One of the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic was the increase in the time people spend at home. And the urban agriculture startup Yes We Grow, which designs products for those who want to grow their own food and ornamental plants, saw this period as the ideal time to put its foot on the accelerator.
The startup more than tripled in size in 2021. In addition to surpassing 20,000 consumers, Yes We Grow earned BRL 4 million in the last year. For 2022, the company wants to multiply revenue by four or five times, which should be boosted with a Series A round that the startup is expected to announce in the coming months.
According to the CEO of Yes We Grow, Rafael Pelosini, the startup‘s idea is to go beyond the hobby and give consumers — especially those who live in cities — the ability to grow their own food. “We lost that ability in the last century with industrialization. The big corporations took the cultivation issue for themselves”, points out Pelosini.
In his view, Yes We Grow can be a kind of “Apple of urban agriculture”. Meaning: the company wants to have products with as much appeal among consumers as the big tech iPhones, in addition to fostering new habits, in this case, growing food at home.
Fertilizer in capsules
The company’s flagship product is a smart vegetable garden kit, which has an automated lighting and irrigation system. With an intelligent system that allows easy planting, the garden has a capacity for up to six plant seedlings and a self-watering system with up to 25 days of autonomy. However, as Pelosini is keen to point out, technology is not just gadgets and LEDs.
The co-founder of Yes We Grow explains that a series of innovations emerged as a way to reduce the frustration of consumers who lost their plants. To make cultivation more pleasant and easier for beginners, the company launched a planting mix with nutrients that replace soil and fertilizer in pots and gardens. The “earthless earth bag” is one of the products that helped Yes We Grow gain popularity.
The company also developed a way to insert a fertilizer into a capsule with the aim of making life easier for urban farmers and making the process more practical. “Everything we do is based on what we hear from our customer community. There is a great demand for cultivation, be it medicinal plants, food products, plants to have in a corner of the house or plants that purify the air”, explains Pelosini.
Currently, the startup offers more than 100 products related to planting, ranging from seeds, pots, watering cans to fertilizers. The executive reveals that Yes We Grow dreams of becoming a global brand and believes that there is a unique window of opportunity to develop urban agriculture startups.
In this mission, recurrence is essential. Today, around 30% of the startup‘s annual revenue comes from returning customers. “Yes We Grow was born to last 300 years. We want to intensify our relationship with the community and bring more and more recurrence. We have a series of products that will be included in a subscription plan to facilitate the journey of consumers”, says the CEO of Yes We Grow.