Spring and early summer are my favorite seasons: the air is fresh and we are getting warmer weather even here in Southwest Finland, where I live. It’s a joy for the eye to watch the green and lush nature at our summer cottage in the Turku archipelago.
At the cottage we don’t have a garden so we like to bring our two Plantui Smart Gardens with us to make sure that we get fresh herbs throughout the summer season. I enjoy cooking and especially at the summer cottage I have the time to experiment and try out new herbs. Coriander goes well with ceviche prepared with chili, ginger, lime and fresh whitefish. I also cook a lot of Asian dishes, when I use Basil Thai, Pok Choy and Tatsoi. Basil Lemon is delicious with smoked fish and new potatoes.
We are now happy to have a one-year old granddaughter in the family. She has her own Moomin Garden at home with a pink hat, and at the cottage we have one with a black hat to match our interior design with Marimekko curtains.
It’s time to grow – and yes, we are growing!
I have been professionally engaged with Plantui since 2013, when CTO Kari Vuorinen first contacted me. At that time I was working at Service Design agency Palmu and we provided Plantui with customer insight through ethnographic interview prior to the launch of the first Smart Garden in Denmark. I became a shareholder in 2014 and a Board member in 2015. Since March of this year I have been acting as Chairman of the Board working together with our CEO Karri Andersson, the Plantui team and my colleagues on the Board.
All the Board members have an entrepreneurial background and we share the same values and passion for Plantui, both as a company and its products. Our ambition is to go global, and we have already reached our first million euros in sales since the launch in 2014. We are currently present in 22 countries and I am particularly excited about our growth opportunity in Asia, including Japan. We have a great team of enthusiastic people at Plantui Asia LLP, our sales hub in Singapore. They are all shareholders also in Plantui Oy and share my enthusiasm for healthy food and sustainability.
As for my leadership principles I believe in setting the example: I’m a hard worker myself and put in 60-80 hours per week. I’m also engaged with some other startups besides Plantui. However, Plantui is my first priority as we really have a chance to grow much bigger over the next 2-3 years. I believe in smart and caring leadership, i.e. sharing responsibility and genuinely caring about our team members, customers and shareholders. At my age, I get more joy out of others’ success. When team members succeed it is really a great source of energy for the whole company.
There are two main reasons why Plantui is now crowdfunding in collaboration with Invesdor:
- To build brand awareness for Plantui and its products in Europe and Asia.
- To raise new equity to boost our international sales & marketing, as well as the launch of a new product ‘Plantui 3e’ targeted at younger people with a lower price point (‘e’ stands for entry level).
The crowdfunding has now been public for two weeks and we are making steady progress as we have already reached 327,000 euros i.e. 65% of our target. I am convinced that we can reach our minimum target of 500,000 euros by 30th June. I have already invested more at the start of this round together with my venture partner through Högen Oy (currently the largest shareholder), and also through my family investment company Aboa Advest. Even the four youngsters in my family are new shareholders in Plantui.
Come and join us as a shareholder and Plantui ambassador. The minimum investment is 300 euros for 10 shares of the company. We also offer a special product discount of 20% to all our new shareholders. Let’s make the world greener one Plantui at a time.
And yes, our sales will keep growing towards the end of this year. Just like my Singaporean tomatoes in my Plantui at home.
Guest author: Timo Ketonen
I am an Entrepreneur and Angel Investor with a broad work experience in finance, media, marketing and service design. I am passionate about helping startups grow profitably. The key to success in growth companies is core team building; business idea development to great products and services; finding the right business model; the best customer experience and Go2Market strategy.
I’m the Chairman of the Board at Plantui and my main responsibilities include Brand and Strategy, and I'm also responsible for the crowdfunding through Invesdor. Privately I enjoy being with our family, cooking, fresh herbs, sailing, outdoor life and photography. I’m also a music lover and a sports fan. I’m always curious about culture, languages and travel. My favourite plants are Basil Thai and Coriander.