Urban Health Farms
Based inthe Netherlands
Helping Urban Health Farms become Europe's largest indoor farm operator
Imagine a world where agriculture is no longer labour intensive, or at the mercy of the climate or geography around it. A world where not only the quality, but the flavour of crops could be guaranteed. It may sound like science fiction. But for the team at Urban Health Farms, all the above is already reality – and the implications of its technology are huge.
Having created a scalable version of what’s known as ‘vertical farming’, the Utrecht-based venture aims to solve global issues such as global overcrowding, agricultural inefficiencies, and other climate-related environmental obstacles. A combination of agriculture and technology, vertical farming involves multiple racks of farming stacked on top of one another. Each rack consists of hydroponic growing systems – allowing crops to be grown without soil – and artificial sunlight. With geography or weather no longer part of the equation, crops can be grown anywhere, anytime, quality guaranteed.
Urban Health Farm predicts that vertical farming will become a dominant form of agriculture within the next 10-15 years – a necessity when increased food production is required to meet expected explosive population growth. The company aims to be Europe’s largest indoor farm operator by 2023.
Based in The Netherlands with entities in Malta and Luxembourg, plus a R&D site in Belgium and scope for future global expansion, Managing Partner Bernard Sleijster needed a means of receiving funds and making payments to creditors via international accounts. An issue he was wary of, however, was the prominence of automated systems and choice menus typically employed by larger banks to assess and onboard new customers. Without sounding dramatic, the potential future of the planet rested upon finding the right solution for his business.
In need of an international business banking solution, Bernard spoke to the team at 3S Money. Following a positive introductory conversation with his Personal Client Manager, Iris Van Der Linde, the onboarding process progressed “quickly and efficiently”. Bernard was now the owner of a Global Business Account and a wealth of payment and FX tools. Online banking? “Easy and simple”. Having a direct contact with someone at 3S Money had its own benefits, too. Iris was on hand when required, providing Bernard peace of mind – “I can send Iris a Whatsapp message asking for her to call me or vice versa. I value that personal contact incredibly”. In an industry where automated chatbots have become the frustrating norm, the ability to contact an actual person made the vital difference for Bernard and Urban Health Farms when joining 3S Money.
Urban Health Farms joined 3S Money in July 2020, having been founded in 2019. In particular, the business needed to facilitate cross-border payments in currencies such as EUR and USD.
For Bernard, these processes needed to be seamless, with no reliance upon any automated processes. Iris was available to provide Bernard a human contact when needed, opening the company’s Global Business Account and local IBANs – specifically, LUX and NL IBANs for their Luxembourger and Dutch entities. A RUB account also offered future scope for Urban Health Farms to engage with Russian markets if needed.
Once onboarded, Urban Health Farms could send and receive funds around the globe with the security afforded by 3S Money’s client portal and Duo mobile two-tier verification. Although primarily based in Europe and making use of sending and receiving payments throughout the EU, the business also makes and collected payments from both North and South America.
With the scalability of its business model and ambitions to become the largest in Europe by 2023, Urban Health Farms needed a similarly flexible banking solution to match. Our Global Business Account offers them a fertile environment in which to grow.