Filed pursuant to Rule 424(b)(4)
Registration No. 333-251380
Registration No. 333-257756
2,719,999 Units Consisting of Common Shares and Series A Warrants
AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd.
This is a firm commitment initial public offering of 2,719,999 units each consisting of one of our common shares, no par value per share, and one Series A Warrant to purchase one common share (and the shares issuable from time to time upon exercise of the Series A Warrants) pursuant to this prospectus based upon a combined $5.00 initial public offering. Each Series A Warrant will have an exercise price of $6.00 per share, will be exercisable upon issuance and will expire three years from issuance. Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for our units, common shares or warrants. The components of the units will begin to trade separately immediately upon listing on The NASDAQ Capital Market.
We have listed our common shares on The NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “AGRI”. In conjunction therewith, we have listed our Series A Warrants on The NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “AGRIW”.
Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 5 of this prospectus for a discussion of information that should be considered in connection with an investment in our securities.
We are an “emerging growth company” under the federal securities laws and may elect to comply with certain reduced public company reporting requirements for future filings.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
|Initial public offering price(1)||$||5.00||$||13,599,995|
|Underwriting discounts and commissions(2)||$||0.40||$||1,087,999|
|Proceeds to us, before expenses||$||4.60||$||12,511,996|
(1) The assumed public offering price and underwriting discount corresponds to in respect of the units (a) a public offering price per common share of $5.99 and (b) a public offering price per Series A Warrant of $0.01.
(2) Does not include a non-accountable expense allowance equal to 1% of the gross proceeds of this offering payable to EF Hutton, division of Benchmark, Investments, LLC (f/k/a Kingswood Capital Markets, division of Benchmark Investments, Inc.), the representative of the underwriters. See “Underwriting” for a description of compensation payable to the underwriters. We have agreed to issue warrants to the representative of the underwriters. See “Underwriting” on page 85 of this prospectus for a description of the compensation arrangements.
We have granted a 45-day option to the underwriters, exercisable one or more times in whole or in part, to purchase up to an additional 407,999 units at a price of $5.00 per unit and, in each case, the underwriting discounts and commissions, to cover over-allotments, if any.
The underwriters expect to deliver our units against payment on or about July 12, 2021.
division of Benchmark Investments, LLC
The date of this prospectus is July 10, 2021.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements||19|
|Use of Proceeds||20|
|Market for Our Common Shares and Related Shareholder Matters||20|
|Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations||23|
|Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management||54|
|Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions||55|
|Description of Our Securities||56|
|Shares Eligible for Future Sale||81|
|Where You Can Find Additional Information||90|
|Index to Financial Statements||F-1|
You should rely only on information contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectus we may authorize to be delivered or made available to you. Neither the delivery of this prospectus nor the sale of our securities means that the information contained in this prospectus or any free writing prospectus is correct after the date of this prospectus or such free writing prospectus. This prospectus is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy our securities in any circumstances under which the offer or solicitation is unlawful or in any state or other jurisdiction where the offer is not permitted. The information contained in this prospectus is accurate only as of its date regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or of any sale of our common shares.
No person is authorized in connection with this prospectus to give any information or to make any representations about us, the securities offered hereby or any matter discussed in this prospectus, other than the information and representations contained in this prospectus. If any other information or representation is given or made, such information or representation may not be relied upon as having been authorized by us.
For investors outside the United States: Neither we nor the underwriter has done anything that would permit this offering or possession or distribution of this prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required, other than in the United States. You are required to inform yourselves about and to observe any restrictions relating to this offering and the distribution of this prospectus.
Unless otherwise indicated, information contained in this prospectus concerning our industry and the markets in which we operate, including our general expectations and market position, market opportunity and market share, is based on information from our own management estimates and research, as well as from industry and general publications and research, surveys and studies conducted by third parties. Management estimates are derived from publicly available information, our knowledge of our industry and assumptions based on such information and knowledge, which we believe to be reasonable. Our management’s estimates have not been verified by any independent source, and we have not independently verified any third-party information. In addition, assumptions and estimates of our and our industry’s future performance are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in “Risk Factors.” These and other factors could cause our future performance to differ materially from our assumptions and estimates. See “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”
This summary highlights selected information contained in other parts of this prospectus. Because it is a summary, it does not contain all of the information that you should consider in making your investment decision. Before investing in our securities, you should read the entire prospectus carefully, including our financial statements and the related notes included in this prospectus and the information set forth under the headings “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” When used herein, unless the context requires otherwise, references to “AgriFORCE,” the “Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd., a British Columbia corporation.
Unless otherwise expressly provided herein, all share and per share numbers set forth herein relating to our common shares (i) assume no exercise of (a) any warrants and/or options, (b) the representatives’ common shares purchase warrants and/or (c) the representatives’ over-allotment option, and (ii) reflect a 1:4.75 reverse stock split of our common shares which became effective on November 29, 2020.
AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd. was incorporated as a private company pursuant to the provisions of the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) on December 22, 2017. The Company’s registered and records office address is at 777 Hornby Street, Suite 600, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6Z 1S4. On February 13, 2018, the Company changed its name from 1146470 B.C. Ltd to Canivate Growing Systems Ltd. On November 22, 2019, the Company changed its name from Canivate Growing Systems Ltd. to AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd.
The Company is an agriculture-focused technology company that is developing systems that are intended to deliver innovative, reliable and financially robust solutions for high value crops through its proprietary facility design and automation intellectual property to businesses and enterprises. The Company intends to operate in the plant based pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and other high value crop markets using its unique proprietary facility design and hydroponics-based automated growing system that enable cultivators to effectively grow crops in a controlled environment. The Company calls its facility design and automated growing system the “AgriFORCE grow house”. The Company has designed its AgriFORCE grow house to produce in virtually any environmental condition and to optimize crop yields to as near their full genetic potential possible while substantially eliminating the need for the use of pesticides and/or irradiation.
Risks and Challenges That We Face
An investment in our securities involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks summarized below and the other risks that are discussed more fully in the “Risk Factors” section of this prospectus immediately following this prospectus summary. These risks include, but are not limited to, the following:
|●||Demand and market acceptance of our product offerings and expansion of the specialty high value crop cultivation industry may be considerably less than what we currently anticipate.|
|●||We may be unable to increase revenues in the manner in which we anticipate and generate profitability.|
|●||We may face challenges in constructing our initial cultivation facilities.|
|●||We may not be able to meet increased and changing regulatory requirements.|
|●||Our systems are not commercially tested.|
|●||We will need to raise additional capital to fully commercialize our systems.|
|●||Some of our target agricultural products may face an uncertain regulatory environment.|
|●||We may be unable to expand operations and manage growth.|
|●||We may be unable to retain key members of our management and development teams and to recruit additional qualified personnel.|
|●||We face competition from companies that have greater resources than we do and we may not be able to effectively compete against these companies.|
|●||We face risks as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.|
|●||We may not be able to continue as a going concern.|
Implications of being an Emerging Growth Company
We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in Section 2(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, or the Securities Act, as modified by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. As such, we are eligible to take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements applicable to other public companies that are not “emerging growth companies” including, but not limited to:
● being permitted to present only two years of audited financial statements and only two years of related disclosure in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in this prospectus;
● being permitted to provide less extensive narrative disclosure than other public companies including not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports, proxy statements and registration statements;
● being permitted to utilize exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and shareholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved;
● being permitted to defer complying with certain changes in accounting standards; and
● being permitted to use test-the-waters communications with qualified institutional buyers and institutional accredited investors.
We intend to take advantage of these and other exemptions available to “emerging growth companies.” We could remain an “emerging growth company” until the earliest of (a) the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the closing of this offering, (b) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual gross revenues exceed $1.07 billion, (c) the last day of our fiscal year in which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer” as defined in Rule 12b-2 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or Exchange Act (which would occur if the market value of our equity securities that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter), or (d) the date on which we have issued more than $1 billion in nonconvertible debt during the preceding three-year period.
The JOBS Act permits an “emerging growth company” like us to take advantage of an extended transition period to comply with new or revised accounting standards applicable to public companies. This means that an “emerging growth company” can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have elected to delay such adoption of new or revised accounting standards.
AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd. was incorporated as a private company by Articles of Incorporation issued pursuant to the provisions of the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) on December 22, 2017. The Company’s registered and records office address is at 777 Hornby Street, Suite 600, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6Z 1S4. On February 13, 2018, the Company changed its name from 1146470 B.C. Ltd to Canivate Growing Systems Ltd. On November 22, 2019, the Company changed its name from Canivate Growing Systems Ltd. to AgriForce Growing Systems Ltd.
|Securities Offered by us:||2,719,999 (at an offering price of $5.00 per common share and Series A Warrant combined) units each consisting of one common share and one Series A Warrant. The units will split apart and the shares and Warrants will trade separately immediately upon listing.|
|Common Shares outstanding before this Offering:||9,542,769 shares|
|Common Shares to be Outstanding after this Offering:||14,521,594 common shares (at a price of $5.00 per unit each consisting of one common share and one Series A Warrant and assuming conversion of our preferred shares into 2,258,826 common shares at closing of this Offering)|
|Over-allotment Option:||We have granted a 45-day option to the underwriters, exercisable one or more times in whole or in part, to purchase up to an additional 407,999 units at a price of $5.00 per unit, in each case, the underwriting discounts and commissions, to cover over-allotments, if any.|
|Use of Proceeds:||We intend to use the net proceeds received from this offering for the acquisition of land, completion of associated infrastructure, constructing or purchasing our initial micropropagation and R&D facility, constructing our first working facility, repaying certain senior secured indebtedness and for funding our working capital and general corporate purposes.|
|Listings on NASDAQ:||We have listed our common shares on The NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “AGRI.” In conjunction therewith, we have also listed our Series A Warrants on The NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “AGRIW”. Our units did not trade and split into common shares and Series A Warrants immediately upon listing.|
|Lock-up||We, our directors, officers and all of our existing securityholders have agreed with the underwriters not to offer for sale, issue, sell, contract to sell, pledge or otherwise dispose of any of our common shares or securities convertible into common shares as described in further detail in the prospectus, both after the date of this prospectus. See “Underwriting” on page 85.|
|Risk Factors:||Investing in our securities is highly speculative and involves a significant degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” and other information included in this prospectus for a discussion of factors you should carefully consider before deciding to invest in our securities.|
|Representative’s Warrant||We will issue to EF Hutton, division of Benchmark Investments, LLC (f/k/a Kingswood Capital Markets, division of Benchmark Investments, Inc.), as representative of the underwriters, or its designees at the closing of this offering warrants to purchase the number of common shares equal to 5% of the aggregate number of common shares sold in this offering. The representative’s warrant will be exercisable one year from the effective date of the registration statement for this offering and will expire three years after the effective date. The exercise price of the representative’s warrant will equal 120% of the public offering price per share. See “Underwriting.”|
The number of common shares that will be outstanding after this offering set forth above is based on 9,542,769 common shares outstanding as of July 8, 2021, and includes the following:
|●||2,258,826 shares of our common shares issuable upon the conversion of outstanding Series A Preferred Shares (consisting of all principal amounts and accrued and unpaid interest thereon) in the event of a Public Offering.|
Unless specifically stated otherwise, all information in this prospectus assumes:
|●||no exercise of the outstanding options or warrants described above;|
no exercise by the underwriter of their option to purchase additional units consisting of common shares and Series A Warrants to purchase common shares to cover over-allotments, if any; and
|●||no exercise of the representatives’ warrant.|
SUMMARY FINANCIAL DATA
The following tables summarize our financial data. We derived the summary financial statement data for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 set forth below from our audited financial statements and related notes contained in this prospectus. We derived the summary financial data for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 from our unaudited condensed financial statements and related notes contained in this prospectus. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected in the future. You should read the information presented below together with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” our financial statements, the notes to those statements and the other financial information contained in this prospectus. Share amounts, per share data, share prices, exercise prices and conversion rates have been retroactively adjusted to reflect the 1-for-4.75 reverse stock split of all of our classes of stock, effected on November 29, 2020.
Summary of Operations in U.S. Dollars
|Years ended December 31,||Three months ended March 31,|
|Foreign exchange (gain) loss||(17,650||)||3,600||(6,133||)||23,031|
|Office and administrative||189,813||201,327||60,987||35,950|
|Research and development||123,915||1,111,562||29,983||87,696|
|Shareholder and regulatory||337,878||95,037||2,308||3,373|
|Travel and entertainment||13,426||189,937||1,075||4,643|
|Wages and salaries||1,071,867||1,042,968||169,665||264,020|
|SR&ED benefit and refund||(106,195||)||-||-||-|
|Dividend paid to preferred shareholders||948,064||488,416||-||-|
|Net loss attributable to common shareholders||$||(4,169,590||)||$||(5,607,562||)||$||(884,606||)||$||(984,716||)|
|Weighted average number of common shares issued and outstanding||7,907,233||8,331,330||8,442,284||7,727,428|
|Loss per common share - basic and diluted||$||(0.53||)||$||(0.67||)||$||(0.10||)||$||(0.13||)|
Balance Sheet in U.S. Dollars
|As of March 31, 2021|
|Total Current Assets||967,228||11,993,224|
|Total Current Liabilities||2,484,270||2,219,877|
|Total Non-Current Liabilities||298,582||298,582|
|Working Capital (Deficit)||(1,517,042||)||9,773,347|
|Series A Preferred Shares||6,717,873||-|
|Additional paid in capital||1,387,808||1,415,008|
|Obligation to issue shares||103,512||103,512|
|Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income||132,088||132,088|
|Total Shareholders’ Equity||$||810,481||12,100,870|
The as adjusted column in the balance sheet data above gives effect to the sale of securities for cash in this offering at the public offering price of $5.00 per unit, including $4.99 per common share, and $0.01 per each Series A Warrant, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, as if the sale had occurred on March 31, 2021. The as adjusted column in the balance sheet data above also gives effect to the repayment of senior secured debentures.
Risks Relating to the Company’s Business
The Company is an early stage company with little operating history, a history of losses and the Company cannot assure profitability.
The Company currently has no revenues and does not have any history of revenue generating operations. The Company has been involved to date in the design and development of its AgriFORCE grow house which incorporates the Company’s AgriFORCE micropropagation laboratories. While the Company has invested considerably in this development and design process, no AgriFORCE grow house has been constructed to date and accordingly, the commercial or operating viability of the AgriFORCE grow house has not been proven, or when, if ever, the Company will generate revenue from its operations, and if those revenues, when and if generated, will be sufficient to sustain operations, nonetheless achieve profitability.
There is no assurance that the Company’s AgriFORCE grow houses or micropropagation laboratories will operate as intended.
The Company’s initial state of its business operations will be to construct and deploy its initial AgriFORCE grow house and micropropagation laboratories. However, the Company has yet to complete construction of any laboratories. Accordingly, this component of the Company’s business plan is subject to considerable risks, including:
|●||there is no assurance that the laboratories will achieve the intended plantlet production rates;|
|●||the costs of constructing and operating the laboratories may be greater than anticipated;|
|●||the potential offtake partners who have indicated a willingness to deploy the laboratories at their existing cultivation operations may withdraw and determine not to deploy the laboratories;|
|●||there is no assurance that the facilities will deliver the intended benefits of high production yields, lower crop losses and reduced operation costs;|
|●||if the company is not able to fully develop the grow house or it does not operate as intended, it could prevent the company from realizing any of its business goals or achieving profitability;|
|●||the costs of constructing the AgriFORCE grow houses may be greater than anticipated and the Company may not be able to recover these greater costs through increases in the lease rates, license fees and services fees that it charges to its customers; and|
|●||the costs of operating the AgriFORCE grow house may be greater than anticipated.|
COVID-19 or any pandemic, epidemic or outbreak of an infectious disease in the United States or elsewhere may adversely affect our business.
The COVID-19 virus has had unpredictable and unprecedented impacts in the United States and around the world. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak of COVID-19 as a “pandemic,” or a worldwide spread of a new disease. Many countries around the world have imposed quarantines and restrictions on travel and mass gatherings to slow the spread of the virus. In the United States, federal, state and local governments have enacted restrictions on travel, gatherings, and workplaces, with exceptions made for essential workers and businesses. As of the date of this prospectus, we have not been declared an essential business. As a result, we may be required to substantially reduce or cease operations in response to governmental action or decree as a result of COVID-19. We are still assessing the effect on our business from COVID-19 and any actions implemented by the federal, state and local governments. We have implemented safety protocols to protect our staff, but we cannot offer any assurance that COVID-19 or any other pandemic, epidemic or outbreak of an infectious disease in the United States or elsewhere, will not materially and adversely affect our business.
Fluctuations in the exchange rate of foreign currencies could result in losses.
We incur a portion of our operating expenses in Canadian dollars, and in the future, as we expand into other foreign countries, we expect to incur operating expenses in other foreign currencies. We are exposed to foreign exchange rate fluctuations as the financial results of our international operations are translated from the local functional currency into U.S. dollars upon consolidation. A decline in the U.S. dollar relative to foreign functional currencies would increase our non-U.S. revenue and improve our operating results. Conversely, if the U.S. dollar strengthens relative to foreign functional currencies, our revenue and operating results would be adversely affected. We have not previously engaged in foreign currency hedging. If we decide to hedge our foreign currency exchange rate exposure, we may not be able to hedge effectively due to lack of experience, unreasonable costs or illiquid markets.
The Company will require additional financing and there is no assurance that additional financing will be available when required.
The Company will require substantial additional capital in order to acquire or lease the Coachella land, develop the Coachella lands for use, develop the micropropagation laboratories and operate them, and complete construction of its initial AgriFORCE grow house which is anticipated to be commenced in the second quarter of 2021. The funds raised in this offering will not be sufficient and additional financing will be needed for this purpose and for other purposes. The Company plans to achieve this additional financing through equity and/ or debt financing which will likely be dilutive to the position of then current shareholders. However, there is no assurance that this financing will be available when required. Specifically, there is no assurance that the Company will be able to raise any additional equity financing through its shares given that the viability of the Company’s AgriFORCE grow houses will not be demonstrated until after construction is complete. In addition, there is no assurance that the Company will be able to secure debt financing given its low asset base and its current lack of revenues.
The Company had negative cash flow for the year ended December 31, 2020 and the three months ended March 31, 2021.
The Company had negative operating cash flow for year ended December 31, 2020 and the three months ended March 31, 2021. To the extent that the Company has negative operating cash flow in future periods, it may need to allocate a portion of its cash reserves to fund such negative cash flow. The Company may also be required to raise additional funds through the issuance of equity or debt securities. There can be no assurance that the Company will be able to generate a positive cash flow from its operations, that additional capital or other types of financing will be available when needed or that these financings will be on terms favorable to the Company. The Company’s actual financial position and results of operations may differ materially from the expectations of the Company’s management.
The Company’s actual financial position and results of operations may differ materially from the expectations of the Company’s management.
The Company’s actual financial position and results of operations may differ materially from management’s expectations. The process for estimating the Company’s revenue, net income and cash flow requires the use of judgment in determining the appropriate assumptions and estimates. These estimates and assumptions may be revised as additional information becomes available and as additional analyses are performed. In addition, the assumptions used in planning may not prove to be accurate, and other factors may affect the Company’s financial condition or results of operations. As a result, the Company’s revenue, net income and cash flow may differ materially from the Company’s projected revenue, net income and cash flow.
The Company expects to incur significant ongoing costs and obligations related to its investment in infrastructure, growth, regulatory compliance and operations.
The Company expects to incur significant ongoing costs and obligations related to its investment in its initial AgriFORCE grow houses. To the extent that these costs may be greater than anticipated or the Company may not be able to generate revenues or raise additional financing to cover these costs, these operating expenses could have a material adverse impact on the Company’s results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. In addition, future changes in regulations, more vigorous enforcement thereof or other unanticipated events could require extensive changes to the design and operation of the Company’s AgriFORCE grow houses, which could increase construction costs and have a material adverse effect on the business, results of operations and financial condition of the Company. The Company’s efforts to construct its AgriFORCE grow houses and grow its business may be costlier than the Company expects, and the Company may not be able to recover sufficient revenues to offset its higher operating expenses. The Company may incur significant losses in the future for a number of reasons, including, unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications and delays, and other unknown events. If the Company is unable to achieve and sustain profitability, the market price of our securities may significantly decrease.
There is no assurance the Company will be able to repatriate or distribute funds for investment from the United States to Canada or elsewhere.
In the event that any of the Company’s investments, or any proceeds thereof, any dividends or distributions there from, or any profits or revenues accruing from such investments in the United States were found to be in violation of money laundering legislation or otherwise, such transactions may be viewed as proceeds of crime under applicable federal laws, rules and regulations or any other applicable legislation. This could restrict or otherwise jeopardize the ability of the Company to declare or pay dividends, effect other distributions or subsequently repatriate such funds back to Canada or elsewhere.
The Company may not be able to effectively manage its growth and operations, which could materially and adversely affect its business.
If the Company implements it business plan as intended, it may in the future experience rapid growth and development in a relatively short period of time. The management of this growth will require, among other things, continued development of the Company’s financial and management controls and management information systems, stringent control of costs, the ability to attract and retain qualified management personnel and the training of new personnel. The Company intends to utilize outsourced resources, and hire additional personnel, to manage its expected growth and expansion. Failure to successfully manage its possible growth and development could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business and the value of the Shares.
The Company may face significant competition from other facilities.
Many other businesses in California engage in similar activities to the Company, leasing commercial space to agricultural producers generally, and providing additional products and services to similar customers. The Company cannot assure you that it will be able to compete successfully against current and future competitors. Competitive pressures faced by the Company could have a material adverse effect on its business, operating results and financial condition.
If we are unable to protect our intellectual property, our business may be adversely affected.
