In 2016, Pierre Nibart and Pierre-Etiennce launched OGarden, an innovative indoor garden that allows anyone to grow organic vegetables in their home year-round. The launched the product with the mission of working towards a healthier and more ecologically responsible world. Pierre talks about the mission by simply stating,
“Cultivating your own vegetables brings us back to basics. This brings real peace of mind, much needed in this fast-paced world.”
They chose to use a crowdfunding platform for their initial funding in order to gauge whether their product would meet demand in the Quebec marketplace. Over the course of 30 days, they received more than $110,000 in funding from several hundred people looking to purchase this unique product that allows plants to grow inside a slowly revolving wheel. People can easily harvest vegetables within 30-40 days of planting, regardless of the season.
With high sales and growing demand month-over-month, Pierre realized more capital was needed inventory to expand beyond the local market. With virtually no assets to secure against, Pierre knew his company was too high-risk for banks. Initially, he applied for financing with the BDC and was approved for a loan of $24,000. However, it was less than he had requested, and he was still short the capital that he needed to scale his business. Pierre found Lending Loop while looking online for additional sources of capital. He applied using the online platform and in January 2018, a loan of $60,000 was funded using Lending Loop’s platform.
This funding, in conjunction with the funding he received from the BDC, enabled them to purchase more inventory and expand sales Canada-wide. Now that he has expanded across Canada, Pierre has his sights set on the US market, where he already has approximately $20 million in outstanding demand from the urban agriculture market.
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