I invested in clean air and why you might want to also
January 31, 2017
It irritates your eyes, nose, and throat, causes shortness of breath, aggravates asthma and other respiratory conditions, and even affects your heart and cardiovascular system. Breathing polluted air for long periods of time can cause more serious health problems. It also closes schools, delays flights and you know... could just destroy our planet. So yes, I may confidently argue that air pollution is harmful, not only on individual level but also on the global level.
Thankfully there are companies tackling this problem. Usually great ideas come from global, billion dollar problems. Issues that effect billion people. Great executions on the other hand focus first on the individual, local side. It starts from small things and areas that are executed extremely well. After initial and successful market penetration in a limited area, moving to adjacent market becomes first of all doable and secondly it increases your chance of prosperity. Even the Mr. Chesky at Airbnb states; Be globally local.
Naava is an unique example of a company tackling the air conditions indoors... naturally. For our humans whole existence on planet earth (about 200,000 years) the roots of our plants have provided us precious fresh air. The nature has been the natural air purifier for us. It's no coincidence that the words nature and natural are so similar. But what has happened in the recent past, is that we are spending more and more time inside. The indoor air differs from the natural, outside air we are programmed to breathe. It is rarely optimal for our health. It can be polluted, dry, sterilized and processed. Bluntly put, it's no good.
So how does Naava work?
It is basically a plant wall (smart green wall as a natural purifier) to be installed in your office, but the functions behind it are a bit more complicated:
1. Indoor air is absorbed through the rhizosphere and the root system of the plants
2. Microbes living in the rhizosphere purify the air from harmful chemicals
3. The fans return the naturalized indoor air back to the room
4. Sensors in the smart green wall measure variables in the product and its environment
5. Naava OS artificial intelligence directs the functions of the smart green wall automatically
6. The remote system transmits information to the smart green wall from eg. satellites
7. All of the functions can be tracked in real time and the system is fully automated
"The purification efficiency of each plant on a Naava green wall is a 100 times more efficient than ordinary plants." - Naava
It sounds seriously impressing. The company is planning to make €60m in sales in 2019 compared to €2m last year. Also the company promises a healthy 25% EBITDA margin. The growth is explained by accelerated Nordic market demand and expansion to U.S and Asia with already existing partnerships. 90% test-to-purchase ratio and less than 2% churn rate supports the figures. The company plans to help millions of people in all major cities by 2025. Also I see great exit opportunities for the company in the U.S market. Of course there are risks. Market risk and liquidity risk play a major role here, but still my intuition says that this seems to be a profitable play. And so does Delos, Sitra, Halton, Jaakko Ollila and Leena Niemistö (two of Finland's top five angel investors). What makes Naava interesting is that it really tries to fix the condition of the air, not just monitor it. Though, the root problem is something bigger...
But it isn't only Naava. The clean air we breathe is a global trend and it is also €450b health problem (according to World Health Organization). Fresh air is scientifically proven to increase cognitive performance and enhance concentration, problem solving skills and decision making. Why would companies not want that? The market is there, its growing and thus, theres plenty of space for other solutions for cleaner air. Just think about global warming. Green is good. In multiple ways.
We spend over 90% of our time inside and simultaneously gasp in over 10,000 liters of indoor air every day. Why would you ever sacrifice the quality of the air you breathe?
*Don't invest any capital you are not willing to lose. Investing in private stock and especially startups is extremely risky.