Malaysian startup Qarbotech has secured $700,000 in seed funding to boost production of their photosynthesis enhancer, aiming for a 50x increase. This solution accelerates plant growth and reduces crop cycles, addressing global food security concerns.
Qarbotech is scaling up its photosynthesis enhancer production from 2,000 liters to 100,000 liters per month, alongside expanding its international market presence, following the acquisition in seed funding. The enhancer, a bio-friendly solution, enhances the photosynthesis rate of leafy plants, leading to shorter crop cycles and increased plant growth.
Qarbotech, led by CEO and co-founder Chor Chee Hoe, plans to utilize the funds to establish a pilot plant covering 3,000 square feet in Puchong. This expansion will increase the company’s monthly production capacity, aiming to produce 100,000 liters of the photosynthesis enhancer per month starting from April. The current production capacity stands at a modest 2,000 liters per month, making this ambitious leap a crucial step towards meeting growing market demands.
Currently, Qarbotech has secured orders totaling 30,000 liters, primarily from customers in Malaysia and Singapore, representing 30% of its production capacity. To fulfill the remaining 70% of orders, the company intends to collaborate with partners in Indonesia, tapping into the potential of this market.
Qarbotech CEO Chor Chee Hoe revealed partnerships in Singapore and Indonesia for product trials, intending to present the trial data to the Indonesian government. The company aims to commercialize its product in Indonesia by the end of this year, capitalizing on collaborations ranging from distributors to ecosystem players in both Malaysia and Indonesia.
These partnerships include engagements with Aerodyne, a leading global drone service provider, for spraying the solution in padi fields, along with distributors in the food processing sector.
Qarbotech’s nanotechnology promises an increase in crop yields by up to 60%. Utilizing advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, the company’s technology optimizes crucial growth conditions like temperature, humidity, and soil moisture. Initially targeting corn and rice crops, the primary staple foods in Malaysia, this focus not only addresses local food production needs but also underscores the technology’s potential for global agricultural enhancement.
Looking ahead, Chor Chee Hoe outlined Qarbotech’s plans to enter international markets.
“In the US and European countries, securing FDA approval is imperative for market entry. We aim to leverage our success in Southeast Asia and the data we’ve amassed to obtain this approval. Given the novelty of our technology and materials, the process may take two to three years to complete. Our target is to achieve FDA approval by 2026,” he explained.