We must protect the proprietary nature of the intellectual property used in our business. There can be no assurance that trade secrets and other intellectual property will not be challenged, invalidated, misappropriated or circumvented by third parties. Currently, our intellectual property includes provisional patents, patent applications, trademarks, trademark applications and know-how related to business, product and technology development. We plan on taking the necessary steps, including but not limited to the filing of additional patents as appropriate. There is no assurance any additional patents will issue or that when they do issue they will include all of the claims currently included in the applications. Even if they do issue, those new patents and our existing patents must be protected against possible infringement. Nonetheless, we currently rely on contractual obligations of our employees and contractors to maintain the confidentiality of our products. To compete effectively, we need to develop and continue to maintain a proprietary position with respect to our technologies, and business. The risks and uncertainties that we face with respect to intellectual property rights principally include the following:
|●||Currently, we only have provisional protection, which may not result in full patents being granted, and any full patent applications that we file may not result in issued patents or may take longer than expected to result in issued patents;|
|●||we may be subject to interference proceedings;|
|●||other companies may claim that patents applied for by, assigned or licensed to, us infringe upon their own intellectual property rights;|
|●||we may be subject to trademark opposition proceedings in the U.S. and in foreign countries;|
|●||any patents that are issued to us may not provide meaningful protection;|
|●||we may not be able to develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable;|
|●||other companies may challenge patents licensed or issued to us as invalid, unenforceable or not infringed;|
|●||other companies may independently develop similar or alternative technologies, or duplicate our technologies;|
|●||other companies may design around technologies that we have licensed or developed;|
|●||any patents issued to us may expire and competitors may utilize the technology found in such patents to commercialize their own products; and|
|●||enforcement of patents is complex, uncertain and expensive.|
It is also possible that others may obtain issued patents that could prevent us from commercializing certain aspects of our products or require us to obtain licenses requiring the payment of significant fees or royalties in order to enable us to conduct our business. If we license patents, our rights will depend on maintaining our obligations to the licensor under the applicable license agreement, and we may be unable to do so. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that the work-for-hire, intellectual property assignment and confidentiality agreements entered into by our employees and consultants, advisors and collaborators will provide meaningful protection for our trade secrets, know-how or other proprietary information in the event of any unauthorized use or disclosure of such trade secrets, know- how or other proprietary information. The scope and enforceability of patent claims are not systematically predictable with absolute accuracy. The strength of our own patent rights depends, in part, upon the breadth and scope of protection provided by the patent and the validity of our patents, if any.
We operate in an industry with the risk of intellectual property litigation. Claims of infringement against us may hurt our business.
Our success depends, in part, upon non-infringement of intellectual property rights owned by others and being able to resolve claims of intellectual property infringement without major financial expenditures or adverse consequences. Participants that own, or claim to own, intellectual property may aggressively assert their rights. From time to time, we may be subject to legal proceedings and claims relating to the intellectual property rights of others. Future litigation may be necessary to defend us or our clients by determining the scope, enforceability, and validity of third-party proprietary rights or to establish its proprietary rights. Some competitors have substantially greater resources and are able to sustain the costs of complex intellectual property litigation to a greater degree and for longer periods of time. In addition, patent holding companies that focus solely on extracting royalties and settlements by enforcing patent rights may target us. Regardless of whether claims that we are infringing patents or other intellectual property rights have any merit, these claims are time-consuming and costly to evaluate and defend and could:
|●||adversely affect relationships with future clients;|
|●||cause delays or stoppages in providing products;|
|●||divert management’s attention and resources;|
|●||require technology changes to our platform that would cause our Company to incur substantial cost;|
|●||subject us to significant liabilities; and|
|●||require us to cease some or all of its activities.|
In addition to liability for monetary damages, which may be tripled and may include attorneys’ fees, or, in some circumstances, damages against clients, we may be prohibited from developing, commercializing, or continuing to provide some or all of our products unless we obtain licenses from, and pay royalties to, the holders of the patents or other intellectual property rights, which may not be available on commercially favorable terms, or at all.
We have limited foreign intellectual property rights and may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights throughout the world.
We have limited intellectual property rights outside the United States. Filing, prosecuting and defending patents on devices in all countries throughout the world would be prohibitively expensive, and our intellectual property rights in some countries outside the United States can be less extensive than those in the United States. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect intellectual property to the same extent as laws in the United States. Consequently, we may not be able to prevent third parties from practicing our inventions in all countries outside the United States, or from selling or importing products made using our inventions in and into the United States or other jurisdictions. Competitors may use our technologies in jurisdictions where we have not obtained patents to develop their own products and further, may export otherwise infringing products to territories where we have patents, but enforcement is not as strong as that in the United States.
Many companies have encountered significant problems in protecting and defending intellectual property in foreign jurisdictions. The legal systems of certain countries, particularly China and certain other developing countries, do not favor the enforcement of patents, trade secrets and other intellectual property, which could make it difficult for us to stop the infringement of our patents or marketing of competing products in violation of our proprietary rights generally. To date, we have not sought to enforce any issued patents in these foreign jurisdictions. Proceedings to enforce our patent rights in foreign jurisdictions could result in substantial costs and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business, could put our patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly and our patent applications at risk of not issuing and could provoke third parties to assert claims against us. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate and the damages or other remedies awarded, if any, may not be commercially meaningful. The requirements for patentability may differ in certain countries, particularly developing countries. Certain countries in Europe and developing countries, including China and India, have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner may be compelled to grant licenses to third parties. In those countries, we and our licensors may have limited remedies if patents are infringed or if we or our licensors are compelled to grant a license to a third party, which could materially diminish the value of those patents. This could limit our potential revenue opportunities. Accordingly, our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights around the world may be inadequate to obtain a significant commercial advantage from the intellectual property that we develop or license.
If we are unable to obtain or defend our patents, our business could be materially adversely affected.
Our patent position is highly uncertain and involves complex legal and factual questions. Accordingly, we cannot predict the breadth of claims that may be allowed or enforced under our patents or in third-party patents. For example, we might not have been the first to make the inventions covered by each of our pending patent applications and provisional patents; we might not have been the first to file patent applications for these inventions; others may independently develop similar or alternative technologies or duplicate any of our technologies; it is possible that none of our pending patent applications will result in issued patents; our issued patents may not provide a basis for commercially viable technologies, or may not provide us with any competitive advantages, or may be challenged and invalidated by third parties; and, we may not develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable.
As a result, our owned and licensed patents may not be valid and we may not be able to obtain and enforce patents and to maintain trade secret protection for the full commercial extent of our technology. The extent to which we are unable to do so could materially harm our business.
We have applied for and will continue to apply for patents for certain products. Such applications may not result in the issuance of any patents, and any patents now held or that may be issued may not provide us with adequate protection from competition. Furthermore, it is possible that patents issued or licensed to us may be challenged successfully. In that event, if we have a preferred competitive position because of such patents, such preferred position would be lost. If we are unable to secure or to continue to maintain a preferred position, we could become subject to competition from the sale of generic products. Failure to receive, inability to protect, or expiration of our patents would adversely affect our business and operations.
Patents issued or licensed to us may be infringed by the products or processes of others. The cost of enforcing our patent rights against infringers, if such enforcement is required, could be significant, and we do not currently have the financial resources to fund such litigation. Further, such litigation can go on for years and the time demands could interfere with our normal operations. We may become a party to patent litigation and other proceedings. The cost to us of any patent litigation, even if resolved in our favor, could be substantial. Many of our competitors may be able to sustain the costs of such litigation more effectively than we can because of their substantially greater financial resources. Litigation may also absorb significant management time.
Unpatented trade secrets, improvements, confidential know-how and continuing technological innovation are important to our scientific and commercial success. Although we attempt to and will continue to attempt to protect our proprietary information through reliance on trade secret laws and the use of confidentiality agreements with our partners, collaborators, employees and consultants, as well as through other appropriate means, these measures may not effectively prevent disclosure of our proprietary information, and, in any event, others may develop independently, or obtain access to, the same or similar information.
International intellectual property protection is particularly uncertain, and if we are involved in opposition proceedings in foreign countries, we may have to expend substantial sums and management resources.
Patent and other intellectual property law outside the United States is more uncertain and is continually undergoing review and revisions in many countries. Further, the laws of some foreign countries may not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. For example, certain countries do not grant patent claims that are directed to business methods and processes. In addition, we may have to participate in opposition proceedings to determine the validity of its foreign patents or its competitors’ foreign patents, which could result in substantial costs and diversion of its efforts and loss of credibility with customers.
If we are found to be infringing on patents or trade secrets owned by others, we may be forced to cease or alter our product development efforts, obtain a license to continue the development or sale of our products, and/or pay damages.
Our processes and potential products may violate proprietary rights of patents that have been or may be granted to competitors, universities or others, or the trade secrets of those persons and entities. As our industry expands and more patents are issued, the risk increases that our processes and potential products may give rise to claims that they infringe the patents or trade secrets of others. These other persons could bring legal actions against us claiming damages and seeking to enjoin manufacturing and marketing of the affected product or process. If any of these actions are successful, in addition to any potential liability for damages, we could be required to obtain a license in order to continue to manufacture or market the affected product or use the affected process. Required licenses may not be available on acceptable terms, if at all, and the results of litigation are uncertain. If we become involved in litigation or other proceedings, it could consume a substantial portion of our financial resources and the efforts of our personnel.
We rely on confidentiality agreements to protect our trade secrets. If these agreements are breached by our employees or other parties, our trade secrets may become known to our competitors.
We rely on trade secrets that we seek to protect through confidentiality agreements with our employees and other parties. If these agreements are breached, our competitors may obtain and use our trade secrets to gain a competitive advantage over us. We may not have any remedies against our competitors and any remedies that may be available to us may not be adequate to protect our business or compensate us for the damaging disclosure. In addition, we may have to expend resources to protect our interests from possible infringement by others.
We have a limited operating history on which to judge our business prospects and management.
Our company was incorporated and commenced operations in 2017. Accordingly, we have only a limited operating history upon which to base an evaluation of our business and prospects. Operating results for future periods are subject to numerous uncertainties and we cannot assure you that we will achieve or sustain profitability. Our prospects must be considered in light of the risks encountered by companies in the early stage of development, particularly companies in new and rapidly evolving markets. Future operating results will depend upon many factors, including increasing the number of affiliates, our success in attracting and retaining motivated and qualified personnel, our ability to establish short term credit lines, our ability to develop and market new products, control costs, and general economic conditions. We cannot assure you that we will successfully address any of these risks.
We may not be able to continue as a going concern.
The Company has incurred substantial operating losses since its inception, and expects to continue to incur significant operating losses for the foreseeable future and may never become profitable. As reflected in the financial statements, the Company had an accumulated deficit of approximately $12.5 million at December 31, 2020, a net loss of approximately $3.2 million, and approximately $1.9 million of net cash used in operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2020. The accompanying financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis, which contemplates the realization of assets and satisfaction of liabilities in the normal course of business. The financial statements do not include any adjustments relating to the recoverability and classification of recorded asset amounts or the amounts and classification of liabilities that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty. The Company anticipates incurring additional losses until such time, if ever, that it can obtain marketing approval to sell, and then generate significant sales, of its technology that is currently in development. As such it is likely that additional financing will be needed by the Company to fund its operations and to develop and commercialize its technology. These factors raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. Through this registration statement, the Company is seeking to obtain additional capital through the sale of equity to fund operations. The sale of additional equity may dilute existing shareholders and newly issued shares may contain senior rights and preferences compared to currently outstanding common shares.
Our management team has limited experience managing a public company, and regulatory compliance may divert our attention from the day-to-day management of our business.
Our management team has limited experience managing a publicly-traded company and limited experience complying with the increasingly complex laws pertaining to public companies. These obligations typically require substantial attention from our senior management and could divert our attention away from the day-to-day management of our business.
The Company may become subject to litigation, which may have a material adverse effect on the Company’s reputation, business, results from operations, and financial condition.
The Company may be named as a defendant in a lawsuit or regulatory action. The Company may also incur uninsured losses for liabilities which arise in the ordinary course of business, or which are unforeseen, including, but not limited to, employment liability and business loss claims. Any such losses could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations, sales, cash flow or financial condition.
If the Company is unable to attract and retain key personnel, it may not be able to compete effectively.
The Company’s success has depended and continues to depend upon its ability to attract and retain key management, including the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and technical experts. The Company will attempt to enhance its management and technical expertise by continuing to recruit qualified individuals who possess desired skills and experience in certain targeted areas. The Company’s inability to retain employees and attract and retain sufficient additional employees or engineering and technical support resources could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations, sales, cash flow or financial condition. Shortages in qualified personnel or the loss of key personnel could adversely affect the financial condition of the Company, results of operations of the business and could limit the Company’s ability to develop and market its intellectual property. The loss of any of the Company’s senior management or key employees could materially adversely affect the Company’s ability to execute the Company’s business plan and strategy, and the Company may not be able to find adequate replacements on a timely basis, or at all. The Company does not maintain key person life insurance policies on any of the Company’s employees.
The size of the Company’s initial target market is difficult to quantify and investors will be reliant on their own estimates on the accuracy of market data.
Because high growth crop technology is in an early stage with uncertain boundaries, there is a lack of information about comparable companies available for potential investors to review in deciding about whether to invest in the Company and, few, if any, established companies whose business model the Company can follow or upon whose success the Company can build. Accordingly, investors will have to rely on their own estimates in deciding about whether to invest in the Company. There can be no assurance that the Company’s estimates are accurate or that the market size is sufficiently large for its business to grow as projected, which may negatively impact its financial results. The Company regularly follows market research.
The Company’s industry is experiencing rapid growth and consolidation that may cause the Company to lose key relationships and intensify competition.
The agriculture industry and various verticals within it are undergoing rapid growth and substantial change, which has resulted in an increase in competitors, consolidation and formation of strategic relationships. Acquisitions or other consolidating transactions could harm the Company in a number of ways, including by losing strategic partners and or customers if they are acquired by or enter into relationships with a competitor, losing customers, revenue and market share, or forcing the Company to expend greater resources to meet new or additional competitive threats, all of which could harm the Company’s operating results. As competitors enter the market and become increasingly sophisticated, competition in the Company’s industry may intensify which could negatively impact its profitability.
The Company will be reliant on information technology systems and may be subject to damaging cyberattacks.
The Company’s operations depend, in part, on how well it and its suppliers protect networks, equipment, information technology systems and software against damage from a number of threats, including, but not limited to, cable cuts, damage to physical plants, natural disasters, intentional damage and destruction, fire, power loss, hacking, computer viruses, vandalism and theft. The Company’s operations also depend on the timely maintenance, upgrade and replacement of networks, equipment, IT systems and software, as well as pre-emptive expenses to mitigate the risks of failures. Any of these and other events could result in information system failures, delays and/or increase in capital expenses. The failure of information systems or a component of information systems could, depending on the nature of any such failure, adversely impact the Company’s reputation and results of operations.
The Company has not experienced any material losses to date relating to cyber-attacks or other information security breaches, but there can be no assurance that the Company will not incur such losses in the future. The Company’s risk and exposure to these matters cannot be fully mitigated because of, among other things, the evolving nature of these threats. As a result, cyber security and the continued development and enhancement of controls, processes and practices designed to protect systems, computers, software, data and networks from attack, damage or unauthorized access is a priority. As cyber threats continue to evolve, the Company may be required to expend additional resources to continue to modify or enhance protective measures or to investigate and remediate any security vulnerabilities.
The Company’s officers and directors may be engaged in a range of business activities resulting in conflicts of interest.
Although certain officers and board members of the Company are expected to be bound by anti-circumvention agreements limiting their ability to enter into competing and/or conflicting ventures or businesses, the Company may be subject to various potential conflicts of interest because some of its officers and directors may be engaged in a range of business activities. In addition, the Company’s executive officers and directors may devote time to their outside business interests, so long as such activities do not materially or adversely interfere with their duties to the Company. In some cases, the Company’s executive officers and directors may have fiduciary obligations associated with these business interests that interfere with their ability to devote time to the Company’s business and affairs and that could adversely affect the Company’s operations. These business interests could require significant time and attention of the Company’s executive officers and directors.
In addition, the Company may also become involved in other transactions which conflict with the interests of its directors and the officers who may from time to time deal with persons, firms, institutions or companies with which the Company may be dealing, or which may be seeking investments similar to those desired by it. The interests of these persons could conflict with those of the Company. In addition, from time to time, these persons may be competing with the Company for available investment opportunities. Conflicts of interest, if any, will be subject to the procedures and remedies provided under applicable laws. In particular, if such a conflict of interest arises at a meeting of the Company’s directors, a director who has such a conflict will abstain from voting for or against the approval of such participation or such terms. In accordance with applicable laws, the directors of the Company are required to act honestly, in good faith and in the best interests of the Company.
There is no guarantee that how the Company uses its available funds will yield the expected results or returns which could impact the business and financial condition of the Company.
The Company cannot specify with certainty the particular uses of available funds. Management has broad discretion in the application of its proceeds. Accordingly, a holder of Shares will have to rely upon the judgment of management with respect to the use of available funds, with only limited information concerning management’s specific intentions. The Company’s management may spend a portion or all of the available funds in ways that the Company’s shareholders might not desire, that might not yield a favorable return and that might not increase the value of a purchaser’s investment. The failure by management to apply these funds effectively could harm the Company’s business. Pending use of such funds, the Company might invest the available funds in a manner that does not produce income or that loses value.
Our Articles of incorporation, by-laws and certain Canadian legislation, contain provisions that may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control.
Certain provisions of our by-laws, together or separately, could discourage potential acquisition proposals, delay or prevent a change in control and limit the price that certain investors may be willing to pay for our common shares. For instance, our by-laws, to be effective upon the completion of this offering, contain provisions that establish certain advance notice procedures for nomination of candidates for election as directors at shareholders’ meetings.
The Investment Canada Act requires any person that is non-Canadian (as defined in the Investment Canada Act) who acquires “control” (as defined in the Investment Canada Act) of an existing Canadian business to file either a pre-closing application for review or notification with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. An acquisition of control is a reviewable transaction where prescribed financial thresholds are exceeded. The Investment Canada Act generally prohibits the implementation of a reviewable transaction unless, after review, the relevant Minister is satisfied that the acquisition is likely to be of net benefit to Canada. Under the national security regime in the Investment Canada Act, the federal government may undertake a discretionary review of a broader range of investments by a non-Canadian to determine whether such an investment by a non-Canadian could be “injurious to national security.” Review on national security grounds is at the discretion of the federal government and may occur on a pre- or post-closing basis.
Furthermore, limitations on the ability to acquire and hold our common shares may be imposed by the Competition Act (Canada). This legislation permits the Commissioner of Competition to review any acquisition or establishment, directly or indirectly, including through the acquisition of shares, of control over or of a significant interest in us. This legislation grants the Commissioner of Competition jurisdiction, for up to one year, to challenge this type of acquisition before the Canadian Competition Tribunal on the basis that it would, or would be likely to, substantially prevent or lessen competition. This legislation also requires any person who intends to acquire our common shares to file a notification with the Canadian Competition Bureau if (i) that person (and their affiliates) would hold, in the aggregate, more than 20% of all of our outstanding voting shares, (ii) certain financial thresholds are exceeded, and (iii) no exemption applies. Where a person (and their affiliates) already holds, in the aggregate, more than 20% of all of our outstanding voting shares, a notification must be filed if (i) the acquisition of additional shares would bring that person’s (and their affiliates) holdings to over 50%, (ii) certain financial thresholds are exceeded and (iii) no exemption applies. Where a notification is required, the legislation prohibits completion of the acquisition until the expiration of the applicable statutory waiting period, unless compliance with the waiting period has been waived or the Commissioner of Competition provides written notice that he does not intend to challenge the acquisition. The Commissioner of Competition’s review of a notifiable transaction for substantive competition law considerations may take longer than the statutory waiting period.
We are governed by the corporate laws of British Columbia, Canada which in some cases have a different effect on shareholders than the corporate laws of the United States.
We are incorporated under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) and other relevant laws, which may affect the rights of shareholders differently than those of a company governed by the laws of a U.S. jurisdiction, and may, together with our charter documents, have the effect of delaying, deferring or discouraging another party from acquiring control of our company by means of a tender offer, a proxy contest or otherwise, or may affect the price an acquiring party would be willing to offer in such an instance. The material differences between the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) and Delaware General Corporation Law, or DGCL, that may have the greatest such effect include, but are not limited to, the following: (i) for certain corporate transactions (such as mergers and amalgamations or amendments to our articles) the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) generally requires the voting threshold to be a special resolution approved by 66 2/3% of shareholders, or as set out in the articles, as applicable, whereas DGCL generally only requires a majority vote; and (ii) under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) a holder of 5% or more of our common shares can requisition a special meeting of shareholders, whereas such right does not exist under the DGCL. We cannot predict whether investors will find our company and our common shares less attractive because we are governed by foreign laws.
Risks Related to this Offering and the Ownership of Our Common Shares
We have broad discretion in the use of the net proceeds from this offering and may use the net proceeds in ways with which you disagree.
Our management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds from this offering and could spend the proceeds in ways that do not improve our results of operations or enhance the value of our securities. You will be relying on the judgment of our management with regard to the use of these net proceeds, and you will not have the opportunity, as part of your investment decision, to assess whether the net proceeds are being used appropriately. The failure by our management to apply these funds effectively could result in financial losses that could have a material adverse effect on our business, cause the price of our securities to decline and delay the development of our product candidates. Pending the application of these funds, we may invest the net proceeds from this offering in a manner that does not produce income or that loses value.
Investors in this offering will experience immediate and substantial dilution in net tangible book value (deficit).
You will incur immediate and substantial dilution as a result of this offering. After giving effect to the sale by us of 2,719,999 common shares based on a public offering price of $4.99 per share, and after deducting the underwriter’s discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, investors in this offering can expect an immediate dilution of $4.13 per share.
We have also issued options in the past to acquire common shares at prices significantly below the initial offering price. As of July 7, 2021, there were 742,276 common shares subject to outstanding options with a weighted-average exercise price of $5.58 per share. To the extent that these outstanding options are ultimately exercised, you will incur further dilution, and our stock price may decline. To the extent that additional or outstanding options or warrants are granted and/or exercised you will experience further dilution. See “Dilution” for a more complete description of how the value of your investment in our common shares will be diluted upon the completion of this offering.
A sustained, active trading market for our common shares or Series A Warrants may not develop or be maintained which may limit investors’ ability to sell shares at all or at an acceptable price.
As we are in our early stage of development, an investment in our Company will likely require a long-term commitment, with no certainty of return. There is currently no trading market for our common shares or Series A Warrants and we cannot predict whether an active market for our securities will ever develop or be sustained in the future. In the absence of an active trading market:
|●||investors may have difficulty buying and selling or obtaining market quotations;|
market visibility for our common shares, and Series A Warrants may be limited; and
a lack of visibility for our common shares and Series A Warrants may have a depressive effect on the market price for our common shares.
The lack of an active market impairs your ability to sell your securities at the time you wish to sell them or at a price that you consider reasonable. The lack of an active market may also reduce the fair market value of your securities. An inactive market may also impair our ability to raise capital to continue to fund operations by selling securities and may impair our ability to acquire additional assets by using our securities as consideration.
There is no established trading market for our securities; further, our common shares and Series A Warrants will be subject to potential delisting if we do not maintain the listing requirements of the NASDAQ Capital Market.
This offering constitutes our initial public offering of units consisting of one common share and one Series A Warrant. No public market for these securities currently exists. We have listed our common shares and Series A Warrants on the NASDAQ Capital Market, or NASDAQ. Even though these shares are listed on NASDAQ, there can be no assurance that an active trading market for these securities will develop or be sustained after this offering is completed. The initial offering price has been determined by negotiations among the lead underwriter and us. Among the factors considered in determining the initial offering price were our future prospects and the prospects of our industry in general, our revenue, net income and certain other financial and operating information in recent periods, and the financial ratios, market prices of securities and certain financial and operating information of companies engaged in activities similar to ours. However, there can be no assurance that following this offering our common shares will trade at a price equal to or greater than the offering price.
