Green Labs, a promising Korean startup that has undergone a restructuring process due to financial difficulties, is now set to soar to new heights with a new chairman of the board and a business normalization plan. The company plans to focus on its core business, Farm Morning, a community-based data agriculture solution, and accelerate business normalization.
According to news reports, in a recent board meeting, Chung Eui-min, the executive director of BRV Capital Management, the largest shareholder of Green Labs, was appointed as the board’s new chairman. BRV, an Asian investment company of Bluerun Ventures invested 100 billion won ($83 million) in Green Labs last year. BRV became the largest shareholder after transfusing an additional 50 billion won ($38.4 million) last month, with Skylake Incuvest during the company’s financial difficulties. Green Labs, an agritech startup, had laid off around 70% of its workforce, or 350 people in February as part of a restructuring.
The new business normalization plan, dubbed “Green Labs 2.0,” will focus on advancing the data farming solution Farm Morning and expanding the company’s global business. Green Labs was previously criticized for its unclear business model and vision as it aggressively expanded its domestic agricultural wholesale distribution business and smart farms. The company plans to refocus on its initial business model and vision of data-based agricultural innovation and high-quality transactions.
As part of the normalization plan, Green Labs reduced the equity of its CEO Seong-Woo Choi and Dong-Hyun Ahn by 90% and 100%, respectively, except for CEO Shin Sang-hoon, among the three founders. The company also completed all necessary procedures during last month’s board of directors and shareholders’ meeting.
Green Labs is currently negotiating maturity extension and refinancing with financial institutions for 35 billion won worth of borrowings due this year. BRV successfully convinced existing shareholders to support the new investment plan and played a vital role in normalizing the company. The investment company identified the structural problems of insolvency early on and explained in detail the differential reduction of the two responsible founders and the turnaround plan.
Green Labs’ Farm Morning is an app launched in July 2020 that empowers farmers and agricultural practitioners with better control of their produce. The app, that has more than 700,000 users, uses AI technology to provide various aspects of farming like crop lifecycle, subsidy services, specialized education, and loan information. It also offers a farming curriculum that helps users set monthly and annual agricultural plans, record urgent tasks, and digital farm work.
- SK Square invests in Korean agro-tech startup Green Labs
- AI-smart farm solution startup Croft attracts seed investment from Future Play
- Korean AgTech startup AG-Uni enters the US market with its vertical farming solution
- Korean Agri-Biotech startup E Green Global (EGG)’s Microtuber Technology to resolve world’s food shortage problem