For local agrifood tech enterprise ProfilePrint, success is beyond securing patented technologies that profile and predict the quality of food ingredients on the go. Supported by IPI’s strategic experts, the company also raised funds and ramped up global expansion plans to ride the growing demands for food ingredient premiumisation.
Can one identify the molecular signatures of food ingredients or determine if they are suitable without human sensory or sending them to a lab? With ProfilePrint’s AI food-ingredient profiling technology, the answer is YES.
But that’s not all. According to Mr Alan Lai, Founder and CEO of ProfilePrint Pte Ltd, beyond equipping users with the ability to rapidly ascertain the suitability of ingredients without the need to see, touch and taste, ProfilePrint aims to redefine the need for one common standard via their platform, by offering sellers and buyers the ability to transact across different standards – from the farm to destination.
It is no surprise that ProfilePrint has been highly successful since the solutions debut in 2019, given the technology’s huge potential in addressing food supply chain disruptions. In fact, the solution is deployed in 27 locations across 5 continents of the world from Africa, America, Europe, China and Southeast Asia, where it serves some of the largest global traders in the food ingredients industry.
Ensuring continued success
Nevertheless, the ambition to secure a sustainable revenue stream from this core business had resulted in a meeting between Lai and Mr Peter Tay, IPI’s Deputy Head of Innovation Advisory. Business transactions were brisk, Lai said, and he wanted a more targeted strategy for global business expansion and a secured income stream.
Taking guidance from Tay and the IPI Innovation Advisors Programme, ProfilePrint embarked on a journey to review its current business model and Go-To-Market plans, as well as develop a sales process to attract and convert prospects to loyal customers. No detail was spared, as the project team combed through existing customer decision processes — from the initiation of business opportunities to qualification, proof of concept and sales conversion.
Mr Phey Teck Moh, Partner and Co-Founder of AngelCentral and IPI Innovation Advisor, was roped-in as the project consultant. A seasoned mentor and angel investor in Singapore’s entrepreneurial scene, Phey was ready to dive into his role, bringing his deep experience in working with start-ups, advising on market-solution fit and reviewing business priorities.
“IPI was prepared to help us grow, accepting only a nominal fee as we were very cost-sensitive in the early stages. Teck Moh was a true star. He thinks deeply before offering any suggestions. By revisiting the key points at the right moments, he made sure we kept a laser focus on our objectives and desired outcomes,” Lai observed.
Within the first three months, the ProfilePrint team established better clarity over the customer segments and key markets they wished to pursue. Results became even more evident, with the onboarding of major food supply-chain traders (like Olam, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus Company and Sucafina) as strategic customers.
Lai and team would follow-up closely on the new leads and document the use cases. “In gaining a larger customer pool, we had a greater volume of data to improve our foundational AI engine, which is the backbone of the ProfilePrint platform. This enabled us to make further adjustments and technical developments to improve our software and hardware,” he noted.
Before the year was up, ProfilePrint was ready to engage with suitable investors with its rapid growth. As of early 2022, the company successfully closed its Series A1 funding round with Cargill, bringing together five of the world’s largest food ingredient conglomerates as strategic shareholders.
“I believe that IPI’s advisory scheme, and especially Teck Moh’s open-mindedness and global experience, have been critical to our newfound success. For now, we will continue to widen our geographical ‘food-print’ as well as deepen our traction with key clients to feed more and feed better globally,” he added.