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Daily Markup #636: Glife Technologies wins Emerging Enterprise Award 2022 for its business innovation, resilience & excellence in unexpected times

Ching Yee Ho



Credit: Justin Chou

From farm to fork

  • Did you know a single ingredient can pass through as many as five hands before it’s on your plate? Imagine how many hands that comes up to for a full meal!
  • These “hands” have nothing to do with food hygiene, and everything to do with the efficiency of the food supply chain. 
  • 500-backed Glife Technologies has been introducing greater transparency and traceability in the agriculture sector by leveraging technology to simplify the journey, bringing fresh ingredients directly from farm to fork. Without the multiple “hands” of middlemen, who buy produce from farmers and sell them to food and beverage (F&B) businesses, farmers get to retain more of the profits.
  • During the pandemic lockdown period in 2020, dining out at F&B outlets was not allowed in Singapore resulting in Glife’s revenue falling by 70-80%. The team was quick to pivot, and they built a consumer-facing ordering platform to cater to the growing demand for purchasing fresh produce online. Co-founder & CEO Justin Chou shared that this led to some of Glife’s most profitable months.
  • Their hard work and resourcefulness did not go unnoticed! Congratulations to the team for winning the Emerging Enterprise Award 2022, which celebrates small-medium enterprises (SMEs) that have demonstrated business innovation, resilience, and excellence in unexpected times and emerged triumphant.
  • Glife even expanded from Singapore to Malaysia in 2021, and Indonesia earlier this year. Today, the team serves about 3,000 F&B merchants and over 1,000 farmers across Southeast Asia.
  • Post-pandemic, Glife has shifted fully back to their business-to-business (B2B) customers. They have even adopted a contract farming model with Balinese farmers to meet the demand in Indonesia.
  • “Contract farming is not new. But the willingness to go to the farmer and explore a fair trade model with them is less seen in this industry, as the middlemen usually try to squeeze every single buck from the farmers,” Justin shared, adding that these farmers are now paid at least 30% more.
  • Justin plans to expand Glife’s network of contract farmers in Indonesia and scale up watermelon cultivation by 5x to 10x, as well as supply to more local wet markets.
  • 4 years after its inception, Glife is ready to move beyond being just a distributor of fresh produce. In November, the team partnered food services tech platform Novitee to launch KoomiMarket, a B2B digital marketplace connecting food suppliers and F&B businesses.
  • KoomiMarket uses data and machine learning to enable food suppliers to offer dynamic pricing to hotels, restaurants, and cafes. The analytics can help F&B businesses save costs and customize their product offerings.
  • Read the full story on The Business Times.

Ching Yee Ho