Vitabeam

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  • 03/04/2022
    Closing date
  • £10,000.00
    Min. investment
  • Biotechnology
    Sector
  • EIS
    Investment type

Food waste costs retailers $18.2 Billion every year and close to 8 million tons of fresh produce is thrown away.

Vitabeam harnesses the power of light to improve food safety and reduce waste.

Vitabeam has created cutting-edge technology that harnesses the power of LED lighting to promote faster, natural growth in fresh produce, whilst also killing harmful pathogens. This leads to increased food safety, reduced food waste and healthier produce for consumers.

Vitabeam’s patented and proven VQe® technology powers products across multiple sectors including: legal cannabis, horticulture, produce pre-packaging, retail supermarkets, kitchens and healthcare. Vitabeam have a global presence and have recently been awarded £2.1M worth of equipment contracts in the US and Canada. They are seeking a £3M EIS equity raise.

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Highlights

  • Opportunity to invest in a green, high-growth potential, Agri/Bio tech under attractive EIS conditions.
  • Awarded two major UK Grants (Innovate UK) - £462k + £178k.
  • Proven, patented, safe, world-first science.
  • True global opportunity, linking multiple, interconnected supply chains.
  • Commercial sales completed in the US, Canada and Hawaii. Global sales rollout to occur with funding.
  • Strong ROI benefits to all customers (within 3 to 9 months for Growers and 6 to 9 months for retailer, with a product warranty for 5 years).
  • Exit opportunities for maximum PE valuation IPO / trade sales to multiple large sector companies, offering multiple potential routes for returns.
  • Strong pipeline revenue committed for 2021. Included in new build projects standards. Retrofit is also viable; presenting huge commercial opportunities.

Market analysis

Fresh food processing: The global fresh fruit and vegetable processing market is growing at a rate of 8% per year and is predicted to reach a value of $380.85 billion by 2025.

Fresh food retail: The global fresh food market is projected to grow by 4.1% annually, with the fresh fruit and vegetable market specifically predicted to grow by 6.6% annually, and organic fruit and vegetable market growing at a huge 9% per year. In the US, the overall organic food market was valued at $45.2 billion in the year 2017. The fruits and vegetable segment continued to be the largest organic food category, recording $16.5 billion in sales in 2017.

Legal cannabis (medical crop): This is a new, hugely expanding market, going global. It is estimated that it will be a $24 billion industry in the US by 2025 and a $146 billion industry globally.

The markets for clean, safe, chemical-free, organic produce is predicted to grow as demand increases. The current pandemic has brought the threat of pathogens, that Vitabeam technology kills, to the forefront of everyone's minds. Additionally, concern for the environment is increasing, so finding methods and technology that reduce pesticide usage and reduce food waste are increasingly sought after and popular among growers, retailers and consumers. Vitabeam is poised perfectly to take advantage of that growing demand.

Business model

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Use of funds

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Financial projections

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Key team

James Millichap-Merrick - Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

James read life sciences at Imperial College, then had an investment career at AXA and director role at Fidelity Brokerage, reporting to the president, he successfully managed the largest investment project outside of the U.S. President of Harrington Chase plc. prior to joining Cornell Capital, a highly successful $1bn U.S. hedge fund, as U.K. managing director (covering ROW), FCA regulated, achieving positive investment returns across all international transactions. 

James is naturally driven to understand and manage every element of the Vitabeam business. His investment, science and business background are integral in directing and supervising the company’s function.

Steven Cady - Chief Operating Officer

Over the past forty years, Steven has been owner and senior executive of private and public companies involved in energy, food and logistics. President of SlimFast® (Non-Retail Sales Group), eCommerce platforms (CEO of LinkOpp Marketing, Inc. created with IBM), Genesis Energy management. Steven graduated cum laude from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in history. 

Gary Argiropoulos - Director of Food Safety

Gary was director of produce and floral for Fresh Brands (Sheboygan, Wisconsin), and General manager with Del Monte. Graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Gary and has always had an interest in how science and technology can better our lives. Gary has over 50 years of marketing experience in produce and perishables at the retail, wholesale and grower levels; produce buyer, produce merchandising specialist and category manager for produce, floral and organics. Hannaford Brothers Company (Scarborough, Maine), Supervalu’s (Norristown, Pennsylvania) NSR VP procurement and distribution.

Exit strategy

Vitabeam's goal is an IPO, NY or London, most likely NY for maximum valuation from higher PE multiples in a 2 to 3 year time horizon.

Fee summary

Investor fees 

0% - initial fee 

20% - performance fee at a hurdle of £1.35

This means 100% of any investment qualifies for EIS relief.

Note: The sponsor (Arie Capital) charges the investee company (Vitabeam) an initial 5% from which they pay third party fees as well as an ongoing management charge of 1.5% p.a. 

Documents

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The content above has been provided by Arie Capital Limited, an Investment Adviser to Sapphire Capital Partners LLP who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under firm registration number 565716.