Fresh produce from farm to table by applying high-tech, automation and agricultural engineering
Founded in 2015, Hachi initially started developing a hydroponic urban farming solution for households. Later on, the company pivoted in implementing large scale hydroponic farms on-demand. Hachi has been accelerated by the Vietnam Silicon Valley Accelerator Program in Hanoi (Vietnam) and won multiple awards such as the Lotte startup competition among others.
In 2016 Fast Forward Advisors supported Hachi while accelerated in VSV, focusing the activity on investment readiness, growth readiness (pricing, channels), growth execution (growth tactics & execution) and operational KPIs.
“ Working with FFA enabled us to define a clear value proposition as underlying base for our fundraising round and company developments“Truong Dang Xuan | CEO | Hachi
PROBLEMS & CHALLENGES
The main problems of Hachi in 2016 were the following:
Value proposition and Investment readiness: As the company was at its early stages of development, the value proposition, as well as other key elements of their investment readiness, had not been developed and validated. Many elements like sales/marketing metrics, PMF, amongst others were not validated enough for potential repeatability.
Unproven market: While indoor hydroponic systems were starting to become popular in mature/developed markets, in Vietnam very few consumers were thinking about installing a hydroponic system at home in order to grow fresh produce. The existence of a big market was to be proven as a consequence.
ACTIONS & SOLUTIONS
- Investment readiness: In order to prepare for the company for the demo day and fundraising, we applied the FFA Investment Readiness methodology in order to identify all gaps to be solved by the company prior to contacting potential investors. Some of the gaps were then closed by FFA with ad-hoc support (such as market research & opportunity quantification and competition analysis), while the remaining gaps have been closed by the Hachi team following FFA guidelines.
- Growth setup and testing: We supported Hachi in developing and testing the value proposition for the indoor farming device in Vietnam – translating it into content for the website, the product brochures and the outreach material. During the first growth execution, we focused on testing the value proposition with the target clients and supporting Hachi to identify and categorize the key elements that were hindering the company growth
- First pivot: Following the evidence collected from the market during the Growth setup and testing phase, the company realized the market was not ready for such an innovative product. Therefore, they decided to pivot into building hydroponic farming on-demand for clients. The pivot has proven successful, enabling the company to scale considerably in terms of revenues.
- Second pivot: We provided Hachi with the idea of a second pivot, moving from a service provider to an operator of urban farms serving business clients with fresh vegetables with a short supply chain. We then supported the company in developing a plan to be used as a basis for an investment round
IMPACT & OUTCOME
- Demo day and investments: Hachi arrived at VSV demo day with an investment readiness pitch deck and attracted the attention of several investors and accelerators which provided investment offers to the company
- Key market learning: Thanks to our systematic approach, we helped Hachi to quickly test their initial value proposition and realize the need for a pivot
- Early growth: Hachi successfully implemented 15+ farms across Southeast Asia, producing over 50,000kg of fresh produce per month
- Attention from investors: The idea of developing an urban farm has been welcomed by a number of investors who are now dealing with Hachi to get the project off the ground
(strengthening the business model: customer-oriented view and subscription service)