In addition, NASDAQ has rules for continued listing, including, without limitation, minimum market capitalization and other requirements. Failure to maintain our listing, or de-listing from NASDAQ, would make it more difficult for shareholders to dispose of our securities and more difficult to obtain accurate price quotations on our securities. This could have an adverse effect on the price of our common shares. Our ability to issue additional securities for financing or other purposes, or otherwise to arrange for any financing we may need in the future, may also be materially and adversely affected if our common shares and/or other securities are not traded on a national securities exchange.
The requirements of being a public company may strain our resources, divert management’s attention and affect our results of operations.
As a public company in the United States, we will face increased legal, accounting, administrative and other costs and expenses. After the consummation of this offering, we will be subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Exchange Act requires, among other things, that we file annual, quarterly and current reports with respect to our business and financial condition. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. For example, Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires that our management report on the effectiveness of our internal controls structure and procedures for financial reporting. Section 404 compliance may divert internal resources and will take a significant amount of time and effort to complete. If we fail to maintain compliance under Section 404, or if in the future management determines that our internal control over financial reporting are not effective as defined under Section 404, we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by NASDAQ should we in the future be listed on this market, the SEC, or other regulatory authorities. Furthermore, investor perceptions of our Company may suffer, and this could cause a decline in the market price of our common shares. Any failure of our internal control over financial reporting could have a material adverse effect on our stated results of operations and harm our reputation. If we are unable to implement these changes effectively or efficiently, it could harm our operations, financial reporting or financial results and could result in an adverse opinion on internal controls from our independent auditors. We may need to hire a number of additional employees with public accounting and disclosure experience in order to meet our ongoing obligations as a public company, particularly if we become fully subject to Section 404 and its auditor attestation requirements, which will increase costs. We expect these rules and regulations to increase our legal and financial compliance costs and to make some activities more time consuming and costly, although we are currently unable to estimate these costs with any degree of certainty. A number of those requirements will require us to carry out activities we have not done previously. Our management team and other personnel will need to devote a substantial amount of time to new compliance initiatives and to meeting the obligations that are associated with being a public company, which may divert attention from other business concerns, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Additionally, the expenses incurred by public companies generally for reporting and corporate governance purposes have been increasing. These increased costs will require us to divert a significant amount of money that we could otherwise use to develop our business. If we are unable to satisfy our obligations as a public company, we could be subject to delisting of our common shares, fines, sanctions and other regulatory action and potentially civil litigation.
New laws, regulations, and standards relating to corporate governance and public disclosure may create uncertainty for public companies, increasing legal and financial compliance costs and making some activities more time consuming.
These laws, regulations and standards are subject to varying interpretations, in many cases due to their lack of specificity, and, as a result, may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by the courts and other bodies. This could result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices. If our efforts to comply with new laws, regulations, and standards differ from the activities intended by regulatory or governing bodies due to ambiguities related to their application and practice, regulatory authorities may initiate legal proceedings against us and our business may be adversely affected.
As a public company subject to these rules and regulations, we may find it more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain coverage. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members of our Board of Directors, particularly to serve on its audit committee and compensation committee, and qualified executive officers.
The market price of our common shares and Series A Warrants may be volatile, and you may not be able to resell your common shares and Series A Warrants at or above the initial public offering price.
The market price for our common shares and Series A Warrants may be volatile and subject to wide fluctuations in response to factors including the following:
|●||actual or anticipated fluctuations in our quarterly or annual operating results;|
|●||changes in financial or operational estimates or projections;|
|●||conditions in markets generally;|
|●||changes in the economic performance or market valuations of companies similar to ours;|
|●||general economic or political conditions in the United States or elsewhere;|
|●||any delay in development of our products or services;|
|●||our failure to comply with regulatory requirements;|
|●||our inability to commercially launch products and services and market and generate sales of our products and services,|
|●||developments or disputes concerning our intellectual property rights;|
|●||our or our competitors’ technological innovations;|
|●||general and industry-specific economic conditions that may affect our expenditures;|
|●||changes in market valuations of similar companies;|
|●||announcements by us or our competitors of significant contracts, acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures, capital commitments, new technologies, or patents;|
|●||future sales of our common shares or other securities, including shares issuable upon the exercise of outstanding warrants or convertible securities or otherwise issued pursuant to certain contractual rights;|
period-to-period fluctuations in our financial results; and
|●||low or high trading volume of our common shares due to many factors, including the terms of our financing arrangements.|
In addition, if we fail to reach an important research, development or commercialization milestone or result by a publicly expected deadline, even if by only a small margin, there could be significant impact on the market price of our common shares. Additionally, as we approach the announcement of anticipated significant information and as we announce such information, we expect the price of our common shares to be particularly volatile and negative results would have a substantial negative impact on the price of our common shares and Series A Warrants.
In addition, in recent years, the stock market in general has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations. This volatility has had a significant effect on the market price of securities issued by many companies, including for reasons unrelated to their operating performance. These broad market fluctuations may adversely affect our stock price, notwithstanding our operating results. The market price of our common shares and Series A Warrants will fluctuate and there can be no assurances about the levels of the market prices for our common shares and Series A Warrants.
In some cases, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, shareholders have often instituted class action securities litigation against those companies. Such litigation, if instituted, could result in substantial costs and diversion of management attention and resources, which could significantly harm our business operations and reputation.
As an “emerging growth company” under applicable law, we will be subject to lessened disclosure requirements, which could leave our shareholders without information or rights available to shareholders of more mature companies.
For as long as we remain an “emerging growth company” as defined in the JOBS Act, we have elected to take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not “emerging growth companies” including, but not limited to:
|●||not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act;|
|●||being permitted to provide only two years of audited financial statements, in addition to any required unaudited interim financial statements, with correspondingly reduced “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” disclosure;|
|reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports, proxy statements and registration statements; and|
taking advantage of an extension of time to comply with new or revised financial accounting standard;
|●||exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and shareholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved.|
We expect to take advantage of these reporting exemptions until we are no longer an “emerging growth company.” Because of these lessened regulatory requirements, our shareholders would be left without information or rights available to shareholders of more mature companies. We cannot predict whether investors will find our common shares less attractive if we rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common shares less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common shares and our stock price may be more volatile.
We are also a “smaller reporting company” as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act and have elected to follow certain scaled disclosure requirements available to smaller reporting companies.
Because we have elected to use the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards for an “emerging growth company” our financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with public company effective dates.
We have elected to use the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards under Section 102(b)(1) of the JOBS Act. This election allows us to delay the adoption of new or revised accounting standards that have different effective dates for public and private companies until those standards apply to private companies. As a result of this election, our financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with public company effective dates and may contain less or more modified disclosure than those public companies. Because our financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with public company effective dates, investors may have difficulty evaluating or comparing our business, performance or prospects in comparison to other public companies, which may have a negative impact on the value and liquidity of our common shares.
FINRA sales practice requirements may also limit your ability to buy and sell our common shares, which could depress the price of our shares.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) rules require broker-dealers to have reasonable grounds for believing that an investment is suitable for a customer before recommending that investment to the customer. Prior to recommending speculative low-priced securities to their non-institutional customers, broker-dealers must make reasonable efforts to obtain information about the customer’s financial status, tax status and investment objectives, among other things. Under interpretations of these rules, FINRA believes that there is a high probability such speculative low-priced securities will not be suitable for at least some customers. Thus, FINRA requirements make it more difficult for broker-dealers to recommend that their customers buy our common shares, which may limit your ability to buy and sell our shares, have an adverse effect on the market for our shares, and thereby depress our share price.
If research analysts do not publish research about our business or if they issue unfavorable commentary or downgrade our common shares or Series A Warrants, our securities’ price and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for our securities may depend in part on the research and reports that research analysts publish about us and our business. If we do not maintain adequate research coverage, or if any of the analysts who cover us downgrade our stock or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, the price of our common shares and Series A Warrants could decline. If one or more of our research analysts ceases to cover our business or fails to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our securities could decrease, which could cause the price of our common shares and Series A Warrants or trading volume to decline.
We may issue additional equity securities, or engage in other transactions that could dilute our book value or relative rights of our common shares, which may adversely affect the market price of our common shares and Series A Warrants.
Our Board of Directors may determine from time to time that it needs to raise additional capital by issuing additional shares of our common shares or other securities. Except as otherwise described in this prospectus, we will not be restricted from issuing additional common shares, including securities that are convertible into or exchangeable for, or that represent the right to receive, shares of our common shares. Because our decision to issue securities in any future offering will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing, or nature of any future offerings, or the prices at which such offerings may be affected. Additional equity offerings may dilute the holdings of existing shareholders or reduce the market price of our common shares and Series A Warrants, or all of them. Holders of our securities are not entitled to pre-emptive rights or other protections against dilution. New investors also may have rights, preferences and privileges that are senior to, and that adversely affect, then-current holders of our securities. Additionally, if we raise additional capital by making offerings of debt or preference shares, upon our liquidation, holders of our debt securities and preference shares, and lenders with respect to other borrowings, may receive distributions of its available assets before the holders of our common shares.
An investment in our Series A Warrants is speculative in nature and could result in a loss of your investment therein.
The Series A Warrants offered in this offering do not confer any rights of common share ownership on their holders, such as voting rights or the right to receive dividends, but rather merely represent the right to acquire shares of our common shares at a fixed price for a limited period of time. Specifically, commencing on the date of issuance, holders of the Series A Warrants may exercise their right to acquire the common shares and pay an exercise price of $6.00 per share (120% of the public offering price of our common shares and Series A Warrants in this offering), prior to three years from the date of issuance, after which date any unexercised Series A Warrants will expire and have no further value. Moreover, following this offering, the market value of the Series A Warrants is uncertain and there can be no assurance that the market value of the Series A Warrants will equal or exceed their public offering price. There can be no assurance that the market price of the common shares will ever equal or exceed the exercise price of the Series A Warrants, and consequently, whether it will ever be profitable for holders of the Series A Warrants to exercise the Series A Warrants.
Our Series A Warrants and contain a provision which only permits securities claims to be brought in federal court.
Section 11 of our Series A Warrants states in relevant part: “The Company hereby irrevocably submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts sitting in The City of New York, Borough of Manhattan (except for claims brought under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which must be brought in federal court)”. Therefore any claims with respect to our Series A Warrants brought under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Securities Exchange Act must be brought in federal court while all other claims may be brought in federal or state court. Proceedings in federal court may be more expensive than in state court due to more comprehensive rules on how discovery and motion and trial practice are handled. This provision may have a dampening effect on claims brought under these securities laws or limit the ability of the investor to bring a claim in the jurisdiction it deems more favorable. This provision is likely enforceable as requirements regarding bringing securities claims have been met, but it may have the overall effect of discouraging litigation due to the circumstances described herein.
We do not currently intend to pay dividends on our common shares in the foreseeable future, and consequently, your ability to achieve a return on your investment will depend on appreciation in the price of our common shares.
We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our common shares and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends to holders of our common shares in the foreseeable future. Consequently, investors must rely on sales of their common shares after price appreciation, which may never occur, as the only way to realize any future gains on their investments. There is no guarantee that our common shares will appreciate in value or even maintain the price at which our shareholders have purchased their shares.
SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This prospectus contains forward-looking statements concerning our business, operations and financial performance and condition, as well as our plans, objectives and expectations for our business operations and financial performance and condition. Any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “aim”, “anticipate”, “assume”, “believe”, “contemplate”, “continue”, “could”, “due”, “estimate”, “expect”, “goal”, “intend”, “may”, “objective”, “plan”, “predict”, “potential”, “positioned”, “pioneer”, “seek”, “should”, “target”, “will”, “would” and other similar expressions that are predictions of or indicate future events and future trends, or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology.
These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about:
|●||our use of net proceeds from this offering;|
|●||the continued development and growth of the demand and markets for high technology agricultural crops;|
|●||our ability to raise future capital through debt or equity financing transactions;|
|●||our ability to attract and retain key employees;|
|●||our ability to manage growth in our business; and|
|●||our ability to identify and successfully execute strategic partnerships.|
Although we base the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus on assumptions that we believe are reasonable, we caution you that actual results and developments (including our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which we operate) may differ materially from those made in or suggested by the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus. In addition, even if results and developments are consistent with the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus, those results and developments may not be indicative of results or developments in subsequent periods. Certain assumptions made in preparing the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus include:
|●||our ability to implement our growth strategies;|
|●||our ability to complete the construction of our facilities on time and on budget;|
|●||our competitive advantages;|
|●||the development of new proprietary solutions for various other agriculture crops and growing systems;|
|●||our ability to obtain and maintain financing on acceptable terms;|
|●||the impact of competition;|
|●||the changes and trends in the agriculture industry;|
|●||changes in laws, rules and regulations;|
|●||our ability to obtain construction permits and associated licenses;|
|●||our ability to maintain good business relationships with our exclusive independent operators and strategic partners;|
|●||our ability to keep pace with changing consumer preferences;|
|●||our ability to protect our intellectual property;|
|●||our ability to identify, manage and integrate acquisitions;|
|●||our ability to retain key personnel; and|
|●||the absence of material adverse changes in our industry or the global economy, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.|
These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about our business and the industry in which we operate and management’s beliefs and assumptions, and are not guarantees of future performance or development and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are in some cases beyond our control. As a result, any or all of our forward-looking statements in this prospectus may turn out to be inaccurate. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, those listed under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus. Potential investors are urged to consider these factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this prospectus. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, even if new information becomes available in the future. You should, however, review the factors and risks we describe in the reports we will file from time to time with the SEC, after the date of this prospectus. See “Where You Can Find More Information”.
This prospectus contains estimates, projections and other information concerning our industry, our business, and the markets for our products. Information that is based on estimates, forecasts, projections, market research or similar methodologies is inherently subject to uncertainties, and actual events or circumstances may differ materially from events and circumstances that are assumed in this information. Unless otherwise expressly stated, we obtained this industry, business, market and other data from our own internal estimates and research as well as from reports, research surveys, studies and similar data prepared by market research firms and other third parties, industry, medical and general publications, government data and similar sources.
In addition, assumptions and estimates of our and our industry’s future performance are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in “Risk Factors”. These and other factors could cause our future performance to differ materially from our assumptions and estimates.
USE OF PROCEEDS
We estimate that the net proceeds from the sale of 2,719,999 units will be approximately $11.8 million, or approximately $13.7 million if the underwriter exercises in full its option to purchase additional units, based on the initial public offering price of $5.00 per unit, after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. This estimate excludes the proceeds, if any, from the exercise of the Series A Warrants in this offering. If all of the Series A Warrants sold in this offering were to be exercised in cash at an exercise price of $6.00 per share, we would receive additional net proceeds of approximately $16.3 million. We cannot predict when or if these Series A Warrants will be exercised. It is possible that these Series A Warrants may expire and may never be exercised.
The expected use of net proceeds of this offering represents our current intentions based upon our present plan and business conditions. As of the date of this prospectus, we cannot specify with certainty all of the particular uses for the net proceeds to be received upon the completion of this offering. The amounts and timing of our actual use of net proceeds will vary depending on numerous factors. As a result, management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds, and investors will be relying on our judgment regarding the application of the net proceeds of this offering. We currently estimate that we will use the net proceeds from this offering as follows: for the acquisition of land, completion of associated infrastructure, constructing or purchasing our initial micropropagation and R&D facility, constructing our first working facility, repayment of certain senior secured indebtedness and for funding our working capital and general corporate purposes. We have presumed that we will receive aggregate gross proceeds of $13.6 million and deducted $1.8 million payable in offering costs, commissions and fees.
With regard to the repayment of certain senior secured indebtedness, the use of proceeds of which was general working capital. On March 24, 2021, the Company entered into a securities purchase agreement with certain accredited investors for the purchase of $750,000 in principal amount ($600,000 subscription amount) of senior secured debentures originally due June 24, 2021 (the “Bridge Loan”). On June 24, 2021, the due date was extended to July 12, 2021. The imputed interest rate is encompassed within the original issue discount of the debentures and no additional cash interest shall be due.
The use of the proceeds represents management’s estimates based upon current business and economic conditions. We reserve the right to use of the net proceeds we receive in the offering in any manner we consider to be appropriate. Although our Company does not contemplate changes in the proposed use of proceeds, to the extent we find that adjustment is required for other uses by reason of existing business conditions, the use of proceeds may be adjusted. The actual use of the proceeds of this offering could differ materially from those outlined above as a result of several factors including those set forth under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus.
Pending the use of the net proceeds of this offering, we intend to invest the net proceeds in short-term investment-grade, interest-bearing securities.
MARKET FOR OUR COMMON SHARES AND RELATED SHAREHOLDER MATTERS
Our common shares are not quoted on any market, and never have been.
As of July 7, 2021, we had 395 shareholders of record of our common shares.
We have listed our common shares on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “AGRI.” In conjunction therewith, we also have listed our Series A Warrants listed on The NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “AGRIW”. No assurance can be given that a trading market will develop.
We have never paid any cash dividends on our common shares. We anticipate that we will retain funds and future earnings to support operations and to finance the growth and development of our business. Therefore, we do not expect to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future following this offering. Any future determination to pay dividends will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements and other factors that our Board of Directors deems relevant. In addition, the terms of any future debt or credit financings may preclude us from paying dividends.
The following table sets forth our capitalization and cash as of March 31, 2021:
|●||on an actual basis;|
|●||on a pro forma as adjusted basis to reflect the sale by us of an assumed 2,719,999 units at a combined initial public offering price of $5.00 per unit, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering costs payable by us; and|
on a pro forma as adjusted basis to reflect the repayment of senior secured debentures.
The pro forma as adjusted information below is illustrative only and our capitalization following the completion of this offering will be adjusted based on the actual public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing.
You should read this table together with the section in this prospectus entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. Numbers are expressed in thousands (U.S. dollars) except share and per share data.
|As of March 31, 2021|
|Capitalization in U.S. Dollars in thousands (except share data)||Actual||As Adjusted|
|Notes payable and senior secured debentures||296||32|
|Preferred Shares, no par value per share - unlimited shares authorized; 2,258,826 shares issued and outstanding; nil shares issued and outstanding pro forma as adjusted.||6,718||-|
|Common stock, no par value per share - unlimited shares authorized; 8,471,617 shares issued and outstanding; 13,450,442 shares issued and outstanding pro forma as adjusted||$||5,876||$||24,342|
|Additional paid in capital||1,388||1,415|
|Obligation to issue shares||104||104|
|Accumulated other comprehensive income||132||132|
|Total stockholders’ equity||811||12,101|
The number of common shares that will be outstanding after this offering set forth above is based on 8,471,617 common shares outstanding as of March 31, 2021, and includes the following:
|●||2,258,826 common shares issuable upon the conversion of outstanding Series A Preferred Shares (consisting of all principal amounts and accrued and unpaid interest thereon) in the event of a Public Offering.|
Unless specifically stated otherwise, all information in this prospectus assumes:
|●||no exercise of the outstanding options or warrants described above;|
|●||no exercise by the underwriter of their option to purchase additional common shares and/or Series A Warrants to purchase our common shares to cover over-allotments, if any; and|
|●||no exercise of the representatives’ warrant.|
If you invest in our units in this offering, your ownership interest will be diluted to the extent of the difference between the initial public offering price per common share of in this offering and the as adjusted net tangible book value per share immediately after this offering. We calculate net tangible book value per share by dividing our net tangible book value, which is tangible assets less total liabilities less debt discounts, by the number of our outstanding common shares as of December 31, 2020, assuming no value is attributed to the Series A Warrants and such Series A Warrants are accounted for and classified as equity. Our historical net tangible book value as of March 31, 2021, was approximately $0.3 million or $0.04 per common share.
After giving effect to the sale of 2,719,999 $5.00 per unit (including $4.99 per common share and $0.01 per Series A Warrant), after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering costs payable by us, our as adjusted net tangible book value (deficit) as of March 31, 2021, would have been approximately $11.6 million, or $0.86 per common share and accompanying Series A Warrant. This represents an immediate increase in as adjusted net tangible book value of $0.82 per share to existing shareholders and an immediate dilution of $4.13 per share to investors purchasing our common shares in this offering at the public offering price, attributing none of the combined public offering price to the Series A Warrants offered hereby.
The following table illustrates per share dilution as of March 31, 2021:
|Public offering price per common share||$||4.99|
|Net tangible book value (deficit) per share as of March 31, 2021||$||0.04|
|Increase in net tangible book value (deficit) per share attributable to this offering||$||0.82|
|Net tangible book value (deficit) per share after this offering||$||0.86|
|Dilution per share to investors participating in this offering||$||4.13|
If the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase up to 407,999 additional common shares at the initial public offering price of $4.99 per share, the as adjusted net tangible book value (deficit) after this offering would be $0.97 per share, representing an increase in net tangible book value (deficit) of $0.93 per share to existing shareholders and immediate dilution in net tangible book value (deficit) of $4.02 per share to investors purchasing our common shares in this offering at the public offering price.
DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF
FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Prospective investors should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with our audited financial statements and the related notes and other financial information included elsewhere in this prospectus. Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis or set forth elsewhere in this prospectus, including information with respect to our plans and strategy for our business, includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. See “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.” You should review the “Risk Factors” section of this prospectus for a discussion of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results described in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in the following discussion and analysis. All share and per share numbers have been retroactively adjusted to reflect the 1-for-4.75 reverse stock split effected on November 29, 2020.
Company History and Our Business
AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd. was incorporated as a private company by Articles of Incorporation issued pursuant to the provisions of the British Columbia Business Corporations Act on December 22, 2017. The Company’s registered and records office address is at 777 Hornby Street, Suite 600 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6Z 1S4. On February 13, 2018, the Company changed its name from 1146470 B.C. Ltd to Canivate Growing Systems Ltd. On November 22, 2019 the Company changed its name from Canivate Growing Systems Ltd. to AgriForce Growing Systems Ltd.
The Company is an innovative agriculture-focused technology company that delivers reliable, financially robust solutions for high value crops through our proprietary facility design and automation intellectual property to businesses and enterprises globally. The Company intends to operate in the plant based pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and other high value crop markets using its unique proprietary facility design and hydroponics based automated growing system that enable cultivators to effectively grow crops in a controlled environment. The Company calls its facility design and automated growing system the “AgriFORCE grow house”. The Company has designed its AgriFORCE grow house to produce in virtually any environmental condition and to optimize crop yields to as near their full genetic potential as possible whilst substantially eliminating the need for the use of pesticides and/or irradiation. On April 22, 2021, the Company terminated its agreements with Pharmahaus, as described elsewhere in this prospectus, and instead intends to focus use of its technology on high value crops unrelated to cannabis and hemp.
Status as an Emerging Growth Company
On April 5, 2012, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act, was enacted. Section 107 of the JOBS Act provides that an “emerging growth company” can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, for complying with new or revised accounting standards. In other words, an “emerging growth company” can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have irrevocably elected to avail ourselves of this extended transition period and, as a result, we will adopt new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for private companies.
