with Novitee to digitise the drift of provides from manufacturing to intake and force generation adoption amongst eating places and traders.  

With greater than S$1 billion in transacted price, Glife’s leverage on Novitee’s giant records output permits the usage of synthetic intelligence (AI) and predictive research to decide the provision and insist of components a cafe would want with each and every order constituted of a diner.

This doubtlessly will increase the provision chain potency by means of aggregating acquire calls for from F&B companies and connecting them immediately to farmers and providers.

Caleb stocks that the becoming a member of of forces between its proprietary B2B Meals Provide Chain OS GlifeWare and Novitee via data-sharing have ended in the impending release of NoviMarketplace later this yr, which encapsulates Glife’s imaginative and prescient of a higher B2B meals long run.

It no longer most effective advantages farmers and eating places, but additionally providers in different classes, as they may be able to additionally digitally hook up with F&B traders on a unmarried platform to develop their companies throughout the ecosystem.

“In the end, we goal to develop and nurture a greater meals long run at Glife. We envision the way forward for [the] meals ecosystem in SEA to be truthful, safe, extra environment friendly and sustainable,” emphasises Caleb.

Remodeling the meals delivery chain from end-to-end

Relating to agritech startups and firms, the very first thing that almost certainly pops into one’s thoughts could be precision farming and vertical farming, when the truth is, all the agritech ecosystem is far wider. 

Glife Applied sciences cements itself as a business-to-business (B2B) meals generation corporate with a focal point on digitally remodeling the meals delivery chain of the business that gives vertically built-in meals answers supplier the usage of generation and virtual answers. 

Since their enterprise type is subsidized solely by means of generation, Glife can function an effective farm-to-table type by means of getting rid of middlemen prices in addition to working a tech-enabled operation.

From managing the sourcing, packing, distribution throughout the price chain to operating with farmers within the utility of distinctive applied sciences to assist with their farming tactics, Glife oversees all of it. 

Glife Technologies' services
Glife Applied sciences’ products and services / Symbol credit score: Glife Applied sciences

This implies as an alternative of buying contemporary produce from wholesalers or importers like what most standard vendors do, Glife engages immediately with farmers to safe contract farming, giving farmers a solid call for and pricing.

On the similar time, F&B companies stand to profit with higher high quality produce at a extra aggressive pricing.

Glife’s paintings does no longer simply finish as soon as the produce has been dropped at the eating places. In addition they make an effort to increase their answers throughout the meals price chain with diners and shoppers in thoughts, leading to a intently knit group of F&B companies, motels and eating places.

“In the end, we’re all about developing answers inside all the meals price chain, connecting nice components to nice meals with eating places and the diners in thoughts,” Caleb summarises.

Greedy alternatives amidst issues

Attending to this degree used to be no stroll within the park for Glife. 

Caleb stocks that the business is pioneered by means of the older technology that in large part will depend on the standard paper-and-pen type.

Getting them to undertake Glife’s products and services used to be difficult because the veterans within the business simply noticed them as a bunch of younger marketers on the Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre who have been simply looking to navigate via their very own answers and choices.

Caleb Wu, co-founder and deputy CEO of Glife Technologies
Caleb Wu, co-founder and deputy CEO of Glife Applied sciences / Symbol credit score: Glife Applied sciences

However as we caught via our ideals and shared knowledge and advantages of our generation, the veterans turned into extra open to us. 

We recognised the advantages of generation and the way it can turn out to be the business, but it surely used to be an important for us to proportion this with them, our companions and purchasers as neatly to grasp the price we carry to the desk.

– Caleb Wu, co-founder and deputy CEO of Glife Applied sciences

Progressively, the veterans won self belief of their initiative and believed within the distinction the trio sought to make throughout the business. They in the end turned into all for studying extra on how Glife may just make stronger their companies. 

Then again, the workforce confronted but every other roadblock to transparent: the consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic. Disrupted logistics in meals price chains adversely impacted the amount, high quality, freshness, affordability and different key standards of meals to be had. 

Coupled with many eating places shutting down right through the lockdown levels in Singapore, the call for and provide of produce and meals pieces underwent drastic and sporadic adjustments, which gravely affected Glife’s operations as a B2B enterprise.

