Featured on Fundsup: OTree – The new and green way of air purifying

Every week we feature a new startup at Fundsup that forces a radical breakthrough. This time we chat with Sander Bakx, Co-founder of OTree.

Read the Dutch version on Emerce.

Sander, what exactly are you doing? 

At OTree we combine technology and nature to find innovative ways to improve people’s health. The first product we developed is OTree Lilly, a combination of a beautiful plant and smart technology. This technology improves the air-purifying power of the plant 200 times! This way we turn a normal plant into an effective air filter.

Where do you see its main application?

We want to use OTree Lilly to improve the indoor air quality in offices and schools. These places are known for their bad air quality. We see this as a big problem considering these are the places we spend most of our time. 

Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic people started to realize the importance of good ventilation and air-filtering. Last winter schools were obligated to keep their windows open to reduce the risk of infection. That is when we realized that we really can make an impact with OTree Lilly.

What is the impact of your business?

We want to show the world what impressive things can be achieved if you innovatively use nature. Luckily, plants are more popular than ever before. There have been many studies proving the positive effects of plants on people. But unfortunately, regular plants can’t compete with air-filtration systems. OTree Lilly is the first plant that can deliver even better air filtering performance than regular air-purifiers. 

OTree Lilly is a plug & play product and easy to maintain. It only needs water once a month and our integrated air quality sensor keeps you updated on Lilly’s performance. We designed it to fit in offices and classrooms perfectly. Our customers can choose to do the maintenance themselves or we can do it for them.

Where do you stand right now?

OTree has successfully finished the development of OTree Lilly. Thanks to the laboratories of Fytagoras and TNO we confirmed the air filtering power of the OTree Lilly and we have placed our first products at customers’ locations. Before that, we have found two big partners in the Netherlands for expanding the sales of OTree Lilly. These partners have a large network in indoor landscaping and intelligent building management. With these collaborations, OTree can expand quickly and grow fast.

We want to show the world what impressive things can be achieved 
if you use nature in an innovative way

When are you planning to go to the market?

We are aiming to start production in August 2021. So we can deliver larger volumes to our customers and partners. Our partners are our biggest customers at the moment and the priority is to deliver to them as fast as possible.

Who has invested in you and what kind of investors are you looking for?

We used the MIT-grand (€20.000) for the R&D and validation of OTree Lilly. As founders, we invested ourselves during this phase as well. Now we are qualified as TRL-6 and IRL-5. 

Before that, one of our biggest partners has committed to an intensive collaboration with ‘’in-kind’’ funding, like workspace and guidance from their marketing and sales department. We see that as a great opportunity and validation as well.

In this round, we want to raise €230.000. This will be invested in starting the production of OTree Lilly and delivering the first batches to our partners. From there we want to invest in our marketing to reach out to our target groups. 

What would be the ideal investor match?

We are a young, early-stage company so we are looking for investors who can help us grow with their knowledge and network. Someone who believes in our technology and the impact it makes. In addition, experience in marketing and/or sales would be a big help!

Best of luck with everything!

Thanks, check out our pitch deck in the Fundsup app: https://api.fundsup.co/go/V9xWaRWi_GE