We are in the process of evaluating the benefits of relying on other exemptions and reduced reporting requirements provided by the JOBS Act. Subject to certain conditions set forth in the JOBS Act, as an “emerging growth company,” we intend to rely on certain of these exemptions from, without limitation, (i) providing an auditor’s attestation report on our system of internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and (ii) complying with any requirement that may be adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) regarding mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor’s report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements, known as the auditor discussion and analysis. We will remain an “emerging growth company” until the earliest of (a) the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the closing of this offering, (b) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual gross revenues exceed $1.07 billion, (c) the last day of our fiscal year in which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer” as defined in Rule 12b-2 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or Exchange Act (which would occur if the market value of our equity securities that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter), or (d) the date on which we have issued more than $1 billion in nonconvertible debt during the preceding three-year period.
FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31, 2021 AND 2020
The Company has not generated any revenue since inception.
Operating expenses primarily consist of salaries and wages, professional fees and consulting fees. Operating expenses decreased in the three months ended March 31, 2021 as compared to March 31, 2020 by $100,110 or 10%, primarily due to deferring research and development expenditures, as well as decrease in wages and salaries due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Company recorded a net loss of $884,606 for the three months ended March 31, 2021 as compared to a net loss of $984,716 for the three months ended March 31, 2020.
FOR THE YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2020 AND 2019
The Company has not generated any revenue since inception.
Operating expenses primarily consist of salaries and wages, share-based compensation, research and development, professional fees and consulting. Operating expenses decreased in the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to December 31, 2019 by $1,791,425 or 35%, primarily due to deferring research and development expenditures, as well as reduction in consulting, investor relations, office, administrative and travel expenditures to manage cash position and due to restrictions of COVID-19 pandemic. These were partially offset by an increase in shareholder and regulatory, share-based compensation, wages and salaries owing to hiring of executives and board of directors fees to support growth of the company. We expect operating expenses to increase in the future as we hire additional management, operational employees and finance and administration staff to support anticipated growth in the business and due to incremental costs to comply with the requirements of being a publicly listed company.
Research and Development
During the year ended December 31, 2020, the Company spent $123,915 as compared to $1,111,562 for the year ended December 31, 2019 in research and development costs in relation to the development of a biosphere facility. The decrease in expense is due deferring expenditures until we receive financing. The following represents the breakdown of research and development activities:
|December 31, 2020||December 31, 2019|
|Design and construction||4,406||371,117|
The Company recorded Scientific Research and Experimental Development (“SR&ED”) tax incentive income of $106,195 during the year ended December 31, 2020 (December 31, 2019 - $Nil) representing amounts received from Canada Revenue Agency.
The Company recorded a net loss of $3,221,526 for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to a net loss of $5,119,146 for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
The Company’s primary need for liquidity is to fund working capital requirements, capital expenditures, and for general corporate purposes. The Company’s ability to fund operations and make planned capital expenditures and debt service obligations depends on future operating performance and cash flows, which are subject to prevailing economic conditions, financial markets, business and other factors. As of March 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, our total assets exceeded our total liabilities by $810,481 and $1,403,484, respectively. We have recorded a net loss of $884,606 for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and $3,221,526 for the year ended December 31, 2020, and recorded an accumulated deficit of $13,406,550 as of March 31, 2021 and $12,521,944 as of December 31, 2020. Net cash used in operating activities amounted to $371,978 for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and for the year ended December 31, 2020 was $1,851,711. Management has been able to raise capital from private placements as detailed below, which may not be sufficient to continue operations until the offering under this prospectus is complete.
We had $735,792 in cash at March 31, 2021 as compared to $653,410 in cash at December 31, 2020
The accompanying financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis, which contemplates the realization of assets and satisfaction of liabilities in the normal course of business. The financial statements do not include any adjustments relating to the recoverability and classification of recorded asset amounts or the amounts and classification of liabilities that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty. The Company is at the stage of development of its first facility. As such it is likely that additional financing will be needed by the Company to fund its operations and to develop and commercialize its technology. These factors raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. For the next twelve months from issuance of these financial statements, the Company will seek to obtain additional capital through the sale of debt or equity financings or other arrangements to fund operations; however, there can be no assurance that the Company will be able to raise needed capital under acceptable terms, if at all. The sale of additional equity may dilute existing shareholders and newly issued shares may contain senior rights and preferences compared to currently outstanding common shares. Issued debt securities may contain covenants and limit the Company’s ability to pay dividends or make other distributions to shareholders. If the Company is unable to obtain such additional financing, future operations would need to be scaled back or discontinued. Due to the uncertainty in the Company’s ability to raise capital, management believes that there is substantial doubt in the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern for twelve months from the issuance of these condensed financial statements.
The net cash used by operating activities for the three months ended March 31, 2021 is attributable to a net loss of $884,606 due to operating costs associated with wages, consulting expenses, professional fees, research and development, and general administrative expenses. The net loss was adjusted primarily by non-cash expenses related to shared based compensation of $90,242 and shares issued for consulting services amounting to $188,327. For the three months ending March 31, 2020 net cash used by operating activities was attributable to net loss of $984,716 owing to wages, consulting expenses, professional fees, research and development expenses and general administrative expenses. The net loss was adjusted primarily by non-cash expenses of shared based compensation of $99,586 and shares issued for consulting services amounting to $30,557.
The net cash used in investing activities for three months ended March 31, 2021 represents capitalized furniture and office equipment costs. There were no investing activities during the three months ended March 31, 2020.
The net cash provided by financing activities for the three months ended March 31, 2021 represents proceeds from issuance of senior secured debentures of $600,000, net of transaction costs of $69,000. This which was offset by payments of IPO costs amounting to $61,936. There were no financing activities during the three months ended March 31, 2020.
The net cash used by operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2020 is attributable to a net loss of $3,221,526 due to operating costs associated with wages, consulting expenses, professional fees, research and development, and general administrative expenses, which was adjusted primarily by non-cash expenses related to shared based compensation of $571,210 and shares issued for consulting services amounting to $438,076. The net cash flows used in operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2019 was $4,307,486, attributable to a net loss of $5,119,146, which was adjusted primarily by non-cash expenses related to shared based compensation of $401,869 and shares issued for consulting services amounting to $57,603 .
There were no significant investing activities during the year ended December 31, 2020. The net cash used in investing activities for the year ended December 31, 2019 represents purchase of property and equipment of $16,149 as well as payments made for construction in progress of $1,286,079.
The net cash provided by financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2020 represents proceeds from exercise of warrants of $666,878 and proceed from the Canada Emergency Business Account Program of $31,417 (CAD 40,000). Whereas, the net cash provided by financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2019 represents proceeds from several rounds of private placements issuing common shares, preferred shares and convertible debentures for a total proceeds amounting to $8,312,162 as described in recent financing below.
On January 16, 2019, pursuant to a non-brokered private placement, the Company issued 210,526 units (1,000,000 units before the Reverse Split) at a price of $1.24 (CAD $1.66) ($0.26 (CAD $0.35) before the Reverse Split) for gross proceeds of $264,191 (CAD $350,000). Each unit consists of one common share and a warrant to purchase one common share. Each warrant entitles the holder to purchase one common share at a price of CAD $2.38 (CAD $0.50 per share before the Reverse Split) for 36 months.
On January 31, 2019, pursuant to a non-brokered private placement, the Company issued 26,316 common shares (125,000 common shares before the Reverse Split) at a price of $1.80 (CAD $2.38) ($0.38 (CAD $0.50) before the Reverse Split) for gross proceeds of $47,550 (CAD $62,500).
On May 2, 2019, pursuant to a brokered and non-brokered private placement, the Company issued 1,371,789 units (6,516,000 units before the Reverse Split) at a price of $3.56 (CAD $ 4.75) ($0.75 (CAD $1.00) before the Reverse Split) per unit for gross proceeds of $4,840,291 (CAD $6,516,000). Each unit consists of one Series A Preferred share and a warrant to purchase one common share. Each warrant entitles the holder to purchase one common share at a price of CAD $9.50 per share (CAD $2.00 per share before the Reverse Split) for a period of 5 years following issuance date. The preferred shareholder shall be entitled to receive a 12% dividend in specie consisting of common shares on each six-month anniversary of the Closing Date.
Additionally, the principal amount of the Series A Preferred shares along with any unpaid dividends will automatically convert into common shares upon the earlier of (i) the Company issuing certain equity securities in a transaction or series of related transactions resulting in aggregate gross proceeds of at least CAD $5,000,000; (ii) the occurrence of certain liquidity events; or (iii) at the maturity date, May 2, 2024.
In relation to this financing, the Company issued 73,853 units (350,800 units before the Reverse Split) with a fair value of $260,585 (CAD $350,800) to the broker consortium. Each unit consists of one Series A Preferred share and one warrant to purchase common shares. Each warrant entitles the holder to purchase one common share at a price of CAD $9.50 per share (CAD $2.00 per share before the Reverse Split) for a period of 5 years following issuance date.
On May 10, 2019, pursuant to a brokered and non-brokered private placement, the Company issued 779,474 units (3,702,500 units before the Reverse Split) at a price of $3.56 (CAD $ 4.75) ($0.75 (CAD $1.00) before the Reverse Split) per unit for gross proceeds of $2,759,353 (CAD $3,702,500). Each unit consists of one Series A Preferred share and a warrant to purchase one common share. Each warrant entitles the holder to purchase one common share at a price of CAD $9.50 per share (CAD $2.00 per share before the Reverse Split) for a period of 5 years following issuance date. The preferred shareholder shall be entitled to receive a 12% dividend in specie consisting of Common Shares on each six-month anniversary of the Closing Date.
Additionally, the principal amount of the Series A Preferred share along with any unpaid dividends will automatically convert into common shares upon the earlier of (i) the Company issuing certain equity securities in a transaction or series of related transactions resulting in aggregate gross proceeds of at least CAD $5,000,000; (ii) the occurrence of certain liquidity events; or (iii) at the maturity date, May 10, 2024.
In relation to this financing, the Company issued 38,974 units (185,125 units before the Reverse Split) with a fair value of $137,968 (CAD $185,125), to the broker consortium. Each unit consists of one Series A Preferred share and one warrant to purchase common shares. Each warrant entitles the holder to purchase one common share at a price of CAD $9.50 per share (CAD $2.00 per share before the Reverse Split) for a period of 5 years following issuance date.
In connection with the above May 2 and May 10 share issuance, a total of $766,970 (CAD $1,029,121) was recorded as share issuance costs. In addition, 180,522 (857,480 before the Reverse Split) broker warrants were issued with a value of $nil. Each warrant entitles the holder to purchase one common share at a price of CAD $9.50 per share (CAD $2.00 per share before the Reverse Split) for a period of 5 years following issuance date.
On May 10, 2019, pursuant to the conversion of convertible debentures with a principal value of $372,634 (CAD $500,000), the Company issued 105,263 units (500,000 units before the Reverse Split) at a price of $3.56 (CAD $ 4.75) per unit ($0.75 (CAD $1.00) per unit before the Reverse Split). Each unit consists of one common share and one warrant to purchase common shares. Each warrant entitles the holder to purchase one common share at a price of CAD $9.50 per share (CAD $2.00 per share before the Reverse Split) for 60 months. In addition, the Company issued 1,453 units (6,904 units before the Reverse Split) at a price of $3.56 (CAD $ 4.75) per unit ($0.75 (CAD $1.00) per unit before the Reverse Split) representing the accreted value of the interest payable on the debentures at time of conversion.
Off Balance Sheet Arrangements
Significant Accounting Policies
The Company’s cash consists of cash maintained in checking and interest-bearing accounts. The Company accounts for financial instruments with original maturities of three months or less at the date of purchase as cash equivalents. The Company held no cash equivalents as of March 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020.
Property and Equipment
Property and equipment are initially recognized at acquisition cost or manufacturing cost, including any costs directly attributable to bringing the assets to the location and condition necessary for them to be capable of operating in the manner intended by the Company’s management. Property, plant and equipment are subsequently measured at cost less accumulated depreciation and impairment losses.
Depreciation is recognized on a straight-line basis to write down the cost less estimated residual value of computer equipment and furniture and fixtures. The following useful lives are applied:
Computer equipment 5 years
Furniture and fixtures 10 years
Gains or losses arising on the disposal of property, plant and equipment are determined as the difference between the disposal proceeds and the carrying amount of the assets and are recognized in profit or loss within other income or other expenses.
Construction in progress includes construction progress payments, deposits, engineering costs, interest expense for debt financing on long-term construction projects and other costs directly related to the construction of the facilities. Expenditures are capitalized during the construction period and construction in progress is transferred to the relevant class of property and equipment when the assets are available for use, at which point the depreciation of the asset commences.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets
The Company reviews long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of an asset may not be recoverable. In order to determine if assets have been impaired, assets are grouped and tested at the lowest level for which identifiable independent cash flows are available (“asset group”). An impairment loss is recognized when the sum of projected undiscounted cash flows is less than the carrying value of the asset group. The measurement of the impairment loss to be recognized is based on the difference between the fair value and the carrying value of the asset group. Fair value can be determined using a market approach, income approach or cost approach. The reversal of impairment losses is prohibited.
Deferred IPO Costs
Deferred IPO costs represent legal, accounting and other direct costs related to the Company’s efforts to raise capital through an initial public offering of the Company’s common stock (“IPO”). There were no IPO costs incurred prior to 2020. Future costs related to the Company’s IPO activities will be deferred until the completion of the IPO, at which time they will be reclassified to additional paid-in capital as a reduction of the IPO proceeds. If the Company terminates its plan for an IPO, any costs deferred will be expensed immediately.
The Company has not recorded any revenues since its inception. However, in the future, the Company expects to generate returns from any or all the revenue sources below from its customers:
● Rental income from facilities.
● Intellectual property income from the licensing of its intellectual property
● Management and advisory fees from management service contracts and
On January 1, 2018, the Company early adopted ASU No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers and all related amendments (“ASC 606” or “the new revenue standard”). ASC 606 is a single comprehensive model for entities to use in accounting for revenue arising from contracts with customers and supersedes most current revenue recognition guidance, including industry-specific guidance. The new revenue standard is based on the principle that an entity should recognize revenue to depict the transfer of goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. To achieve this core principle, ASC 606 provides that an entity should apply the following steps: (1) identify the contract(s) with a customer, (2) identify the performance obligations in the contract, (3) determine the transaction price, (4) allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract and (5) recognize revenue when (or as) the entity satisfies a performance obligation. The new revenue standard also requires additional disclosure about the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from customer contracts, and costs to obtain or fulfill contracts. The Company will apply ASC 606 prospectively to all contracts.
Loss Per Common Share
The Company presents basic and diluted loss per share data for its common shares. Basic loss per common share is calculated by dividing the profit or loss attributable to common shareholders of the Company by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the year. Diluted loss per common share is calculated by adjusting the weighted average number of common shares outstanding to assume conversion of all potentially dilutive share equivalents, such as stock options and warrants and assumes the receipt of proceeds upon exercise of the dilutive securities to determine the number of shares assumed to be purchased at the average market price during the year. Diluted net loss attributable to common shareholders per share does not differ from basic net loss attributable to common shareholders per share for the years ended December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, since the effect of the Company’s stock options and warrants are anti-dilutive.
Research and Development
Expenditure on research and development activities, undertaken with the prospect of gaining new scientific or technical knowledge and understanding, is recognized as expense when incurred.
Foreign Currency Transactions
The financial statements of the Company and its subsidiaries whose functional currencies are the local currencies are translated into U.S. dollars for consolidation as follows: assets and liabilities at the exchange rate as of the balance sheet date, shareholders’ equity at the historical rates of exchange, and income and expense amounts at the average exchange rate for the period. Translation adjustments resulting from the translation of the subsidiaries’ accounts are included in “Accumulated other comprehensive income” as equity in the consolidated balance sheets. Transactions denominated in currencies other than the applicable functional currency are converted to the functional currency at the exchange rate on the transaction date. At period end, monetary assets and liabilities are remeasured to the reporting currency using exchange rates in effect at the balance sheet date. Non-monetary assets and liabilities are remeasured at historical exchange rates. Gains and losses resulting from foreign currency transactions are included within operating expenses.
Fair Value Measurement
Pursuant to the provisions of Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 820, Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures (ASC 820), the Company measures certain assets and liabilities at fair value or discloses the fair value of certain assets and liabilities recorded at cost in the condensed consolidated interim financial statements. Fair value is calculated as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date (an exit price). ASC 820 establishes a fair value hierarchy which requires assets and liabilities measured at fair value to be categorized into one of three levels based on the inputs used in the valuation. The Company classifies assets and liabilities in their entirety based on the lowest level of input significant to the fair value measurement.
The three levels are defined as follows:
|●||Level 1: Observable inputs based on quoted prices (unadjusted) in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.|
|●||Level 2: Observable inputs, other than those included in Level 1, based on quoted prices for similar assets and liabilities in active markets, or quoted prices for identical assets and liabilities in inactive markets.|
|●||Level 3: Unobservable inputs that reflect an entity’s own assumptions about what inputs a market participant would use in pricing the asset or liability based on the best information available in the circumstances.|
Transfers between levels of the fair value hierarchy are deemed to have occurred at the end of the reporting period in which the event or change of circumstances caused the transfer to occur.
The Company’s financial instruments consist principally of cash, accounts receivable, accounts payable and accrued liabilities. We believe that the recorded values of all of our other financial instruments approximate their current fair values because of their nature and respective maturity dates or durations.
Current tax expense is the expected tax payable on the taxable income for the period, using tax rates enacted at period-end.
Deferred tax assets, including those arising from tax loss carryforwards, requires management to assess the likelihood that the Company will generate sufficient taxable earnings in future periods in order to utilize recognized deferred tax assets. Assumptions about the generation of future taxable profits depend on management’s estimates of future cash flows. In addition, future changes in tax laws could limit the ability of the Company to obtain tax deductions in future periods. To the extent that future cash flows and taxable income differ significantly from estimates, the ability of the Company to realize the net deferred tax assets recorded at the reporting date could be impacted.
The Company operates in various tax jurisdictions and is subject to audit by various tax authorities.
The Company records uncertain tax positions based on a two-step process whereby (1) a determination is made as to whether it is more likely than not that the tax positions will be sustained based on the technical merits of the position and (2) for those tax positions that meet the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold the Company recognizes the largest amount of tax benefit that is greater than 50% likely to be realized upon ultimate settlement with the related tax authority. The Company’s policy is to recognize interest and penalties accrued on any unrecognized tax benefits as a component of income tax expense. Significant judgment is required in the identification of uncertain tax positions and in the estimation of penalties and interest on uncertain tax positions.
There were no material uncertain tax positions as of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019.
The Company generally uses the straight-line method to allocate compensation cost to reporting periods over each optionee’s requisite service period, which is generally the vesting period, and estimates the fair value of stock-based awards to employees and directors using the Black-Scholes option-valuation model (the “Black-Scholes model”). The Black-Scholes model requires the input of subjective assumptions, including volatility, the expected term and the fair value of the underlying common shares on the date of grant, among other inputs. The Company recognizes any forfeitures as they occur.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
The Company is an “emerging growth company,” as defined in Section 2(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, as modified by the Jumpstart Our Business Start-ups Act of 2012, (the “JOBS Act”). Section 107 of the JOBS Act provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, for complying with new or revised accounting standards applicable to public companies. In other words, an emerging growth company can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies.
Effective January 1, 2021, the Company adopted ASU 2019-12, “Income Taxes (Topic 740): Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes.” ASU 2019-12 simplifies the accounting for income taxes by removing exceptions within the general principles of Topic 740 regarding the calculation of deferred tax liabilities, the incremental approach for intra-period tax allocation, and calculating income taxes in an interim period. In addition, the ASU adds clarifications to the accounting for franchise tax (or similar tax). which is partially based on income, evaluating tax basis of goodwill recognized from a business combination, and reflecting the effect of any enacted changes in tax laws or rates in the annual effective tax rate computation in the interim period that includes the enactment date. The adoption of this new guidance did not have a material impact to the Company’s financial statements.
In August 2020, the FASB issued ASU 2020-06 “Debt – Debt with Conversion and Other Options (Subtopic 470-20) and Derivatives and Hedging – Contracts in Entity’s Own Equity” (“ASU 2020-06”). The intention of ASU 2020-06 is to address the complexities in accounting for certain financial instruments with a debt and equity component. Under ASU 2020-06, the number of accounting models for convertible notes will be reduced and entities that issue convertible debt will be required to use the if-converted method for the computation of diluted “Earnings per share” under ASC 260. ASC 2020-06 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021 and may be adopted through either a modified retrospective method of transition or a fully retrospective method of transition. We are currently assessing the impact this guidance will have on our financial statements.
In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-13, “Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820) - Disclosure Framework - Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement.” ASU 2018-13 removes the disclosure requirement for the amount and reasons for transfers between Level 1 and Level 2 fair value measurements as well as the process for Level 3 fair value measurements. In addition, the ASU adds the disclosure requirements for changes in unrealized gains and losses included in other comprehensive income (loss) for recurring Level 3 fair value measurements held at the end of the reporting period as well as the range and weighted average of significant unobservable inputs used to develop Level 3 fair value measurements. The ASU is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, and interim periods within those fiscal years and will be applied on a retrospective basis to all periods presented. Early adoption is permitted. The Company has adopted this standard for the financial year beginning January 1, 2020 and there is no impact on the financial statements.
In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13, “Financial Instruments - Credit Losses.” The standard, including subsequently issued amendments, requires a financial asset measured at amortized cost basis, such as accounts receivable and certain other financial assets, to be presented at the net amount expected to be collected based on relevant information about past events, including historical experience, current conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts that affect the collectability of the reported amount. This ASU is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2023, and interim periods within those fiscal years, and requires the modified retrospective approach. Early adoption is permitted. Based on the composition of the Company’s trade receivables and other financial assets, current market conditions, and historical credit loss activity, the Company is currently in the process of evaluating the impact of this guidance on our financial statements.
In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, Leases, and has subsequently issued several supplemental and/or clarifying ASU’s (collectively, “Topic 842”), which requires a dual approach for lease accounting under which a lessee would account for leases as finance leases or operating leases. Both finance leases and operating leases may result in the lessee recognizing a right of use asset and a corresponding lease liability. For finance leases, the lessee would recognize interest expense and amortization of the right-of-use asset, and for operating leases, the lessee would recognize lease expense on a straight-line basis. This ASU is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021, and interim periods within those fiscal years, and allows a modified retrospective approach. Early adoption is permitted. The Company is currently in the process of evaluating the impact of this guidance on our financial statements.
Related Party Transactions
As of December 31, 2020, $3,223 (December 31, 2019 - $35,093) in total was owing to officers and directors or to companies owned by officers and directors of the Company for services and expenses. These amounts owing have been included in accounts payable and accrued liabilities.