“In a single day, we noticed a 90 [per cent] drop in orders”, Caleb recalled. He provides {that a} drop in income would briefly drain up their money drift and cut back their operational runway. Additionally, capital suppliers have been additionally adopting a extra wary way given the surprising flip of occasions to the business.

In the course of chaos, the Glife workforce realised there used to be a surge in shopper call for confronted by means of supermarkets, neighbourhood grocers and grocery-related e-commerce channels.

“We knew that we needed to react fast[ly] to show it round [and] we noticed the disaster as a possibility”, Caleb says. 

They noticed that the meals intake stage right through COVID-19 will stay the similar, simply that persons are opting extra for house eating. On the similar time, they have been additionally conscious that the business up to now didn’t have the capability to fulfil house deliveries inside a right away understand as many of the last-mile logistics weren’t catered for meals or contemporary produce supply. 

Having pinpointed an issue to unravel within the business, Glife determined to offer greater than only a vary of goods to rival that of a grocery store. As well as, it created a complete chilly chain logistics capacity to verify freshness and the connection with farmers to verify minimum disruption to provide shortages. 

Glife Technologies delivery
Glife Applied sciences supply / Symbol credit score: Glife Applied sciences

Inside a brief span of time, Glife controlled to pivot and switch their B2B e-commerce type right into a B2C direct to house supply of unpolluted produce, staples and condiments, resulting in the release in their B2C e-commerce platform Greenies.sg, 3 days after the primary circuit breaker lockdown in April 2020. 

Inside two weeks, Greenies.sg used to be supplying 300 to 400 orders an afternoon, bringing S$300,000 to S$400,000 in money gross sales, serving to to offset the drop of their B2B gross sales. This used to be all performed with out imposing a pay lower in their personnel.

“Whilst we set up[d] to tide via this difficult time, the pandemic additionally amplified the alternatives for Glife to boost up its enlargement throughout the B2B area,” Caleb says, including that 2020 ended up changing into Glife’s best-performing yr since its inception. 

Reflecting on the ones occasions, Caleb feels that the COVID-19 scenario make clear the unavailability of virtual answers for meals providers for his or her operations and guide labour. 

Our skill to modify from a B2B into B2C enterprise type additionally highlighted the significance of chronic funding in generation. With out generation, it do not have been imaginable for Glife to pivot effectively.

– Caleb Wu, co-founder and deputy CEO of Glife Applied sciences

Increasing throughout SEA

Lately, Glife recently serves greater than 2,500 F&B companies and HORECA chains, and over 1,000 farmers in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, with GlifeWare powering Glife’s regional operations, managing an annual drift of greater than 3,000 tonnes of produce.

GlifeWare
GlifeWare / Symbol credit score: Glife Applied sciences

As a vertically built-in meals carrier answer supplier, Glife expanded its products and services in 2021 by means of offering the total stack of eating place virtual applied sciences for traders within the HORECA business. Some purchasers they’ve labored with come with Changi Airport Team, Crystal Jade, Don Don Donki, 4 Seasons Motels, Coca Cola and extra. 

Previous this yr, in addition they strategically received Malaysia-based Yolek and Bali-based PanenID as some degree of front into new SEA markets.

With Yolek and PanenID’s sturdy wisdom in their respective markets and the sturdy connections they have got with native farmers, providers and eating places, Caleb believes the purchase would permit Glife to realize a greater figuring out of those markets and acquire a foothold inside. 

Glife has additionally made a strategic funding previous this yr with Koina, an agritech startup founded in Ho Chi Minh, and are operating intently with them to go into Vietnam as their subsequent key marketplace. 

When it comes to virtual answers, Caleb stocks that they plan to permit the transition of Glife right into a market that permits Glife to turn into a central orchestrator of the B2B HORECA marketplace. This aggregates the call for that can receive advantages each Glife’s delivery chain and different meals providers within the other verticals.

Featured symbol credit score: Glife Applied sciences

Farm to table: This S’pore startup digitises agricultural supply chain to benefit F&B players

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