Glife Technologies is a Singapore based AgriTech startup that supplies produce to customers in the HORECA sector. The company is popular with over 700 clients in Singapore and has expanding operations in most Southeast Asian Markets.
Glife Technologies was founded in 2017 by the team of Justin Chou, Caleb Wu, Joe Chen and Wayne Goh. Justin Chou was the co-founder of Greendot, an Asian fusion fast-casual restaurant. While managing his company, he had noticed key gaps in the agricultural supply chain that compromised the quality and timely delivery of ordered products. There was also a lack of transparency where he was unable to trace the source of the produce back to the original farm. His startup, Glife technologies was in response to this inefficiency.
Glife technologies as a platform aim to give both the farmers and the buyers the best deal possible while maintaining maximum quality and full transparency. The agricultural supply chain was riddled with middlemen who often squeezed the profits from both parties. They collected the produce at cheap, fluctuating rates, often leading to inconsistencies of profits and diminished income for farmers. They also caused delays in the supply chain, collecting premium prices from businesses while selling subpar goods.
The middlemen were hurting the industry by collecting a bulk of the profits while adding little to no value, and this black hole has to be closed to negate these losses. Glife allows farmers to sell quality produce directly to businesses, minimizing delays. They also provide businesses with the ability to trace back their purchases to farmers, allowing for maximum transparency and quality control. They follow a freemium model, through which consumers can subscribe to avail discounts on purchases.
The firm focuses mainly on delivering quality produce while maintaining maximum transparency and allowing both sides to get better deals. They also focus on sustainability and biodiversity issues, and leverage technology to forecast and meet their goals. While the bottom line is ensuring that the produce exchanges hands in a profitable, timely and transparent manner, the quality of the goods, farming methods, sustainability and health have also been at the forefront of their priorities.
The firm’s commitment to transparency is a part of its efforts to ensure that good produce reaches the customers safely and quickly. They want to integrate all aspects to this supply chain, from resource planning for the farmers, effective stock management and logistics to their digital ordering platforms to create the seamless experience they strive for in agriculture.
Glife Technologies is funded mainly by 500 Startups and Global Founders Capital. They had their only round of funding (Seed) in April 2019, resulting in an investment of SGD 1.6 Million from these two backers.
The main challenge for the company is breaking into the highly traditional sector of agriculture. As a budding startup, they do not have the volume to compete with established players and are slower to gain traction. Most farmers prefer to work with familiar faces, which is also a barrier to penetration. Overcoming these obstacles is a slow, gradual process, which is supported with the advent of technology and increasing penetration.