During the year ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, the Company incurred $38,395 and $186,971, respectively, to our U.S. general counsel firm, D R Welch against legal services. An aggregate of 13,158 shares (62,500 shares before the Reverse Split) were issued to David Welch as part of the payment.
During the year ended December 31, 2020, the Company paid $Nil (December 31, 2019 - $17,271) for management services to First Liberty Power Corp., related to the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Don Nicholson.
On April 30, 2019 a loan of $18,625 (CAD $25,000) bearing interest at 2% per annum was given to Ingo Mueller, Chief Executive officer for the purposes of obtaining corporate credit card. The loan was subsequently repaid on August 9, 2019 along with interest accrued.
During the year ended December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, the Company paid $8,862 and $37,682 (including $23,154 for services provided in 2018), respectively, for consulting services to 0902550 BC Ltd. where Don Nicholson is the principal consultant.
On May 1, 2019, the Company entered into a 12 months consulting agreement with Arni Johannson to provide Investor Relations services for a monthly fee of CAD 10,000. As of December 31, 2020, the Company owed $nil pursuant to the said agreement.
During the year ended December 31, 2019 the company paid share issue costs amounting to $2,355 and consulting fee amounting to $86,668 to Enkoodabaoo LLC related to officer, Troy McClellan.
There were no other payments to related parties for the year ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 other than expense reimbursements in the ordinary course of business.
There were no significant related party transactions during the three months ended March 31, 2021.
Our financial instruments consist of cash, accounts receivable, bank overdraft accounts payable and accrued liabilities, and notes payable. There are no significant differences between the carrying amounts of the items reported on the statements of financial position and their estimated fair values. Our risk exposures and their impact on our financial instruments are summarized below.
We are exposed to liquidity risk. Liquidity risk is the exposure of our Company to the risk of not being able to meet our financial obligations as they fall due. Our approach to managing liquidity risk is to regularly evaluate our projected cash from operations and to seek additional capital through equity and debt financings to ensure that we will have sufficient liquidity to meet liabilities when due. Our future liquidity is dependent on factors such as the ability to generate cash from operations and to raise money through debt or equity financing.
Foreign Currency Risk
Foreign exchange risk arises from the changes in foreign exchange rates that may affect the fair value or future cash flows of our financial assets or liabilities.
AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd. was incorporated as a private company by Articles of Incorporation issued pursuant to the provisions of the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) on December 22, 2017. The Company’s registered and records office address is at 777 Hornby St., Suite 600, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6Z 1S4. On February 13, 2018, the Company changed its name from 1146470 B.C. Ltd to Canivate Growing Systems Ltd. On November 22, 2019 the Company changed its name from Canivate Growing Systems Ltd. to AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd.
AgriFORCE is dedicated to transforming modern agricultural development through our proprietary patent pending facility design and automated growing system. Our methods are designed to produce high-quality, pesticide-free, locally cultivated crops – cost-effectively and with the ability to quickly scale, in virtually any climate. Designed to meet both European Union Good Manufacturing Practices standards and the United States Department of Agriculture organic equivalent, we intend to utilize our platform as an industry accepted standard for, among other things, controlled environment plant-based vaccine and pharmaceutical biomass and food production.
Understanding Our Approach – The AgriFORCE Precision Growth Method
Traditional farming includes three fundamental approaches: outdoor, greenhouse and indoor. AgriFORCE introduces a unique fourth method, the AgriFORCE precision growth method, which is informed by cutting-edge science and leveraging the latest advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT).
With a carefully optimized approach to facility design, IoT, AI utilization, nutrient delivery, and micro-propagation, we have devised an intricate, scientific and high success-oriented approach that was designed to produce much greater efficacy yields using fewer resources. This method is intended to outperform traditional growing methods using a specific combination of new and traditional techniques required to attain this efficiency. We call it precision growth. The AgriFORCE precision growth method focuses on addressing some of the most important legacy challenges in agriculture: environmental impact, operational efficiency and yield volumes.
The AgriFORCE precision growth method presents a tremendous opportunity to positively disrupt all corners of the industry. The market size of just the nutraceutical and plant-based pharmaceutical and vaccine/therapeutics market is over $500 billion. Including the traditional hydroponics high value crops and controlled-environment food markets, the addressable market approaches nearly $1 trillion. (1)(2)(3).
While our patent pending intellectual property initially targeted the hydroponics sector of high value crops to showcase its efficacy in a growing market, we are currently expanding operations to refine our technology and methodology for vegetables and fruit. Hydroponics was identified as an ideal sector to demonstrate proof of concept However, management has decided that the Company focus on evolving our intellectual property and applying our precision growth method to other agricultural areas so that we can be a part of the solution in fixing the severe issues with the global food supply chain.
The AgriFORCE Model – Managing the Difficulties of Agricultural Verticals with Modern Technology and Innovation
Our intellectual property combines a uniquely engineered facility design and automated growing system to provide a clear solution to the biggest problems plaguing most agricultural verticals. It delivers a clean, self-contained environment that maximizes natural sunlight and offers near ideal supplemental lighting. It also limits human intervention and – crucially – it was designed to provide superior quality control. It was also created to drastically reduce environmental impact, substantially decrease utility demands, as well as lower production costs, while still delivering daily harvests and a higher crop yield.
Plants grow most robustly and flavorfully in full natural sunlight. While it may seem counterintuitive to some, even the clearest of glass greenhouses inhibit the full light spectrum of the sun. However, new translucent and transparent membrane materials have emerged recently that enable the near-full-transmission of the sun’s light spectrum.
Unlike plastic or glass, these new transparent membranes can help crops achieve their full genetic (and flavor) potential. Natural light also warms the microclimate when necessary, dramatically reducing heating energy requirements. And at times when the sun is not cooperating, advances in supplemental grow lighting can extend the plants’ photoperiod – even beyond natural daylight hours – to maximize crop growth, quality, and time to harvest by up to 50% or better.
Greenhouses and vertical farms are also compromised by outdoor and human-introduced contamination. The new model relies on creating a sealed, cleanroom-like microclimate that keeps pests, pesticides and other pollutants outside.
Thanks to artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and similar advances, farmers can now benefit from highly automated growing systems that reduce human intervention and its associated costs. Finely tuned convective air circulation systems enable the microclimate to remain sealed and protected. Natural temperature regulation using sunlight and organic foam-based clouds can significantly reduce air-conditioning electricity requirements. Highly automated hydration, fertilization and lighting are all continuously optimized by machine learning.
This new AgriFORCE model, which has been designed with more than three years of research and development, is set to be put into large scale practice when the first of three new grow facilities completes construction on a 41-acre site in Coachella, California we expect to purchase in the coming year. This unique approach, which included contributions from lighting experts who had previously worked at NASA sending plants into space, was developed to significantly improve local food security in an environmentally friendly way. It uses the best aspects of current growing methods – outdoor, greenhouse and indoor – and replaces their shortcomings with better technology and processes.
Any solution whether in agriculture, industry, or consumer goods is typically the integration of various disparate parts which, in and of themselves, require independent skill sets and levels of expertise to bring together the desired outcome. Controlled environment agriculture solutions such as our patent pending proprietary facility and automated grow system are no different. Centered around four pillars: facility and lighting; automation and AI; nutrients and fertigation and micropropagation and genetics, our business not only has a tremendous opportunity to grow organically by virtue of its existing contracts and a future pipeline of similar contracts, but also through accretive acquisitions.
Our Position in the Ag-Tech Sector
The Ag-Tech sector is severely underserved by the capital markets, and we see an opportunity to acquire global companies who have provided solutions to the industry and are leading innovation moving forward. We are creating a separate corporate office to aggressively pursue such acquisitions. The robustness of our engagement with potential targets has confirmed our belief and desire to be part of a larger integrated Ag-Tech solutions provider, where each separate element of the business has its existing legacy business and can leverage across areas of expertise to expand their business footprint. We believe that there is currently no one that we are aware of who is pursuing this model in the US capital markets environment at this time.
Plant Based Vaccines
Our technology and grow houses may be modified to work with various plant based pharmaceutical crops. One timely and potentially life-saving application is to cultivate plants which can be used to produce vaccines for various diseases, and most currently relevant, Covid-19.
As research groups are developing vaccines to fight the pandemic, they need a method to produce these vaccines quickly, in large amounts and at a low cost. One potential solution is to use plants as bio-factories. The genes to produce the vaccine can be transferred quickly and temporarily to plants that can be grown and harvested using simple and safe farming techniques.
Genetically engineered plants have been used for more than 30 years to provide a platform for manufacturing biopharmaceuticals. A diverse group of biopharmaceuticals, including antibodies, vaccines, growth factors, and cytokines have been produced in plant systems. A recombinant enzyme produced in carrot cells, for example, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for replacement therapy treatment of Gaucher’s disease, a genetic enzyme deficiency. The main advantages of plant-based platforms include their inability to replicate human pathogens. This requires less strident efforts to diminish the risk of contamination during the purification process. Plant-based platforms also require less sophisticated bioreactors for efficient synthesis of complex proteins.
Plant-based vaccines are gradually becoming a reality, although progress has been slower than expected. Slow progress is particularly true for the development of oral vaccines, with the main drawbacks being a poor characterization of antigen stability, bioavailability and reproducibility.
Injectable vaccines could be produced by using transient expression systems, which offer the highest protein yields and are already adopted at the industrial level to produce virus-like particle (VLPs) vaccines and other biopharmaceuticals under GMPC-processes.
Stably transformed plants are another option, but this approach requires more time for the development of antigen-producing lines. Nonetheless, this approach offers the possibility of developing oral vaccines in which the plant cell could act as the antigen delivery agent. This is the most attractive approach in terms of cost, easy delivery and neutralizing the pathogen before it can cause infection.
One of the significant challenges of plant-based pharmaceuticals including vaccines is the segregation of food and feed crops used as production hosts. This is particularly important for where there is a risk of admixture with commodities intended for food and feed. Therefore, it is not just the crop itself but the way in which it interacts with surrounding crops. Preventing the genetic mixing as a result of cross pollination, in large part can only be managed through the careful breeding, cloning and an enclosed facility. Although traditional greenhouses or indoor facilities could notionally provide some form of controlled environment, most do not meet Good Manufacturing Practices standards or are not designed to allow for the plant to achieve its full genetic potential/expression. Good Manufacturing Practices standards is a component of quality assurance that ensures that a pharmaceutical product or vaccine is manufactured to a quality appropriate for its intended use on a consistent basis. This means that the manufacturing process is completely defined, both in terms of materials and procedures. Appropriate certified facilities and equipment must be available, processes and analytical methods must be validated, and staff must be adequately trained.
In the case of terrestrial plants that are used to produce pharmaceuticals and vaccines, there are natural variations and inconsistencies in growth, soil and weather conditions that limit suitability. Furthermore, the location of crop production would have to be outside of the traditional food belt areas, which are typically the best conditions for growing crops, in order to avoid cross pollination and the contamination of food and feed crops. The production of crops (plant biomass) in a controlled environment in which conditions are optimized in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices standards, from the genetic origination of material through to automated growing offers the best way to allow for plant based vaccine and pharmaceutical feed stock to be grown. Additionally, a self-contained facility that allows the plant biomass to be extracted and clarified on an as produced biomass daily basis offers tremendous scaling benefits, which are often cited as the reason for controlled environment solutions to be pursued. This allows the Company to pursue relationships with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies who are currently pursuing plant based COVID vaccines and other plant-based pharmaceuticals and imbed downstream processing specific to their needs within the Company’s facility design. This will allow for more efficient logistics and movement of product to the plant made pharmaceutical facility reducing some costs.
Based upon an initial analysis of notable plants (Artemisia annua, Cocculus hirsutus, Nicotiana benthamiana, Solanum nigrum, etc.) currently used in research, the Company has determined that the AgriFORCE Operations, Facilities, Systems, and Environment (four of the five factors in COFSE, our Crops, Ops, Facilities, Systems, Environment optimization strategy) can easily and readily optimize cultivation of the plants analyzed, as well as a wide range of other similar medicinal plants.
Plants identified by pharma companies in the future, that have other COSFE challenges, can certainly be cultivated and optimized in AgriFORCE facilities with minimal to moderate change in any of the factors, most likely the Systems (Automated Grow Systems) and achievable in a matter of months at nominal cost.
Although the design changes are seemingly quite straight forward, the Company does note that certain conditions or requirements may cause more extensive work and hence an impact on time and cost. Likewise, the integration of extraction and clarification may require specialized processes outside of the scope of what the Company is familiar with but would reasonably assume that its biotech and pharmaceutical customers would provide such expertise. It is the Company’s belief that most of the impact on time and budget would not be considered material except that the urgency of the race to provide a vaccine for COVID could re-define materiality in the context of time.
AgriFORCE facilities development, fabrication, and construction is based upon “modular components and systems” in place and ready, prefabricated and shipped to site for most efficient assembly and commissioning. Due to the Company’s foundational development strategy, these facilities can be strategically located and multiplied virtually anywhere in the US and Canada, ideally between 33°N -50°N latitudes. Therefore, the location, count, and schedule to deliver operational facilities is a matter of capital and time.
The AgriFORCE Grow House
The Company is an agriculture-focused technology company that delivers innovative and reliable, financially robust solutions for high value crops through our proprietary facility design and automation IP to businesses and enterprises globally. The Company intends to operate in the plant based pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and high value crop markets using its unique proprietary facility design and hydroponics based automated growing system that enable cultivators to effectively grow crops in a controlled environment. The Company calls its facility design and automated growing system the “AgriFORCE grow house”. The Company has designed its AgriFORCE grow house to produce in virtually any environmental condition and to optimize crop yields to as near their full genetic potential possible while substantially eliminating the need for the use of pesticides, fungicides and/or irradiation. The Company is positioning itself to deliver solutions to a growing industry where end users are demanding environmentally friendly and sustainable, controlled growing environments and processes. The initial market focus is the cultivation of food and other high value crops in California, and proof of concept will be to apply the IP to biomass production of plant based vaccine materials. The Company believes that its IP will provide a lower cost cultivation solution for the indoor production of crops due to a combination of higher crop quality and yields, and reduced operating costs. The Company has designed its AgriFORCE grow house as a modular growing facility that it plans to build and license to licensed operators for the cultivation of food and high value crops. The AgriFORCE grow house incorporates a design and technology that is the subject of a provisional patent that the Company has submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office on March 7, 2019. On March 6, 2020, a New International Patent Application No. PCT/CA2020/050302 Priority Claim United States 62/815, 131 was filed. The Company’s IP can be adapted to a multitude of crops and required growing conditions where exacting environmental control and pharma grade equivalent cleanliness and processes are required to meet the highest cultivation standards. By delivering the first facility, the Company will be in a position to demonstrate the performance and to target Good Manufacturing Practices standards compliance necessary to engage the pharma industry as it moves into modifying its IP to meet the particular plant biomass requirements for vaccines and other pharma biomass.
As the Company commences construction of its micropropagation facility and grow house, it will start to develop its solution for fruits and vegetables focusing on the integration of its current structure with a new form of vertical grow technology. Although many of the components and elements will be the same or similar in nature, the automation and integration for going vertical and accommodating lighting, circulation, climate control and humidity control will be somewhat different. Therefore, the Company intends to develop a small working commercial facility as it moves to finalize design and engineering. The Company believes it can deliver new IP for vertical farming with a view to constructing its first commercial facility to serve the Southern California market for fresh local leafy greens (first crop) before rolling out its solution to address other crops and other local markets in the United States and internationally.
Our Intellectual Property Strategy
The Company’s IP and business is focused on four (4) key elements:
|1)||FACILITY AND LIGHTING DESIGN|
facility utilizes a proprietary building envelope system that allows virtually the full light spectrum and substantial portions of the
UV light spectrum through
it. It is fully sealed and utilizes positive air pressure exchange to create a microclimate
that optimizes temperature, humidity, CO2, air velocity, filtration, and sanitation through the process of biomimicry.
-Advanced proprietary supplemental grow lighting technologies achieving optimal luminous efficacy, spectrum, distribution characteristics, automated DLI management and fixture architecture.
|2)||AUTOMATION AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE|
-Proprietary automated grow system(s) and technology integrated through IOT and artificial intelligence.
-Self learning input factors to create the highest yield, lowest impact cultivation.
|3)||FERTIGATION AND NUTRIENTS|
-white label and proprietary organic based blends/products tailored and focused on improved yields and reduced impact cultivation.
|4)||MICROPROPAGATION AND GENETICS|
Optimized cellular cloning and tissue culture process tailored to facility environment optimization to ensure enhanced solution specific genetic outcomes.
To maximize the AgriFORCE grow house’s production capacity, each AgriFORCE grow house will incorporate its own tissue culture laboratory for micropropagation into the Company’s proprietary mechanized and automated growing system. AgriFORCE micropropagation laboratories will enable the micropropagation of healthy plantlets that will then be transplanted and grown to maturity in its facilities.
Our Business Plan
The Company plans to develop its business by focusing on both an organic growth plan and through M&A. The Company’s organic growth plan is focused on four distinct phases:
PHASE 1: COMPLETED: 2017-2020
|●||Conceptualization, Engineering, and Design of Facility and Systems.|
|●||Completed selection process of key environmental systems with preferred vendors.|
|●||The signing of revenue contracts with the Exclusive Independent Operator (EIO) for the first 3 facilities completed.|
|●||The arrangement of 3 offtake agreements signed with Exclusive Independent Operator (EIO) for those 3 facilities when complete.|
|●||Selection and Land Purchase agreement in Coachella, CA for 41.37-acre parcel subject to financing completion in 2021.|
|●||ForceFilm material ordered.|
PHASE 2: 2021:
|●||Complete the financing for, and purchase of, the 41.37-acre parcel in Coachella, CA|
|●||Site preparation and utilities infrastructure build out for the campus (up to 8 facilities).|
|●||Fit out and complete genetics lab for micropropagation, breeding, and R&D to achieve near term revenue (8 months) of the sale of tissue culture clones for variant crops.|
|●||Additional raw materials procurement of AgriFORCE IP specific automated grow system, supplemental grow lighting and controls systems, and manufacture of the building envelope materials.|
|●||Conceptualization and design of vertical grow solutions in order to develop a small scale vertical grow house.|
|●||Focus on the delivery and installation of the first facility.|
PHASE 3: 2022-2024:
|●||Focus on the delivery and installation of the second and third facilities. Proof of quantitative and qualitative benefits will drive both sales pipeline acceleration for subsequent years.|
|●||Design and complete an R&D facility for plant-based pharma and food solutions testing and demonstration including genetic optimization through TC and breeding. Commence engagement with universities and pharmaceutical companies.|
|●||Construct small scale vertical grow house and operate successfully.|
|●||Finalize the design and engineering of vertical grow solution with construction commencement late in the third year. Commence engagement with local restaurants and grocery stores and develop a vertical grow house branding strategy.|
PHASE 4: 2025:
|●||Focus on delivery and installation of additional facilities.|
|●||Expand geographic presence into other states whilst also introducing the grow house to other international markets with a view to securing additional locations and markets by year four.|
|●||Targeted additional contracts of 3 facilities.|
|●||Commence and complete first vertical grow commercial facility to serve Southern California market by end of year 4.|
The Company’s initial AgriFORCE grow houses are planned to be constructed in California.
With respect to M&A growth, the Company is creating a separate corporate office to aggressively pursue acquisitions. The Company will focus on identifying target companies in the key four pillars of its platform where each separate element of the business has its existing legacy business and can leverage across areas of expertise to expand their business footprint. The Company believes that a buy and build strategy will provide unique opportunities for innovation across each segment of the Ag-Tech market we serve. Our unique IP combined with the know-how and IP of acquired companies will create additional value if the way we grow or produce crops. The Company believes there is currently no other public traded publicly in the United States pursing this model.
Below is a diagram of the intended strategy with respect to the Company’s M&A strategy:
The Company currently has the following wholly-owned subsidiaries, which perform the following functions – AgriForce Investments will handle any investments in the U.S., West Pender Holdings will hold real estate assets, West Pender Management will manage those assets and AGI IP will hold intellectual property in the U.S. and DayBreak is dormant:
|Name of Subsidiary||Jurisdiction of Incorporation||Date of Incorporation|
|AgriFORCE Investments Inc. (US)||Delaware||April 9, 2019|
|West Pender Holdings, Inc.||Delaware||September 1, 2018|
|AGI IP Co.||Nevada||March 5, 2020|
|West Pender Management Co.||Nevada||July 9, 2019|
|DayBreak Ag Systems Ltd.||British Columbia||December 4, 2019|
Summary Three Year History
From the date of Incorporation (December 22, 2017) to the date of the Prospectus, the Company has largely been engaged in completion of its initial corporate organization, assembling its management team, completing the design and engineering of its IP and filing the appropriate intellectual property protection and taking the initial steps to implement its business plan through the commencement of initial operations in California. Significant milestones during this period are as follows:
|●||The Company completed its initial seed round financings in early 2018.|
|●||From November 2018 to August 2019, the Company engaged architectural, lighting design, engineering and tensile structure engineering consultants to advance “Concept Solution” to an “Engineered Solution” for the AgriFORCE grow houses, and the Company’s consultants completed testing and verification of its proprietary solutions, as described below in detail under “Advancement from Concept Solution to Engineered Solution”.|
|●||In December 2018, the Company selected FabriTec as its primary contractor for the growing portion of the AgriFORCE grow houses, which will be constructed of tensile steel and the high strength flexible covering material.|
|●||In January 2019, the Company received from FabriTec the initial engineering drawings for the greenhouse enclosure for the AgriFORCE grow house.|
|●||In February 2019, the Company arranged for PharmHaus, as its initial EIO, to enter into three offtake agreements with well-known California high value crop producers for the potential offtake purchase of an aggregate of 19,500 kilograms of production, which has since been increased to 21,878 kilograms of production per year under a replacement offtake agreement executed in September 2019 (terminated in April 2021 as per the below description).|
|●||On March 7, 2019, the Company filed an initial provisional patent application for the original concept related to the AgriFORCE grow house.|
|●||In July 2019, the Company entered into a master “Design/ Build” construction contract with FabriTec for the construction of the greenhouse enclosure (subject to final agreement on pricing).|
|●||In August 2019, the Company submitted an amended provisional patent application for its Structure Technology that reflects the “engineered solution” and related technology and intellectual property developed by the Company through the testing and verification process with FabriTec and the Company’s other architectural, engineering and technical consultants.|
|●||On March 6, 2020, a New International Patent Application No. PCT/CA2020/050302 Priority Claim United States 62/815, 131 was filed. The Company’s IP can be adapted to a multitude of crops and required growing conditions where exacting environmental control and pharma grade equivalent cleanliness and processes are required to meet the highest cultivation standards.|
|●||On April 22, 2021, the Company terminated its agreement with PharmHaus, its initial exclusive Independent Operator, as PharmHaus failed to demonstrate the business wherewithal to serve in its capacity as an exclusive Independent Operator.|
|●||As of the date of this prospectus, the Company has substantially finalized the final design and engineering drawings for the AgriFORCE grow house.|
The Company signed a Term Sheet with Capital Funding Group on April 8, 2020 for the provision of debt related to the potential purchase of a property in Coachella, CA and all site improvements and infrastructure. The Term Sheet was further renewed on February 5, 2021. The terms of the debt are to provide 50% of the value of the land purchase price and 80% of the value of the site improvements and infrastructure. The value of the debt is expected to be approximately $12,000,000. The interest rate applicable to the land purchase is 10.5% per annum and for the site improvements and infrastructure it is 15.5% annum. In order to complete the debt facility agreement, the Company will need to raise approximately $4,500,000 in equity by February 1, 2021. The term of the loan is eighteen months. The Company expects to re-finance at the completion of the improvements and infrastructure through traditional lending sources. The Company is also in discussions with respect to debt financing for the grow house structure as well as the associated equipment including but not limited to the HVAC system and the automated growing system through the same debt broker used to secure the Capital Funding Group loan facility term sheet. Capital Funding Group has agreed to provide such debt financing subject to the completion of a development appraisal and final approval by its board of directors. There can be no assurance as to whether the Company will be able to secure further debt or secure such debt on commercially reasonable terms.
