The Munich startup Plantura brings things together that don’t seem to match up at first. Gardening, smart data and sustainability. With their data-driven approach, they’ve already impressed investors such as Acton Capital Partners — as well as several million gardening enthusiasts each month. An interview with co-founder Felix Lill.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
Our Plantura founding team includes Dominik Cadmus (27, Business Administration), Melissa Raupach (27, Communication Sciences, Journalism, Media & Globalisation) and me, Felix Lill (30, Management and Technology). Dominik and I met at the Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM). Melissa and I have known each other for years – we met when she moved to Munich to get her bachelor’s degree.
Since 2017, we’ve been working on establishing Plantura as the leading direct-to-consumer brand in the gardening industry. Our vision is to make sustainable gardening accessible to everyone. That requires a space where sustainable products come together with instructional and inspiring content – and that digital meeting place is exactly what we offer with Plantura.
A digital meeting place for sustainable gardening
2. But that’s nothing out of the box!
Of course gardening brands already exist, but not with our approach. What do we do differently? We are extremely data driven — both in the development of our products and also in terms of content. We develop products that people really love and reach our target group on all channels with content that is relevant to them. That puts us in direct contact with our customers, which is hardly possible for classic manufacturers who sell in retail stores.
3. What are the three main ingredients in your recipe for success?
A strong, interdisciplinary team, consistently data-driven work and close interaction with customers.
“Demand is very high”
4. Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: How is business going?
We’re really pleased with what we’ve achieved as a team over the last two years. In our digital gardening magazine, more than a million gardening enthusiasts are active each month, and we reach more than five million users a month with our social media channels. The demand for sustainable gardening products is very high, which means we’re right on trend. Our Plantura organic fall lawn fertilizer just sold out again, and our first plant care product Zünslerfrei Xentari was already out of stock three weeks after its launch.
Added value: Talking with other founders
5. What does Munich mean to you?
Munich is home to all of us, even though I’m the only Munich native. The city is the right size for us, you can get everywhere quickly by bike and being so close to the mountains is really hard to beat.
The startup scene is also exciting here and gives us a strong network. Through the CDTM, where Dominik and I studied, we also have lots of other founders as friends (such as Personio, Capmo and Workpath). We talk and learn from each other. With the two large and well-known universities in Munich, you also have access to talent in the fields of tech, design and linguistics, which of course is highly relevant for rapidly growing companies.
Plantura: “A clear-cut unicorn route”
6. How will your startup become the next unicorn? Or will we be seeing you at an Epic Fail Night soon?
Even though our team has a pretty broad skillset: None of us are fortune-tellers — but we can read sales figures, and they’re on a steep upward path. That’s a clear-cut unicorn route! The market potential is tremendous, the industry is lagging behind digitally and Plantura has already established itself as an authentic brand with a high degree of customer loyalty.
The next steps will be to expand our product portfolio, implement a digital supplementary offer and prepare our international roll out. We’re also currently expanding our team and are always happy to receive applications from motivated individuals who want to revolutionize the gardening industry with us.
7. Isar River or English Garden?
The English Garden, because the Isar runs through the northern part anyway — and it can also use some serious fertilizing.