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Success is in the green details
The Dutch start-up Pikaplant and the Finnish companies Plantui and Naava all offer plants in a beautifully designed fashion. Does this imply their products are alike and they aim at the same markets?
Let's have a look at the companies in more detail. There are significant differences in their value propositions, and therefore in their Business Models (BM). This leads to surprisingly diverse markets and targetgroups. Below we will dicuss the companies, which all have experience with BM Innovation.

1) Pikaplant
Pikaplant’s product is a plant in a bottle, making plant keeping easy, according to their value proposition. As proposed on their website the Pikaplant Jar is hermetically sealed inside a humid biotope, and continuously recycles the water and air inside. Jars mimic natural high-humidity biotopes. The company was established in 2014 and raised capital making use of crowdfunding to enable international expansion. It has moved from an initial start-up to a company that is scaling up. They offer their products online and offline, via 350 upmarket stores, and internet sites, their own as well as third party sites. The main focus of these upmarket outlets is quality and design. The initial product was improved to overcome problems with plant diseases and with transportation of a vulnerable product, i.e. the jar, by third party logistic providers. As a result of product development and continuous improvement a patent is acquired. An import issue for Pikaplant is market development, conquering international markets. Their approach for going to international market differs based on the distance; the closest ones are managed by Pikaplant itself and others are reached through agents or distributors. Their focus is mainly on Europe.

2) Plantui
This company is stablished in 2012 and offers a Smart Garden concept based on the value proposition that Everyone deserves a garden. Comparable to Pikaplant they offer plant growing device to consumers. The Plantui device has an automated growth process with special light spectrums, which ensures that consumers can grow herbs and flowers from seeds. Whereas Pikaplant’s business model is product based, Plantui proudly copied the business model of Nespresso. They offer a broad range of herb, salad and edible flower plant capsules for the Plantui device. The Plantui Growth Method is patented. Like Pikaplant, expanding to international markets is important. Although based in Finland, the company started in Denmark. It is close to the German market, which was supposed to have the biggest potential. Initially Plantui focused on design stores, but also gardening and flower shops. Internationally they work with local retailers, shopping chains, agents and partners. Like Pikaplant, they had to overcome some setbacks but succeeded to enter markets in Europe and Asia.

3) Naava Naturvention
This third ‘green’ company also offers plants, however now as a smart active green wall and with again a different motivation. The value proposition of this Born Global company is a wall of plants as a biological air purifications system. Naava was established in 2011 and is now a mid-sized company. They got their funding, like the other two, from business angels, investors and also via crowdfunding. Their offering includes both the product and service, because the company takes care of the plants growing in the green wall. They monitor the plants continuously via sensors, artificial intelligence and a cloud solution. Feeding, watering and trimming of plants is done by the company itself, or by third parties. The customers can choose either basic or premium service. Also, Naava has put effort in the design of the product for which they win a Fennia Prize. As the other two companies they had a steep learning curve overcoming sometimes simple problems. Many of their customers are organizations that are concerned about or struggle with the indoor air quality in their offices and premises.  The company is mainly active in the Finnish and Swedish market. Entering the Russian market was not a success. They follow a city by city approach to expand their market. Currentldy they establish a local production facility and local team in the vicinity of New York.


Succes is in the details
So, at first sight one would conclude that these companies are direct competitors of each other, but in practice their BMs are so quite different, that they are not competing. Not only the nicely designed products are different, but the philosophy expressed in the value propositions are very different, i.e. design, growing plants, or pure air. These lead to different offerings, product by Pikaplant, product and complements by Plantui, and product and service by Naava. In the end the products are different as are their target markets. Also, their international channel strategy is different, with different foci. The pricing strategy and revenue models are different as well. Again, in the end, the success of their approach is in details of their BMs.