On March 24, 2021, the Company entered into a securities purchase agreement with certain accredited investors for the purchase of $750,000 in principal amount ($600,000 subscription amount) of senior secured debentures originally due June 24, 2021 (the “Bridge Loan”). On June 24, 2021, the due date was extended to July 12, 2021. The imputed interest rate is encompassed within the original issue discount of the debentures and no additional cash interest shall be due. The debentures were issued pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, to certain purchasers who are accredited investors within the meaning of Rule 501 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Each debenture holder will receive a warrant to purchase shares of common stock in an amount equal to 50% of the principal amount divided by 80% of the initial public offering price of the Company’s common stock. The warrants are exercisable at 80% of the initial public offering price. Transaction costs of $69,000 have been recorded in connection with the Bridge Loan.
The Company’s Initial California EIO (Exclusive Independent Operator)
The Company has terminated its EIO agreements (the “PharmHaus Agreements”) with PharmHaus, a private company that is arms-length to AgriFORCE. The Company had entered into each of the following agreements, on the terms outlined above, with PharmHaus as the EIO (the “PharmHaus Agreements”):
|●||Cultivation Facility Lease Agreement;|
|●||IP License Agreement; and|
|●||Management Services Agreement.|
PharmHaus required additional financing in order to achieve its business plan and objectives and in order to perform its contractual obligations under the Company’s agreements with PharmHaus. There was no assurance that PharmHaus would be able to obtain such funding. As a result of PharmHaus’ inability to secure funding and the Company’s focus on food and pharma applications of its IP as well as acquisition opportunities outside of the cannabis market, the Company chose to terminate its contract with PharmHaus on April 22, 2021.
The Company has undertaken the steps described below in connection with the design and deployment of the Company’s micropropagation laboratories. These laboratories will ultimately be deployed at the Company’s AgriFORCE grow houses. However, the Company has identified a business opportunity through a current micropropagation lab which requires additional capacity for deployment of the micropropagation laboratories for plantlet growth in advance of the completion of the initial AgriFORCE grow houses. The advantage of the Company for pursuing this opportunity is that it enables the Company to achieve initial revenues in advance of incurring the full construction expenditure required for the initial AgriFORCE grow houses, thereby providing internally generated funding for the Company’s expenditures and tests of the micropropagation process with the selected crops:
|●||the Company has completed the evaluation of options for construction of the micropropagation facility;|
the Company has completed the determination of the most suitable low capital expenditure option providing flexibility;
Acquired in-house expertise through Dr. Laila Benkrima, the Company’s Chief Scientific Officer, who has a PhD from the University of Paris in horticulture with a specialization in tissue culture and the hybridization and selection of plant varietals;
|●||completed the design of full facility and equipment scope and layout;|
|●||identified potential vendors and received final quotations; and|
Research and preparation for permitting and licensing requirements.
The Company is presently proceeding with selecting vendors from whom we obtained quotations for the fit out of the micropropagation laboratories in order that these laboratories can be constructed. Concurrently, the Company is engaging in discussions with respect to the commercial arrangement of providing micropropagation services for another micropropagation lab’s excess volume requirements as well as exploring opportunities to provide such services to potential customers.
The Company’s intellectual property rights are important to its business. In accordance with industry practice, the Company protects its proprietary products, technology and its competitive advantage through a combination of contractual provisions and trade secret, copyright and trademark laws in Canada, the United States and in other jurisdictions in which it conducts its business. The Company also has confidentiality agreements, assignment agreements and license agreements with employees and third parties, which limit access to and use of its intellectual property.
|Registration Date||Title||Serial #||Registration#||Prov.Patent
|PCT Patent Application||Patent #||Comment||Expiry Date for Either Application or Registration||Applicant|
|7/Mar/2019||Structures For Growing Plants and Related Aparatrus and Methods||62/815,131||Expired replaced with 56288979-7PCT||Canivate Growing Systems Ltd|
|26/Aug/2019||AUTOMATED GROWING SYSTEMS||62/891,562||Expired replaced with 56288979-10PCT|
|6/Mar/2020||Structures For Growing Plants||56288979-7PCT||PCT/CA2020/050302||Prior Claim date: 03/07/2019 - Pending||5/Sep/2022||AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd.|
|26/Aug/2020||AUTOMATED GROWING SYSTEMS||56288979-10PCT||PCT/CA2020/051161||Prior Claim date: 08/26/2019 - Pending||25/Feb/2022||AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd.|
|Trademark International Registration #||US Trade Mark #||Comment||Expiry Date||Owner|
|24/Jan/2019||PLANET LOVE||1942554||IS&EDC||25/Jul/2029||Canivate Growing Systems Ltd|
|19/Dec/2019||PLANET LOVE||79274347||1504091||Awaiting examination in US||Canivate Growing Systems Ltd|
|21/Jan/2020||25/Jul/2019||PLANET LOVE||806/1273879901||1504091||25/Jul/2029||AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd.|
|24/Jan/2019||HYDROFILM||1942547||IS&EDC||Formalized; awaiting examination||Canivate Growing Systems Ltd|
|21/Jan/2020||24/Jul/2019||HYDROFILM||1506916||AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd.|
|7/Dec/2018||HYDROHAUS||1934896||IS&EDC||Formalized; awaiting examination||Canivate Growing Systems Ltd|
|7/Dec/2018||HYDROHOUSE||1934895||IS&EDC||Formalized; awaiting examination||Canivate Growing Systems Ltd|
|1/Mar/2019||CANIVATE||1949210||1494234||CLASS 6: Greenhouses of metal, CLASS 19: Greenhouses of plastic, CLASS 44: Greenhouse services; horticultural services||Formalized; awaiting examination||Canivate Growing Systems Ltd|
|21/Jan/2020||30/Aug/2019||CANIVATE||1494234||AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd.|
|1/Mar/2019||THE CANIVATE WAY||1949209||IS&EDC||Formalized; awaiting examination||Canivate Growing Systems Ltd|
|1/Mar/2019||27/Oct/2020||THE CANIVATE WAY||79-270,261||1494231||6,182,017||CLASS 6: Greenhouses of metal, CLASS 19: Greenhouses of plastic, CLASS 44: Greenhouse services; horticultural services||26/Oct/2030||AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd.|
|26/Nov/2019||AGRIFORCE Trademark application||1997835||CLASS 6: Greenhouses of metal, CLASS 19: Greenhouses of plastic, CLASS 44: Greenhouse services; horticultural services||Formalized; awaiting examination||AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd.|
|22/May/2020||AGRIFORCE Trademark application||88930218||88930218||Awaiting examination in US||AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd.|
|18/Sep/2020||AGRIFORCE Trademark application||18243244||22/May/2030||AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd.|
|19/Aug/2020||FORCEFILM Trademark application||90124842||90/124842||Awaiting examination in US||AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd.|
|7/Aug/2020||FORCEFILM Trademark application||2044675||Formalized; awaiting examination||AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd.|
Our Competitive Conditions
Both indoor and greenhouse growing facilities have come to the forefront in recent years. With the advent of new business opportunities and the necessity and demand for increasing efficiency and yields, the facility design for both indoor and greenhouse has been significantly improved through advancing technologies and operational procedures, even more importantly in hybrid facility environments.
In recent decades, the greenhouse industry has been transforming from small scale facilities used primarily for research and aesthetic purposes (i.e. botanic gardens) to significantly more large-scale facilities that compete directly with land-based conventional food and ornamental plant production. While indoor growing allows production throughout the year and in most geographical locations, the energy used for lighting and climate control is costly while those systems are critical to the success, efficiency and yield of the operation. In large part due to the recent improvements in growing technology, the industry is witnessing a blossoming like no time before. Greenhouses today are increasingly emerging that are large-scale, capital-infused, more resource conscientious and urban-centered.
A major part of this recent transformation in the greenhouse industry has been the rise of a technology-infused Smart Greenhouse Market. Smart Greenhouses feature new levels of technology and automated control systems that allow for further optimization of growing conditions. These technologies include LED grow-lights that provide energy efficient supplemental lighting during cloudy conditions and at night, as well as an array of smart sensors that can detect issues with plants or the growing environment as they arise and trigger responses from different control systems.
No matter the country or region, one universal trend is that modern greenhouses are being built closer to metropolitan areas and large transportation hubs. One reason for this shift is to locate greenhouses closer to universities where research opportunities and skilled labor abound. As greenhouses become more tech-heavy, having this close proximity to research institutions will continue to be an important factor in location.
As the market has grown dramatically, it has also experienced clear trends in recent years. Modern greenhouses are becoming increasingly tech-intensive, using LED lights and automated control systems to tailor optimal growing environments. Successful greenhouse companies are scaling significantly and locating their growing facilities near urban hubs to capitalize on the ever-increasing demand for local (sustainable, conscientious, nutritious) food, no matter the season. To accomplish these feats, the greenhouse industry is also becoming increasingly capital-infused, using venture funding and other sources to build out the infrastructure necessary to compete in the current market.
As the smart greenhouse market continues to expand, new technologies are also coming online that will shape the future of production. Like before, many of these technologies are being developed for the greenhouse industry in particular. However, perhaps recently more than ever, innovation is also coming from other sectors. From artificial intelligence to Solar PV, new technologies from a wide range of industries are now finding their way into the modern greenhouse.
Past and current deficiencies with indoor farming in general have already signaled two important messages. First, there is logical reasoning to support the argument that indoor agriculture will become the norm and play a vital role to our current food (water intensive, non-grain) landscape. It will not be an easy journey, but the industry is growing and evolving at a fascinating speed. Second, technology advancements play a key role in leading the industry to continue to mature and reach greater efficiencies, production, and profitability.
As the global population continues to grow, and resources like land and water become more restricted, greenhouse (and hybrid) farming will be a dominant contributor for feeding global population that is just as important as land-based farming.
As a whole, the solutions provided to the agriculture industry have been driven by the integration of disparate components predominately lead by the client / farmer, major greenhouse vendors such as Kubo, Van der Hoeven, Certhon and Havecon or by major automation vendors such as Codema Systems or Ridder Group. This has resulted in fragmentation and sub-optimal IP that has not been fully integrated in a form as the Company is endeavoring to provide. Additionally, many solutions often are an amalgamation of disparate parts and vendors that are not necessarily optimized for a particular crop. In the indoor growing space, this is even more pronounced as the facility is often a simple warehouse which is in and of itself suboptimal and the draw backs are more pronounced. Often the integration is led by the cultivators themselves, who often do not possess the necessary skills to effectively manage such a process or it is led by one of the main vendors.
The future: hardware, software, & plant physiology
Currently innovation is steered by three main drivers: in-house development within companies, technology providers, and “cross-industry pollination”. New and upcoming companies have great potential to create innovative products. When companies showcase how their innovative technology can be applied, other companies can either adapt or further develop these ideas. There are also technology providers who specialize in specific areas of Ag-Tech. Through cross-industry pollination, we can acquire existing technology from other industries for use in greenhouse application.
Energy costs—primarily associated with lighting—are of major significance in the operation of a greenhouse facility. Lighting is a critical component for growing plants in fully closed environments because it is the primary energy input used by plants for photosynthesis. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were first adopted for indoor growing in the 1970s to supplement natural sunlight more efficiently than previously used incandescent bulbs. With the advancement of LED technology, the cost has dropped significantly over the last 10 years—specifically, LED lighting costs have halved, while their efficacy, or light energy, has more than doubled. We can expect costs to continue to drop as technology develops and this trend continues. Additionally, precise control of lighting can enable the discovery and dissemination of reproducible “light recipes” that are tailored to crops specifically grown indoors. These light recipes are being developed and used by cultivators to manipulate how plants grow, what they taste like, and their nutrient composition.
In addition to lighting, improvements related to materials can also help further efficiency. Companies like Soliculture, are paving the way for a revolution of greenhouse materials. Their LUMO solar panel contains a low density of silicon photovoltaic (PV) strips arranged with space in between to allow light to transmit between the strips. A thin layer of luminescent material is adhered to the backside of the glass, enhancing light quality by converting green light to red light. Red light has the highest efficiency for photosynthesis in plants, and therefore this optimized light spectrum increases yield faster maturation rate, and has proven to contribute to more disease resistant plants.
Artificial intelligence (“AI”) is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, where humans are certainly not obsolete but essential in leading innovation to significantly enhance results. AI-powered tools are gaining popularity across several industries including agriculture. In the future, we expect AI to be used in operations by means of automation and for predictive analytics.
Robots are increasingly replacing humans as we see more fully automated operations. Robots excel at repetitive, precision mundane tasks such as seeding, weeding, and harvesting. Start-up Iron Ox uses robots every step of the way from seed to harvest.
This allows allocation of resources elsewhere to focus on their overall production. Robotics also reduce labor costs while increasing efficiency. Currently farming is facing a labor shortage for reasons ranging from immigration policy to a lack of desire to work in the industry. Robots can help fill in the gaps in missing labor.
AI and machine learning technologies are developed to integrate and deliver more precise control of comprehensive growing operations. Ag-Tech company, Autogrow, provides intelligent automation systems including pH sensors, irrigation, and climate control products. Both hardware and software are improving to become more analytical and help detect and solve problems such as pest management, nutrient solution maintenance, and disease prevention.
Automation will become more feasible and available as AI technology improves and becomes less expensive. Reduced labor costs will allow product prices to decrease, making local food more accessible.
While improved environmental control and cultivation practices will undoubtedly lead to greater crop yields, biological alterations can more specifically tailor plants to growing environments and consumer needs. Indoor growing environments and processing facilities reduce the need for plant traits which provide stability in the face of environmental fluctuations, pests, pathogens, and post-harvest injury. New plant breeding techniques and genome-editing technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 can be used to promote new plant traits focused on rapid plant growth, performance in low-light environments, plant stature, nutrition, and flavor. Coupling heightened environmental control with biological control also opens the door for variable gene expression under different growing conditions. This could lead to crop varieties that are distinct from their outdoor counterparts for new culinary applications and create unique markets for produce grown indoors.
With the rise of abundant tech providers and cross-disciplinary innovators, we can expect collaboration and knowledge sharing to become more common. In addition to delivering more effective indoor growing technologies, collaboration may also substantiate partnerships between companies which reduce their ecological footprints. For instance, co-locating greenhouses with industrial power plants can divert carbon dioxide and heat—by products of combustion—from the atmosphere to crops for photosynthesis enhancement and climate control. Furthermore, composted food waste may be diverted from landfills to fertilize crops in soil-based greenhouses. In the other direction, transparent solar panels may enable greenhouses to become net producers of energy to supply nearby buildings without sacrificing crop performance.
New technologies and ideas will better integrate agricultural businesses with the world around them, helping urban and industrial communities become more productive and sustainable.
Innovation in technology and practice will be the key drivers of new developments in indoor and greenhouse ag businesses. While these developments will be diverse and multidimensional, their effects will be focused on improvements to the potential scale and efficiency of, and quality of food from, indoor agriculture. Following the greenhouse’s historical trajectory, we believe it is safe to assume its relevance to global food systems will continue to expand as we progress into the future.
The Company believes that it has no direct competitors who provide a proprietary facility design and automated grow system as well as a system of operational processes designed to optimize the performance of the Company’s grow houses. On a broader basis, the competitive landscape includes greenhouse vendors, agriculture systems providers, automated grow system vendors, and system/solutions consultants.
The Company believes it has developed one of the world’s most technologically advanced indoor agriculture systems by focusing on competitive differentiators to deliver vastly improved results beyond conventional indoor approaches. By conceiving new IP, as well as utilizing tried trued tested existing Ag-Tech and Bio-Tech solutions, the Company delivers integrated unique architectural design, intelligent automation and advanced growing processes to create precisely controlled growing environments optimized for each nominated crop variety. These precision ecosystems should enable the Company to cost-effectively produce the cleanest, greenest and most flavorful produce, as well as consistent medical-grade plant-based nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals, available. The key points of differentiation are as follows:
|●||Optimized genetics through advanced tissue culture and micropropagation.||●||Advanced propagation/cultivation/harvest SOP’s.|
|●||Higher yields.||●||Minimal workforce.|
|●||Improved nutrition/efficacy values.||●||Enhanced automation.|
|●||Lower production costs.||●||Substantive capital, resource, and operational savings.|
|●||Patents, future pending and provisional.||●||Reduced ecological impacts.|
|●||Trade-marks, EU registered and Canada + US pending.|
|●||Patents, pending and provisional.|
|●||High-tech high efficiency building envelope.||●||IoT to AI integrated facility/systems controls.||●||High efficiency climate control equipment.|
|●||Proprietary building engineering and materials.||●||Critical sensing and monitoring interface equipment.||●||Micro-climate delivery materials and systems.|
|●||Natural sunlight, indoors.||●||Advanced Ag-tech Automated Grow Systems.||●||Automated chronological/meteorological/biological integrated controls.|
|●||Proprietary supplemental grow lighting. Dynamic foam solar gain control. Significantly reduced utility demands. Alternative clean energy sourcing. Green Building Initiative/Green Globe certification. Patents, pending and provisional.||
Proprietary high efficiency grow channels.
Hybrid hydroponic-aeroponic nutrient systems.
Patents, pending and provisional.
Herbicide and pesticide free cultivation. Patents, pending and provisional.
As of the date of this Prospectus, the Company has five employees and four consultants. Prior to COVID-19, the Company had eight employees and two consultants. The Company also relies on consultants and contractors to conduct its operations. The Company anticipates that it will move back to pre-COVID -19 staffing levels upon completion of further financing and hopes that certain senior management personnel whose employment was terminated will be available to re-join the Company. However, there can be no assurances that previous employees will be desirous of rejoining or available to rejoin the Company in which case the Company will likely need to incur recruitment costs to identify and recruit suitable personnel in key management positions.
The Company primary operating activities are in California. The Company’s head office is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Company intends to open a project office near Coachella, CA and maintain an administrative office in Los Angeles. The Company also anticipates opening an office in Holland in the next year upon completion of its financing. The Company also plans to construct its initial AgriFORCE micropropagation laboratories and its initial AgriFORCE grow houses in the State of California.
Description of Property
The Company currently leases virtual office space at 777 Hornby Street, Suite 600, Vancouver, B.C., V6Z 1S4 as its principal office. The Company believes these facilities are in good condition and satisfy its current operational requirements. The Company intends to seek additional leased space, as its business efforts increase and moves back to pre-COVID staffing levels.
We are subject to the legal proceeding and claims described in detail in “Note 14. Commitments and Contingencies” to the audited financial statements included in this prospectus. Although the results of litigation and claims cannot be predicted with certainty, as of the date of this prospectus, we do not believe the outcome of such legal proceeding and claims, if determined adversely to us, would be reasonably expected to have a material adverse effect on our business. Regardless of the outcome, litigation can have an adverse impact on us because of defense and settlement costs, diversion of management resources and other factors.
|Ingo W. Mueller||57||Director, Chief Executive Officer, Disclosure Committee|
|Donald Nicholson||81||Chairman, Director, Audit Committee, Disclosure Committee|
|William J. Meekison||56||Director, Audit Committee Chair, Disclosure Committee|
|David Welch||39||Director, Audit Committee|
|Richard S. Wong||57||Chief Financial Officer|
Troy T. McClellan
|58||Officer, Vice President Design & Construction, President Daybreak Ag Systems Ltd.|
|Dr. Laila Benkrima||58||Chief Scientist||May 1, 2018|
Directors serve until the next annual meeting and until their successors are elected and qualified. Officers are appointed to serve for one year until the meeting of the Board of Directors following the annual meeting of shareholders and until their successors have been elected and qualified.
Ingo Wilhelm Mueller – Director and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Mueller has been involved in the finance and advisory business for the past 25 years having been involved in the financing of companies and projects. Mr. Mueller is the founder and currently the CEO of the Company since inception and has been responsible for the development of the Company’s intellectual property, business model and financing. He is full time with the Company. He is also currently the CEO of St. George Capital Corp. (since 1998), doing business as Capital Fusion Group, a private financial advisory firm. Mr. Mueller was Chairman and CEO of International Coal Company Ltd. from 2008-2010 before it was sold to London Mining plc, after which Mr. Mueller was named Chairman and CEO of London Mining Colombia Ltd. (2010 to 2012). Mr. Mueller was also the CEO and Chairman of WIGU City Edutainment Centers Plc (2014 to 2017). Mr. Mueller has a Bachelor Commerce (major in Finance and minor in Urban Land Economics) from the University of British Columbia. The Board has determined that Mr. Mueller is suited to serve on the Board due to his long standing involvement in the financial community.
Don Nicholson, Chairman, Director
Mr. Nicholson began his career as an engineer at Shell Canada Ltd. and went on to serve as President, Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of several multinational companies. Mr. Nicholson has been retired for the past five years. Prior to his retirement, he acted as President of Pan Pacific Aggregates plc from January 2005 to August 2008.
Mr. Nicholson was responsible for executing major projects in the LNG, power generation, mining, nuclear, natural gas production, and pipeline construction industries. Prior to his retirement, he was a member of the Registered Professional Engineers of the Province of British Columbia, a Member of Prospector and Developers Association of Canada, of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and the Institute of Corporate Directors of Canada. Mr. Nicholson earned a B.A. Sc., in Electrical Engineering at the University of British Columbia and a DIC in Automatic Control Systems at the Imperial College in London, England. The Board has determined Mr. Nicolson is suited to serve as a director due to his long term involvement with multinational corporations.
