The co-founder and CEO of BloomsPal was the winner of the Sustainable Agtech Challenge, thanks to efforts to develop software to optimize processes in agriculture. The businessman tells how the idea was born and the process he has led up to now.
Danilo Miranda has more than 8 years of experience in sales, product development and software engineering, especially for the tech industry and foreign trade. (Courtesy/)
Who is Danilo Miranda and what does he do?
I am a CESA business administrator, with more than 8 years of experience in sales, product development and software engineering, especially for the tech industry and foreign trade. I am currently serving as the co-founder and CEO of BloomsPal.
Where did your interest in agriculture come from?
I come from an entrepreneurial family with more than 25 years of experience in the international flower industry, where Colombia is the first producer and second exporter worldwide, from there my interest in agriculture was born.
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In what way is the agricultural sector being impacted due to climate change and what actions should begin to be implemented to address this problem?
According to the United Nations, the world population is projected to reach 9 billion by 2030 and every day we have less arable land due to climate change and the scarcity of fresh water for planting. We will see a shortage of agricultural commodities in the near future like no other if we do not understand and act on the challenges we face. That said, it is clear to conclude that the agricultural industry is one of the most important issues for the survival of the human race for years to come.
Why did you decide to launch BloomsPal, what market needs were you seeking to solve that were not being addressed?
Agriculture is one of the most fragile industries. A rainy season in South America or a flood in Southeast Asia can affect millions of people with shortages around the world. Consumers do not realize that the food they eat or the flowers they buy, for the most part, does not come from a local farm; It comes from producers around the world who depend on global supply chains to satisfy their customers. Agricultural buyers, on the other hand, struggle every day to find reliable suppliers around the world and to be able to manage them to get what they need to run their business.
That’s something that we, as the founders of Bloomspal, experienced more than once and after COVID-19 it only got worse. We, as a team, have more than 25 years in the world flower trade and being able to find and deal with new suppliers in regions and countries where trade was not affected became the priority. The fragility of the agricultural trade affected us greatly.
After this experience, we began to optimize our sourcing and procurement strategy to improve and streamline our sourcing processes and once we understood how we can solve the pain points through software engineering, we developed the BloomsPal Network, solving the real problems that Buying leaders have every day within this industry. The focus was to build strategically designed cloud software to centralize the entire procurement operation for one of the fastest and highest risk supply chains.
What are the differentials of BloomsPal compared to its main competitors?
Unlike a lot of solutions on the market, we are not an ecommerce or a transactional marketplace. In other words, our main function is not simply to match supply and demand.
BloomsPal is software that enables buyers of agricultural raw materials to discover, collaborate and manage suppliers anywhere in the world. It allows purchasing teams to centralize and accelerate all the processes that they must carry out on a day-to-day basis to achieve supply: strategic supply planning, real-time collaboration between buyer and supplier, price and terms negotiations, shortage contingency plans , national or international logistics planning, advanced analytics, reports, among others.
We focus all our efforts on developing a software that optimizes all the processes that go before taking a final purchase order, empowering our clients to dramatically reduce the chaos in which they are constantly involved using decentralized tools such as whatsapp, spreadsheets, emails, calls and paper.
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BloomsPal relevant figures to share …
We started operations in the global flower wholesale trade and although we are a young company because we started in 2020; In 2021 we have connected our clients with more than 50 farms, mainly in Colombia. All of these transactions have generated more than $ 3 million in income for the farms.
What are the company’s future projections?
Our short-term plan is to consolidate ourselves within the world flower trade. We still have a lot to work on in this sector, where Colombia is the first producer and the second exporter (80% of the flowers sold within the USA come directly from farms in Colombia). In the near future, we plan to expand our business to the global fruit and vegetable trade.
What does winning the Sustainable Agtech Challenge represent for BloomsPal?
It has been incredible and very satisfying for us as a team. We have been showing our software to agricultural leaders, investors, mentors, advisors and researchers from the Austral University in Argentina. Being part of a program that aims to work together with AgTech startups that are making outstanding contributions to the sustainability of the industry in LATAM has been an honor for us. We have had the support of the Yield Lab Institute and the UN not only in orientation but also with a lot of exposure in the market, something very valuable to us.
What process did BloomsPal have to go through to be within the group of 8 finalists for the Sustainable Agtech Challenge?
In 2015, the United Nations created the 17 Goals for Sustainable Development given the crude projection that comes to us on issues of climate change, shortages of fresh water, destruction of the environment, food shortages, extreme poverty, among others. The Sustainable Agtech Challenge is an acceleration program created by the United Nations and the Yield Lab investment fund to search for startups and ventures that are positively impacting the objectives related to agriculture in LATAM. It was an arduous selection that lasted months of interviews, presentations, evaluations in front of panelists and industry experts and with a review from the Austral University in Argentina.
The idea of this program is to support innovations in the sector and produce clear policies to be applied in all Latin American countries at the governmental and private level to ensure that the sustainable development objectives are a reality. In total, 8 startups were chosen from 115 companies and worldwide, and BloomsPal was the only Colombian startup selected.
How, when and where will the Sustainable Agtech Challenge award ceremony take place and what will happen during this event?
The awarding of the ventures chosen by the United Nations will take place on October 26, 2021, from the city of ST Louis and will be broadcast remotely to anyone who wants to see it.