David Welch, Director
Mr. Welch is the founding partner at D|R Welch Law, a law firm in Los Angeles, California for which he has been employed full time for the past five years.. He has a broad base of experience in representing clients in the areas of litigation, corporate governance and financing, intellectual property and regulatory advisement and defense. Mr. Welch also focuses on complex commercial transactions and finance. Mr. Welch obtained his Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School and received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the California State University, Fullerton. He is a member of the Los Angeles County and American Bar Associations. He is suited to serve as a director due to his long standing experience in intellectual property.
William John Meekison, Director
Mr. Meekison is a career Chief Financial Officer and former investment banker. He has spent the last fifteen years serving in a variety of executive management and CFO roles with both private and public companies, currently as the CFO and Director of Exro Technologies Inc. (since October 2017), a technology company that creates energy management system, and CFO and Director of ArcWest Exploration Inc. (since December 2010), a mining exploration company in British Columbia. He is currently on the board of directors of Pike Mountain Minerals Inc. (since July 2018) and Quest Pharmatech Inc. (since November 2017). Prior to his position at Exro Technologies Inc., Mr. Meekison spent fifteen years in corporate finance with a focus on raising equity capital for North American technology companies, including nine years at Haywood Securities Inc. Mr. Meekison received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Professional Logistician and Certified Investment Manager. He is suited to serve as a director due to his long time experience as a CFO.
Richard Wong, Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Wong, who works full time for the Company, has over 25 years of experience in both start-up and public companies in the consumer goods, agricultural goods, manufacturing, and forest industries. Prior to joining the Company in 2018, he was a partner in First Choice Capital Advisors from 2008-2016 and a partner in Lighthouse Advisors Ltd. from 2016-2018. Mr. Wong has also served as the CFO of Emerald Harvest Co., Dan-D Foods, Ltd., and was the Director of Finance and CFO of SUGOI Performance Apparel and had served positions at Canfor, Canadian Pacific & other Fortune 1000 companies. Mr. Wong is a Chartered Professional Accountant, and a member since 1999. Mr. Wong has a Diploma in Technology and Financial Management from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Troy McClellan, Vice President, Design and Construction
Mr. McClellan, who works full time for the Company, has focused on innovative design and construction technologies throughout his career. Most recently, he was V.P. of Design and Development at WIGU City from 2015-2018, at which time he joined the Company. Mr. McClellan was the VP Design and Development of MGM Macau. Previously, he was a Project Manager at Wynn Design & Development and a Design Manager at Universal Studios (Japan). Mr. McClellan is a registered professional architect and received his Master’s Degree in Architecture from Montana State University.
Dr. Laila Benkrima, Chief Scientist
Dr. Benkrima, who consults part-time for the Company, holds a PhD from the University of Paris in horticulture with a specialization in tissue culture and the hybridization and selection of plant varietals. Her employment history includes Inflazyme Pharmaceuticals, the University of British Columbia, and Celex Laboratory.
Our philosophy as to the structure of our management team is a follows:
|Employee Title||Description of Employee Duties and Responsibilities|
|Chief Executive Officer (Ingo Mueller)||The Chief Executive Officer in partnership with the Board, is responsible for the success of the organization, making high-level decisions about the Company’s policies and strategy. Together, the Board and CEO assure the accomplishment of the Company’s vision and mission, and the accountability of the Company to its stakeholders and shareholders. The Board delegates responsibility for management and day-to-day operations to the CEO, and he has the authority to carry out these responsibilities, in accordance with the direction and policies established by the Board.|
|Chief Financial Officer (Richard Wong)||As a key member of the Executive team, the CFO reports to the CEO and assumes an overall strategic role in the Company. The CFO participates in driving the organization towards achieving its objectives whilst building the Finance and Administration function by demonstrating ethical leadership and business integrity. The CFO will ensure risk management is put in place with responsibility over internal controls to ensure transactions are done to prevent fraud while being cost efficient. In so doing, the incumbent will balance short term concerns and pressures, such as managing cash, liquidity and profitability with long-term vision and sustainable Company success. The CFO will work closely with the CEO and the rest of the Executive team to drive and manage change and innovation in a quickly evolving and changing industry landscape whilst fulfilling stewardship responsibilities. In so doing the CFO will ensure effective compliance and control and respond to regulatory developments and financial reporting obligations. Directly responsibility includes accounting, finance, forecasting, costing, property management, deal analysis and negotiations, compliance, financing and capital markets activities.|
|Vice-President of Design & Construction (Troy McClellan)||Reporting to the CEO, the Vice President, Design and Construction is responsible for establishing, implementing and enforcing of all aspects and activities of the Design and Construction group. Responsibilities will include; supporting and partnering with other executives and stakeholders to develop and implement a comprehensive development strategy to build the Company’s facilities master plan both nationally and internationally, ensuring innovative, intelligently constructible LEED objective facilities, utilizing construction standardization and efficiency, ensuring best sustainability and HSE practices. The VP Design & Construction will oversee development and coordination of all AgriFORCE facilities, ensuring program and performance optimization, development schedule adherence and budget management based on the Company’s capital investment program; and work closely with other executives to deliver on the Company’s KPI, operational performance and specific programming direction to ensure focused, directed, timely project advancement.|
|Chief Scientist (Dr. Laila Benkrima)||Dr. Benkrima is responsible for overseeing the research and development of the company’s plant biology, biotechnology, and genetics initiatives. Dr. Benkrima is responsible for planning, development and creative problem solving of various projects from plant micropropagation and functional/medicinal crop cultivation to hydroponics and laboratory design. Her work also involves tissue culture, hybridization of plant varietals in the agricultural, horticultural, nutraceutical, and hydroponic sectors.|
Simultaneous with the closing of our initial public offering, Amy Griffith and Richard Levychin, CPA, will be joining our Board as independent directors:
Amy Griffith, 49, is Wells Fargo’s State & Local Government Relations Senior Leader for the Keystone Region encompassing Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. She was recruited to Wells Fargo’s Government Relations and Public Policy team in 2019. In this role, Griffith leads Wells Fargo’s legislative and political agenda in her region and manages relationships with a state and local policymakers and community stakeholders.
From 2008-2019, Griffith led government relations for sixteen states in the Eastern United States for TIAA for over a decade. In her role at TIAA, she successfully lobbied for multiple high-profile issues, including landmark pension reform legislation adopted in Pennsylvania. Prior to that, she worked in the aerospace, high tech, education, private and public sectors, and has managed multiple high-profile political campaigns at the local, state and national level.
Griffith is active in her community and has co-chaired The Baldwin School Golf Outing to raise funds for girls’ athletics programs.
She is a graduate of Gwynedd-Mercy College and holds a Bachelor of Arts in History. Our Board has determined that Ms. Griffith is well qualified to serve as a director due to her significant experience in government relations and politics and years of experience working with companies in both the private and public sectors.
Richard Levychin, CPA, CGMA, 62, is a Partner in Galleros Robinson’s Commercial Audit and Assurance practice where he focuses on both privately and publicly held companies. Prior to taking this position in October 2018, Richard was the managing partner of KBL, LLP, a PCAOB certified independent registered accounting firm, since 1994. Mr. Levychin has over 25 years of accounting, auditing, business advisory services and tax experience working with both privately owned and public entities in various industries including media, entertainment, real estate, manufacturing, not-for-profit, technology, retail, technology, and professional services. His experience also includes expertise with SEC filings, initial public offerings, and compliance with regulatory bodies. As a business adviser, he advises companies, helping them to identify and define their business and financial objectives, and then provides them with the on-going personal attention necessary to help them achieve their established goals.
Mr. Levychin has written articles on a wide range of topics, which have been featured in several periodicals including Dollars and Sense, New York Enterprise Report, Black Enterprise Magazine, Forbes, Business Insider, and The Network Journal. He has also conducted seminars on a wide range of business topics including SEC matters and taxation for several organizations including the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (New York chapter) and the Learning Annex.
Mr. Levychin is a member of several organizations including the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, the National Association of Tax Professionals, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Richard was a founding member of the AICPA’s National Diversity and Inclusion Commission. Richard is a member and a former board member of the New York Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (“EO”), a dynamic, global network of more than 14,000 business owners in over 50 countries.
In 2018 Mr. Levychin was a recipient of the 5 Chamber Alliance MWBE Award from the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. In 2016 Richard was presented with the 2016 Arthur Ashe Leadership Award. In 2015 Richard was presented by his alma mater Baruch College with the Baruch College Alumni Association’s “Alumni Leadership Award for Business”. In 2013 Richard received the title of Best Accountant from The New York Enterprise Report. Mr. Levychin is a past winner of The Network Journal’s prestigious “40 Under 40” award.
He is a graduate of Baruch College, where he received a Bachelors in Business Administration Degree (Accounting).
Our Board has determined that Mr. Levychin is well suited to serve on our Board due to his decades of experience as the managing partner of a PCAOB certified independent registered accounting firm, which included decades of expertise with SEC filings and initial public offerings.
Involvement in Legal Proceedings
To the best of our knowledge, during the past ten years, none of the following occurred with respect to a present or former director or executive officer of our Company: (1) any bankruptcy petition filed by or against such person or any business of which such person was a general partner or executive officer either at the time of the bankruptcy or within two years prior to that time; (2) any conviction in a criminal proceeding or being subject to a pending criminal proceeding (excluding traffic violations and other minor offenses); (3) being subject to any order, judgment or decree, not subsequently reversed, suspended or vacated, of any court of any competent jurisdiction, permanently or temporarily enjoining, barring, suspending or otherwise limiting his involvement in any type of business, securities or banking activities; (4) being found by a court of competent jurisdiction (in a civil action), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) or the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to have violated a federal or state securities or commodities law, and the judgment has not been reversed, suspended or vacated; and (5) being the subject of, or a party to, any federal or state judicial or administrative order, judgment, decree or finding, not subsequently reversed, suspended or vacated, relating to an alleged violation of any federal or state securities or commodities law or regulation, law or regulation respecting financial institutions or insurance companies or law or regulation prohibiting mail or wire fraud or fraud in connection with any business entity; or (6) being the subject of, or a party to, any sanction or order, not subsequently reversed, suspended or vacated, of any self-regulatory organization (as defined in Section 3(a)(26) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended), any registered entity (as defined in Section 1(a)(29) of the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended), or any equivalent exchange, association, entity or organization that has disciplinary authority over its members or associated persons.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, in April 2010, Mr. Mueller, without admitting any liability, did enter into a consent agreement with regard to a civil action in Nevada, pursuant to which he agreed to pay a $75,000 civil penalty and agreed to not act as an officer or director of a public company or be involved in any penny stock company for five years (which expired in 2015).
The business and affairs of our Company are managed under the direction of the Board of Directors.
Term of Office
Directors serve until the next annual meeting and until their successors are elected and qualified. Officers are appointed to serve until the Company requires them to be replaced.
We use the definition of “independence” of The NASDAQ Stock Market to make this determination. We are not yet listed on NASDAQ, and although we use its definition of “independence,” its rules are inapplicable to us until such time as we become listed on NASDAQ. NASDAQ Listing Rule 5605(a)(2) provides that an “independent director” is a person other than an officer or employee of our Company or any other individual having a relationship which, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, would interfere with the exercise of independent judgment in carrying out the responsibilities of a director. The NASDAQ rules provide that a director cannot be considered independent if:
|●||the director is, or at any time during the past three years was, an employee of our Company;|
|●||the director or a family member of the director accepted any compensation from our Company in excess of $120,000 during any period of 12 consecutive months within the three years preceding the independence determination (subject to certain exclusions, including, among other things, compensation for board or board committee service);|
|●||a family member of the director is, or at any time during the past three years was, an executive officer of our Company;|
|●||the director or a family member of the director is a partner in, controlling shareholder of, or an executive officer of an entity to which our Company made, or from which our Company received, payments in the current or any of the past three fiscal years that exceed 5% of the recipient’s consolidated gross revenue for that year or $200,000, whichever is greater (subject to certain exclusions);|
|●||the director or a family member of the director is employed as an executive officer of an entity where, at any time during the past three years, any of the executive officers of our Company served on the compensation committee of such other entity; or|
|●||the director or a family member of the director is a current partner of our Company’s outside auditor, or at any time during the past three years was a partner or employee of our Company’s outside auditor, and who worked on our Company’s audit.|
Under the following three NASDAQ director independence rules a director is not considered independent: (a) NASDAQ Rule 5605(a)(2)(A), a director is not considered to be independent if he or she also is an executive officer or employee of the corporation, (b) NASDAQ Rule 5605(a)(2)(B), a director is not consider independent if he or she accepted any compensation from our Company in excess of $120,000 during any period of twelve consecutive months within the three years preceding the determination of independence, and (c) NASDAQ Rule 5605(a)(2)(D), a director is not considered to be independent if he or she is a partner in, or a controlling shareholder or an executive officer of, any organization to which our Company made, or from which our Company received, payments for property or services in the current or any of the past three fiscal years that exceed 5% of the recipient’s consolidated gross revenues for that year, or $200,000. Under such definitions, we have four independent directors.
The Chairman of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer have a family relationship as the Chairman is the stepfather of the Chief Executive Officer, although they do not live in the same household.
Our Board of Directors has no standing committees, except for an audit committee, which is not Nasdaq compliant. In connection with our application to list our common shares on NASDAQ, we have identified and will appoint the requisite number of independent directors required under the NASDAQ listing rules and to establish an Audit Committee, a Compensation Committee and a Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, each comprised entirely of independent directors and otherwise Nasdaq-compliant, all effective as of the date of our initial listing on NASDAQ. We do not intend to take advantage of any transition periods permissible under the NASDAQ rules.
Our Audit Committee will be comprised of at least three individuals, each of whom will be an independent director and at least one of whom will be an “audit committee financial expert,” as defined in Item 407(d)(5)(ii) of Regulation S-K. Our audit committee is currently comprised of Messrs. Nicholson, Meekison and Welch, who after giving effect to the offering will all be independent, and Mr. Welch is our financial expert.
Our Audit Committee will oversee our corporate accounting, financial reporting practices and the audits of financial statements. For this purpose, the Audit Committee will have a charter (which will be reviewed annually) and perform several functions. The Audit Committee will:
|●||evaluate the independence and performance of, and assess the qualifications of, our independent auditor and engage such independent auditor;|
|●||approve the plan and fees for the annual audit, quarterly reviews, tax and other audit-related services and approve in advance any non-audit service to be provided by our independent auditor;|
|●||monitor the independence of our independent auditor and the rotation of partners of the independent auditor on our engagement team as required by law;|
|●||review the financial statements to be included in our future Annual Reports on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and review with management and our independent auditor the results of the annual audit and reviews of our quarterly financial statements; and|
|●||oversee all aspects our systems of internal accounting control and corporate governance functions on behalf of the Board of Directors.|
Our Compensation Committee will be comprised of at least three individuals, each of whom will be an independent director, all effective as of the date of our initial listing on NASDAQ.
The Compensation Committee will review or recommend the compensation arrangements for our management and employees and also assist our Board of Directors in reviewing and approving matters such as company benefit and insurance plans, including monitoring the performance thereof. The Compensation Committee will have a charter (which will be reviewed annually) and perform several functions.
The Compensation Committee will have the authority to directly engage, at our expense, any compensation consultants or other advisers as it deems necessary to carry out its responsibilities in determining the amount and form of employee, executive and director compensation.
Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee
Our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee will be comprised of at least three individuals, each of whom will be an independent director, all effective as of the date of our initial listing on NASDAQ.
The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee will be charged with the responsibility of reviewing our corporate governance policies and with proposing potential director nominees to the Board of Directors for consideration. This committee will also have the authority to oversee the hiring of potential executive positions in our Company. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee will have a charter (which will be reviewed annually) and perform several functions.
Anticipated Committee Assignments Post Initial Public Offering
Audit Committee: Richard Levychin (Chair), John Meekison, Don Nicolson and Amy Griffith
Compensation Committee: Don Nicholson (Chair), Amy Griffith and Richard Levychin
Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee: Don Nicholson (Chair), John, Meekison, Amy Griffith and Richard Levychin
Code of Ethics
We have adopted a written code of business conduct and ethics that applies to our directors, officers and employees, including our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer or controller, or persons performing similar functions. Following the consummation of this offering, we will post a current copy of the code on our website, www.AgriFORCEGS.com. In addition, we intend to post on our website all disclosures that are required by law or the listing standards of NASDAQ concerning any amendments to, or waivers from, any provision of the code. The reference to our website address does not constitute incorporation by reference of the information contained at or available through our website, and you should not consider it to be a part of this prospectus.
Indemnification of Directors and Officers
The Registrant is subject to the provisions of the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) (the “Act”) and the articles of the Registrant (the “Articles”) regarding indemnification of the Registrant’s directors and officers.
Indemnification under the Act
Under Section 160(a) of the Act, and subject to Section 163 of the Act, the Registrant may indemnify any eligible party (as defined in the Act) against all eligible penalties (as defined in the Act) to which the eligible party is or may be liable. Section 160(b) of the Act permits the Registrant to pay the expenses (as defined in the Act) actually and reasonably incurred by an eligible party after the final disposition of the eligible proceeding (as defined in the Act).
Under Section 159 of the Act:
· an “eligible party” means an individual who:
○ is or was a director or officer of the Registrant,
○ is or was a director or officer of another corporation (i) at a time when the corporation is or was an affiliate of the Registrant, or (ii) at the request of the Registrant, or
○ at the request of the Registrant, is or was, or holds or held a position equivalent to that of, a director or officer of a partnership, trust, joint venture or other unincorporated entity,
and includes, except in the definition of “eligible proceeding” and except in sections 163(1)(c) and (d) and 165 of the Act, the heirs and personal or other legal representatives of that individual;
· an “eligible penalty” is defined as a judgment, penalty or fine awarded or imposed in, or an amount paid in settlement of, an eligible proceeding;
· an “eligible proceeding” means a proceeding (as defined herein) in which an eligible party or any of the heirs and personal or other legal representatives of the eligible party, by reason of the eligible party being or having been a director or officer of, or holding or having held a position equivalent to that of a director or officer of, the Registrant or an associated corporation:
○ is or may be joined as a party, or
○ is or may be liable for or in respect of a judgment, penalty or fine in, or expenses related to, the proceeding;
· “expenses” are defined to include costs, charges and expenses, including legal and other fees, but does not include judgments, penalties, fines or amounts paid in settlement of any proceeding; and
· a “proceeding” includes any legal proceeding or investigative action, whether current, threatened, pending or completed.
Under Section 161 of the Act, the Registrant must, after the final disposition of an eligible proceeding, pay the expenses actually and reasonably incurred by the eligible party in respect of that proceeding if the eligible party (a) has not been reimbursed for those expenses, and (b) is wholly successful, on the merits or otherwise, in the outcome of the proceeding or is substantially successful on the merits in the outcome of the proceeding.
Under Section 162 of the Act, and subject to section 163, the Registrant may pay, as they are incurred in advance of the final disposition of an eligible proceeding, the expenses actually and reasonably incurred by an eligible party in respect of that proceeding; provided the Registrant must not make such payments unless it first receives from the eligible party a written undertaking that, if it is ultimately determined that the payment of expenses is prohibited by Section 163, the eligible party will repay the amounts advanced.
Under Section 163 of the Act, the Registrant must not indemnify an eligible party against eligible penalties to which the eligible party is or may be liable or pay the expenses of an eligible party in respect of that proceeding under Sections 160, 161 or 162 of the Act, as the case may be, if any of the following circumstances apply:
|●||if the indemnity or payment is made under an earlier agreement to indemnify or pay expenses and, at the time that the agreement to indemnify or pay expenses was made, the Registrant was prohibited from giving the indemnity or paying the expenses by its memorandum or articles;|
|●||if the indemnity or payment is made otherwise than under an earlier agreement to indemnify or pay expenses and, at the time that the indemnity or payment is made, the Registrant is prohibited from giving the indemnity or paying the expenses by its memorandum or articles;|
|●||if, in relation to the subject matter of the eligible proceeding, the eligible party did not act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the Registrant or the associated corporation, as the case may be; or|
|●||in the case of an eligible proceeding other than a civil proceeding if the eligible party did not have reasonable grounds for believing that the eligible party’s conduct in respect of which the proceeding was brought was lawful.|
Under Section 163(2) of the Act, if an eligible proceeding is brought against an eligible party by or on behalf of the Registrant or by or on behalf of an associated corporation, the Registrant must not either indemnify the eligible party against eligible penalties to which the eligible party is or may be liable in respect of the proceeding, or, after the final disposition of an eligible proceeding, pay the expenses actually and reasonably incurred by an eligible party under Sections 160(b), 161 or 162 of the Act in respect of the proceeding.
Under Section 164 of the Act, despite any other provision of Division 5-Indemnification of Directors and Officers and Payment of Expenses under the Act and whether or not payment of expenses or indemnification has been sought, authorized or declined under such Division, the Supreme Court of British Columbia may, on application of the Registrant or an eligible party, may:
|●||order the Registrant to indemnify an eligible party against any liability incurred by the eligible party in respect of an eligible proceeding;|
|●||order the Registrant to pay some or all of the expenses incurred by an eligible party in respect of an eligible proceeding;|
|●||order the enforcement of, or any payment under, an agreement of indemnification entered into by the Registrant;|
|●||order the Registrant to pay some or all of the expenses actually and reasonably incurred by any person in obtaining an order under this section; or|
|●||make any other order the Court considers appropriate.|
Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted to directors, officers or persons controlling us pursuant to the foregoing provisions, we have been informed that in the opinion of the Commission such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is therefore unenforceable.
Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance
Since our common shares are not yet registered under Section 12 of the Exchange Act, our directors and executive officers and persons who beneficially own more than 10% of our common shares are not required to file with the Commission various reports as to their ownership of and activities relating to our common shares.
The following table summarizes compensation of our named executive officers, as of December 31, 2020 and 2019.
Summary Compensation Table
|Name and position||Year||Salary ($)||Bonus ($)||Stock Awards ($)||Option Awards ($)||Non-equity Incentive Plan Compensation ($)||Non-qualified Incentive Plan Compensation ($)||All Other Compensation ($) *||Total ($)|
|Ingo W. Mueller,||2020||114,499||-||-||219,462||83,861||417,822|
|Chief Executive Officer||2019||100,031||60,291||-||-||-||-||28,261||188,583|
|Richard S. Wong,||2020||179,372||-||-||69,304||-||-||15,225||263,901|
|Chief Financial Officer||2019||90,673||-||-||31,256||-||-||76,407||198,336|
|Troy T. McClellan,||2020||154,028||-||-||98,180||-||-||’||252,208|
|Vice President Design & Construction||2019||77,861||-||-||-||-||-||86,668||164,529|
* All other compensation represents payments to officers for consulting services.
Employment and Related Agreements
Except as set forth below, we currently have no other written employment agreements with any of our officers and directors. The following is a description of our current executive employment agreements:
Agreements with Our Named Executive Officers
We have entered into written employment agreements with each of our named executive officers, as described below. Each of our named executive officers has also executed our standard form of confidential information and invention assignment agreement.
Employment Agreement with Ingo Mueller
We have verbally agreed with Mr. Mueller that his employment as our Chief Executive Officer is governed by the terms of the employment agreement, dated July 1, 2019, by and between Mr. Mueller and HydroHaus US Holdings Inc. unless and until such agreement is earlier terminated by the Company or Mr. Mueller as hereinafter provided. Under the terms of this agreement, Mr. Mueller is entitled to an annual base salary of CDN$150,000 beginning on July 1, 2019, eligible to receive payment of up to $3,600 per annum, paid monthly, for medical expenses, and is subject to annual reviews where the Company at its discretion may increase, but not decrease, Mr. Mueller’s base salary each year. The employment agreement also entitles Mr. Mueller to, among other benefits, the following compensation: (i) eligibility to receive an annual cash bonus of up to 100% of base salary; based on performance targets established by the Board from time to time at the sole discretion of the Board and as determined by the Compensation Committee once established or otherwise by the Board commensurate with the policies and practices applicable to other senior executive officers of the Company; (ii) an opportunity to participate in any stock option, performance share, performance unit or other equity based long-term incentive compensation plan commensurate with the terms and conditions applicable to other senior executive officers and (iii) participation in health benefit plans, practices, policies and programs provided by the Company and its affiliated companies (including, without limitation, medical, prescription, dental, disability, employee life, group life, accidental death and travel accident insurance plans and programs) to the extent available to our other senior executive officers.
Employment Agreement with Richard Wong
We entered into an employment agreement with Mr. Wong on July 1, 2019 that governs the terms of his employment with us as Chief Financial Officer which and shall thereafter continue unless and until such employment is earlier terminated by either party as hereinafter provided. Under the terms of this agreement, Mr. Wong is entitled to an annual base salary of CDN$236,500 beginning on July 1, 2019, and is subject to annual reviews where the Company at its discretion may increase, but not decrease, Mr. Wong’s base salary each year. The employment agreement also entitles Mr. Wong to, among other benefits, the following compensation: (i) eligibility to receive an annual cash bonus of up to 100% of base salary; based on performance targets established by the Board from time to time at the sole discretion of the Board and as determined by the Compensation Committee once established or otherwise by the Board commensurate with the policies and practices applicable to other senior executive officers of the Company; (ii) an opportunity to participate in any stock option, performance share, performance unit or other equity based long-term incentive compensation plan commensurate with the terms and conditions applicable to other senior executive officers and (iii) participation in health benefit plans, practices, policies and programs provided by the Company and its affiliated companies (including, without limitation, medical, prescription, dental, disability, employee life, group life, accidental death and travel accident insurance plans and programs) to the extent available to our other senior executive officers.
Employment Agreement with Troy McClellan
We entered into an employment agreement with Mr. McClellan on June 15, 2019 that continues unless and until such employment is terminated by either party pursuant to the terms of the agreement. Under the terms of this agreement, Mr. McClellan is entitled to an annual base salary of CDN$202,500 beginning on June 15, 2019, and is subject to annual reviews where the Company at its discretion may increase, but not decrease, Mr. McClellan’s base salary each year. The employment agreement also entitles Mr. McClellan to, among other benefits, the following compensation: (i) eligibility to receive an annual cash bonus of up to 100% of base salary; based on performance targets established by the Board from time to time at the sole discretion of the Board and as determined by the Compensation Committee once established or otherwise by the Board commensurate with the policies and practices applicable to other senior executive officers of the Company; (ii) an opportunity to participate in any stock option, performance share, performance unit or other equity based long-term incentive compensation plan commensurate with the terms and conditions applicable to other senior executive officers and (iii) participation in health benefit plans, practices, policies and programs provided by the Company and its affiliated companies (including, without limitation, medical, prescription, dental, disability, employee life, group life, accidental death and travel accident insurance plans and programs) to the extent available to our other senior executive officers.
Potential Payments to Messrs. Mueller, Wong and McClellan or Change in Control
Pursuant to the employment, regardless of the manner in which Messrs. Mueller’s, Wong’s and McClellan’s service terminates, each executive officer is entitled to receive amounts earned during his term of service, including salary, other benefits. In addition, each of them is eligible to receive certain benefits pursuant to his agreement with us described above.
The Company is permitted to terminate the employment of Messrs. Mueller, Wong and McClellan, for the following reasons: (1) death, (2) Termination for Cause (as defined below) or (3) for no reason. The employment of Mssrs. Mueller, Wong and McClellan automatically terminates upon determination of permanent disability, provided that the disability renders the executive officer incapable of performing his or her duty.
Each such officer is permitted Termination for Good Reason (as defined below) of such officer’s employment. In addition, each such officer may terminate his or her employment upon written notice to the Company 30 days prior to the effective date of such termination.
In the event of such officer’s Termination for Cause by the Company or the termination of such officer’s employment as a result of such officer’s resignation other than a Termination for Good Reason, such officer shall be provided certain benefits provided in the employment agreement and payment of all accrued and unpaid compensation and wages, but such officer shall have no right to compensation or benefits for any period subsequent to the effective date of termination. In the event of such officer’s termination without Cause, the officer shall be entitled to severance in lieu of notice equal to six months of the then base salary, benefits continuation for a period of three months following the termination date and payment of any outstanding and accrued vacation pay and expenses, as applicable.
Under the employment agreements, “Cause” means: any material breach of the employment agreement, and any act, omission, behavior, conduct or circumstance of the Executive that constitutes just cause for dismissal of the Executive at common law, including an act involving gross negligence, or willful misconduct, commission or a felony, becoming bankrupt, or any material omission in the performance of Services, or the doing or condoning any unlawful or manifestly improper act. “Good Reason” means: (i) a material reduction in Executive’s salary or benefits (excluding the substitution of substantially equivalent compensation and benefits), other than as a result of a reduction in compensation affecting employees of the Company, or its successor entity, generally; (ii) a material diminution in Executive’s duties or responsibilities, provided however, that, a mere change in title or reporting relationship alone shall not constitute “Good Reason;” or (iii) relocation of Executive’s place of employment to a location more than 50 miles from the Company’s office location.
Involuntary Termination other than for Cause, Death or Voluntary Termination for Good Reason Following a Change of Control. If within twelve (12) months following a Change of Control, the officer’s employment is terminated (1) involuntarily by the Company other than for Cause, (2) death, or (3) by such officer pursuant to a Voluntary Termination for Good Reason, and such officer executes and does not revoke a general release of claims against the Company and its affiliates in a form acceptable to the Company, then the Company shall provide such officer with, among other benefits:
|1.||a lump sum payment in the amount equal to twelve months of the then Base Salary|
|2.||any outstanding Vacation pay as at the Effective Date of Termination; and|
|3.||any outstanding Expenses as at the Effective Date of Termination;|
and maintain the Executive’s then Group Benefits for a period of three months from the Effective Date of Termination.
Outstanding Equity Awards at December 31, 2020
|Name||Number of securities underlying unexercised options (#) exercisable||Number of securities underlying unexercised options (#) unexercisable||Equity incentive plan awards: Number of securities underlying unexercised unearned options (#)||Option exercise price ($)||Option expiration date|
|Ingo W. Mueller||200,000||-||-||1.31||12-Dec-24|
|Ingo W. Mueller||42,850||71,416||-||3.73||30-Jun-26|
|Richard S. Wong||10,526||-||-||1.31||24-Oct-24|
|Richard S. Wong||42,105||-||-||1.87||10-Jun-25|
|Richard S. Wong||13,532||22,552||-||3.73||30-Jun-26|
|Troy T. McClellan||89,474||-||-||1.31||12-Dec-24|
|Troy T. McClellan||19,170||31,949||-||3.73||30-Jun-26|
Stock Option Plan
The Company adopted a stock option plan originally on December 12, 2018 (the “Option Plan”), as amended, under which the committee of the Board (the “Committee”) may from time to time in its discretion, grant to directors, officers, employees and consultants of the Company non-transferable options to purchase common shares (“Options”). As of the date of this Prospectus, the Company has 742,276 Options outstanding. The Option Plan was approved by the shareholders of the Company on June 10, 2019.
The principal purpose of the Option Plan is to advance the interests of the Company by encouraging the directors, employees and consultants of the Company and of its subsidiaries or affiliates, if any, by providing them with the opportunity, through options, to acquire Shares in the share capital of the Company, thereby increasing their proprietary interest in the Company, encouraging them to remain associated with the Company and furnishing them with additional incentive in their efforts on behalf of the Company in the conduct of its affairs.
The Plan will be administered by the Compensation Committee of our Board of Directors, once established, or by the full board, which may determine, among other things, the (a) terms and conditions of any option or stock purchase right granted, including the exercise price and the vesting schedule, (b) persons who are eligible to receive options and stock purchase rights and (c) the number of shares to be subject to each option and stock purchase right. The types of equity awards that may be granted under the Plan are: (i) incentive stock options (“ISOs”) and non-incentive stock options (“Non-ISOs”).
Any officer, director, employee or consultant of the Company or its wholly-owned subsidiaries (each as described in the Option Plan and each, an “Eligible Person”) is eligible to receive Options under the Option Plan. The Committee has full and final authority to determine the Eligible Persons who are granted Options under the Option Plan and the number of Shares subject to each Option.
Shares Subject to Option Plan
The maximum number of Shares which may be available for issuance under the Option will not exceed 15% of the total number of Shares issued and outstanding from time to time. The Option Plan is an “evergreen plan” and accordingly, any issuance of Shares from treasury, including the issuances of Shares in respect of which Options are exercised, and any expired or cancelled Options, shall automatically replenish the number of Shares issuable under the Option Plan.
The maximum number of Shares which may be issued or reserved for issuance to any one Person (as described in the Option Plan), and companies wholly-owned by that Person, under the Option Plan within any 12-month period shall not exceed 5% of the issued and outstanding Shares, calculated on the date an Option is granted to such Person.
Limits with Respect to Consultants and Employees or Consultants engaged in Investor Relations Activities
The maximum number of Options which may be granted to any one consultant under the Option Plan within any 12-month period, must not exceed 2% of the issued and outstanding Shares, calculated at the date an Option is granted to such consultant (on a non-diluted basis).
The maximum number of Options which may be granted to employees or consultants engaged in investor relations activities under the Option Plan within any 12-month period, must not exceed 2% of the issued and outstanding Shares, calculated on the date an Option is granted to any such investor relations person (on a non-diluted basis).
Exercise of Options
The exercise price of Options issued may not be less than the “Market Value” (as described in the Option Plan) of the Shares at the time the Option is granted. In addition, the exercise price will not be lower than as permitted by applicable stock exchange policies.
Subject to the provisions of the Option Plan and the particular Option, an Option may be exercised, in whole or in part, by delivering a written notice of exercise to the Company along with payment in cash or certified cheque for the full amount of the exercise price of the Shares then being purchased.
Term and Expiry Date
The period within which Options may be exercised and the number of Options which may be exercised in any such period are determined by the Committee at the time of granting the Options provided, however, that the maximum term of any Options awarded under the Option Plan is ten (10) years. The term and expiry date of any Options granted to a Ten Percent Shareholder Participant (as defined in the Option Plan) shall not exceed five (5) years from the date of grant.
All Options granted pursuant to the Option Plan will be subject to the vesting requirements imposed by the Board at the time of grant of the Options.
Termination of Options
An optionee who ceases to be an Eligible Person for any reason, other than as a result of having been dismissed for cause or as a result of the optionee’s death, may exercise any vested and unexpired Options held by such optionee for a period of 30 days from the date of cessation (or until the normal expiry date of the Option rights of such optionee, if earlier), unless otherwise determined by the Committee and expressly provided for in the certificate representing the Options.
In the event of a death of the optionee during the currency of the optionee’s Options, any Options theretofore granted to the optionee are exercisable by the optionee’s lawful personal representatives, heirs or executors until the earlier of one (1) year after the date of death of such optionee and the expiry date of the Options.
If an optionee ceases to be an Eligible Person as a result of having been dismissed for cause, all unexercised Options of that optionee under the Option Plan shall immediately become terminated and shall lapse.
In the event of terminated by the Company by reason of disability of an optionee, any Options held by such optionee shall be exercisable by such optionee or by the personal representative on or before the date which is the earlier of one year following the date of disability and the expiry date of options.
Non-Assignability and Non-Transferability
Options granted under the Option Plan will be non-assignable and non-transferable by an optionee other than pursuant to a will or by the laws of descent and distribution, and such Option shall be exercisable, during an optionee’s lifetime, only by the optionee.
Adjustments in Shares Subject to Option Plan
The Option Plan contains provisions for the treatment of Options in the event of a reorganization, stock split, stock dividend, combination of shares, merger, consolidation, rights offering or any other change in the corporate structure or Shares of the Company. The Options granted under the Option Plan may contain such provisions as the Committee may determine with respect to adjustments to be made in the number and kind of Shares covered by such Options and in the exercise price in the event of such change.
The following table provides information with respect to options outstanding under our Plan:
|Plan category||Number of securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options||Weighted-average exercise price of outstanding options||Number of securities remaining available for future issuance|
|Equity compensation plans approved by security holders||742,276||$||5.58||
|Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders||-||-||-|
Non-Employee Director Remuneration Policy
Upon a Nasdaq listing, the directors’ compensation will be set at $30,000 each, which includes all committee participation, while the chairman of the Board and the chair of the Audit Committee will receive $40,000 each. It is anticipated that these payments will all be made in cash.
No annual compensation was paid to our employee directors for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2019 or 2020.
SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT
In computing the number and percentage of shares beneficially owned by a person, shares that may be acquired by such person within 60 days of the date of July 7, 2021 are counted as outstanding, while these shares are not counted as outstanding for computing the percentage ownership of any other person. Unless otherwise indicated, the principal address of each of the persons below is c/o AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd.
|Options Granted vested within||Percentage beneficially owned|
|Warrants||Series A Preferred Shares||Total||Before offering (1)||After offering (2)|
|Directors and Officers:|
|Total all officers and directors (6 persons)||2,066,385||137,130||-||-||2,203,515||18.60||%||15.13||%|
|Options Granted vested||Percentage beneficially owned|
within 60 days of
July __, 2021
|Warrants||Series A Preferred Shares||Total||Before offering|
|After offering (2)|
|5% or Greater Beneficial Owners:|
|Brand X Lifestyle Corp.||367,770||-||317,243||210,526||895,539||7.26||%||5.95||%|
|(a)||Includes (1) 92,030 common shares held by St. George Capital Corp. of which Mr. Mueller is the President, (2) 421,053 common shares held by 1071269 BC Ltd. of which Mr. Mueller is the sole owner, and (3) 31,579 common shares held by 1178196 BC Ltd. of which Mr. Mueller is an affiliate.|
|(b)||Includes 437,290 common shares held by 0902550 BC Ltd. of which Mr. Nicholson is the sole owner.|
|(c)||Includes 48,710 common shares held by Canadian Nexus Ventures Ltd. of which Mr. Johannson is the President.|
|(1)||Percentage ownership is based on 11,801,595 including (a) 9,542,769 common shares outstanding as of July 7, 2021 and (b) 2,258,826 preferred shares outstanding as of July 7, 2021 which vote as if converted into 2,258,826 common shares. For each person or entity listed above, warrants or options to purchase our common shares which are exercisable within 60 days of the date of this prospectus are deemed outstanding for computing the percentage ownership of the person holding such options, warrants, or other convertible securities, but are not deemed outstanding for computing the percentage of any other person.|
|(2)||Percentage ownership is based on 14,521,594 common shares outstanding assuming completion of the offering in which 2,719,999 common shares are issued. For each person or entity listed above, warrants or options to purchase our common shares which are exercisable within 60 days of the date of this prospectus are deemed outstanding for computing the percentage ownership of the person holding such options, warrants, or other convertible securities, but are not deemed outstanding for computing the percentage of any other person. In this offering, the purchasers will receive warrants which have a beneficial ownership limitation of 4.99% and such shares underlying the warrants are not counted for purposes of beneficial ownership to the extent that the beneficial ownership limitation is applicable.|
CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
We have adopted a written related-person transactions policy that sets forth our policies and procedures regarding the identification, review, consideration and oversight of “related-party transactions.” For purposes of our policy only, and not for purposes of required disclosure, which will be all related party transactions, even if less than $120,000, a “related-party transaction” is a transaction, arrangement or relationship (or any series of similar transactions, arrangements or relationships) in which we and any “related party” are participants involving an amount that exceeds $120,000.
Transactions involving compensation for services provided to us as an employee, consultant or director are not considered related-person transactions under this policy. A related party is any executive officer, director or a holder of more than five percent of our common shares, including any of their immediate family members and any entity owned or controlled by such persons.
At present, while the policy has been established, our Board of Directors does not yet include any independent members and no committees have been formed. Therefore no one has been appointed to the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. As a result, our Chief Financial Officer, Richard Wong, must present information regarding a proposed related-party transaction to our Board of Directors. Under the policy, where a transaction has been identified as a related-party transaction, Mr. Wong must present information regarding the proposed related-party transaction to our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, once the same is established, for review. The presentation must include a description of, among other things, the material facts, the direct and indirect interests of the related parties, the benefits of the transaction to us and whether any alternative transactions are available. To identify related-party transactions in advance, we rely on information supplied by our executive officers, directors and certain significant shareholders. In considering related-party transactions, our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee will take into account the relevant available facts and circumstances including, but not limited to:
|●||whether the transaction was undertaken in the ordinary course of our business;|
|●||whether the related party transaction was initiated by us or the related party;|
|●||whether the transaction with the related party is proposed to be, or was, entered into on terms no less favorable to us than terms that could have been reached with an unrelated third party;|
|●||the purpose of, and the potential benefits to us from the related party transaction;|
|●||the approximate dollar value of the amount involved in the related party transaction, particularly as it relates to the related party;|
|●||the related party’s interest in the related party transaction, and|
|●||any other information regarding the related party transaction or the related party that would be material to investors in light of the circumstances of the particular transaction.|
The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee shall then make a recommendation to the Board, which will determine whether or not to approve of the related party transaction, and if so, upon what terms and conditions. In the event a director has an interest in the proposed transaction, the director must recuse himself or herself from the deliberations and approval.
Except as set forth below, we have not had any related party transactions, regardless of dollar amount:
As of December 31, 2020, $3,223 (December 31, 2019 - $35,093) in total was owing to officers and directors or to companies owned by officers and directors of the Company for services and expenses. These amounts owing have been included in accounts payable and accrued liabilities.
|●||During the year ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, the Company incurred $38,395 and $186,971, respectively, to our U.S. general counsel firm, D R Welch against legal services. An aggregate of 13,158 shares (62,500 shares before the Reverse Split) were issued to David Welch as part of the payment.|
During the year ended December 31, 2020, the Company paid $Nil (December 31, 2019 - $17,271) for management services to First Liberty Power Corp., related to the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Don Nicholson.
On April 30, 2019 a loan of $18,625 (CAD $25,000) bearing interest at 2% per annum was given to Ingo Mueller, Chief Executive officer for the purposes of obtaining corporate credit card. The loan was subsequently repaid on August 9, 2019 along with interest accrued.
|●||During the year ended December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, the Company paid $8,862 and $37,682 (including $23,154 for services provided in 2018), respectively, for consulting services to 0902550 BC Ltd. where Don Nicholson is the principal consultant..|
On May 1, 2019, the Company entered into a 12 months consulting agreement with Arni Johannson to provide Investor Relations services for a monthly fee of CAD 10,000. As of December 31, 2020, the Company owed $nil pursuant to the said agreement.
|●||During the year ended December 31, 2019 the company paid share issue costs amounting to $2,355 and consulting fee amounting to $86,668 to Enkoodabaoo LLC related to officer, Troy McClellan.|
|●||There were no other payments to related parties for the year ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 other than expense reimbursements in the ordinary course of business.|
The Company also had an executive services agreement with PSV Enterprises Corporation, of which the sole employee is Ingo Mueller, pursuant to which Mr. Mueller provided executive services to the Company to perform the duties and responsibilities normally, and reasonably associated with the office of the CEO. This agreement was terminated as of December 31, 2020.
DESCRIPTION OF OUR SECURITIES
We have authorized unlimited common shares and preferred shares.
As of July 7, 2021, we had 9,542,769 common shares issued and outstanding.
The holders of the common shares are entitled to one vote for each share held at all meetings of shareholders (and written actions in lieu of meeting). There is no cumulative voting. The holders of common shares are entitled to dividends when and as declared by the Board of Directors from funds legally available therefor, and upon liquidation are entitled to share pro rata in any distribution to holders of common shares. There are no preemptive, conversion or redemption privileges, nor sinking fund provisions with respect to the common shares.
Series A Preferred Shares
Our preferred shares may be issued from time to time in one or more series. The Board of Directors is authorized to fix the number of shares of any series of preferred share and to determine the designation of any such series. The Board of Directors is also authorized to determine or alter the rights, preferences, privileges, and restrictions granted to or imposed upon any wholly unissued series of preferred share and, within the limits and restrictions stated in any resolution or resolutions of the Board of Directors originally fixing the number of shares constituting any series, to increase or decrease (but not below the number of shares of such series than outstanding) the number of shares of any such series subsequent to the issue of shares of that series.
As of the date of this prospectus, the Company has 2,258,826 issued and outstanding Series A Preferred Shares, with no par value.
Holders of Series A Preferred Shares are entitled to receive, when and as declared by the Board cumulative dividends at 12% per annum per Preferred Share, less any deductions required to be deducted and withheld, payable in Common Shares. Dividends will be payable on every six month anniversary after the date of issuance. Dividends on the Preferred Shares will accrue regardless of whether such dividends are declared by the Board.
Each outstanding Series A Preferred Share shall be convertible at any time at the option of the holder into that number of Common Shares equal to the quotient obtained by dividing the sum of (i) CAD $4.75 (CAD $1.00 before the reverse stock split), and (ii) all accrued and unpaid dividends, by the CAD $4.75 (CAD $1.00 before the reverse stock split). If the conversion of the Preferred Shares into Common Shares would result in the issuance of fractional Common Shares, the amount accrued and unpaid dividends that would be represented by the fractional Common Share will be paid in cash.
Each Series A Preferred Share is automatically convertible into a Common Share (without issuance of any accrued but unpaid dividend) upon the earlier to occur of:
|i.||the completion of one more offerings of securities of the Company for aggregate gross proceeds of at least CAD $5,000,000;|
|ii.||the occurrence of a “Liquidity Event”, which is defined under the Articles of the Company.|
|iii.||the date that is five years from the issue date of the Series A Preferred Shares.|
The holders of Series A Preferred Shares are entitled to receive notice of and to attend and vote at all meetings of shareholders of the Company. The Series A Preferred Shares have the voting rights as provided below:
|a.||on each matter of which holders of Series A Preferred Shares are exclusively entitled to vote (which means any creation of any class or series of Preferred Shares with the same rights and preferences as the Series A Preferred Shares, which are referred to as “parity shares”), each Series A Preferred Shares will be entitled to one vote; and|