A good story always starts with a protagonist under special circumstances. Meet Jan Braband, serial entrepreneur and PlantaCorp’s founder and CEO.
Way before PlantaCorp, Jan started studying medicine but went onto receive a degree in informatics from the University of Hamburg. After working for several years in the IT sector, Jan decided to study film direction in the USA at the UCLA. Subsequently, he worked as an editor, film editor and screenwriter.
Wait, what? An IT, film-maker guy came up with your liposomal technology? How?
After twelve years in the film and television business, Jan was looking for a change of scene. Due to his scientific-bend of mind, Jan always stayed abreast of the latest in medicine and technology. He got especially interested in harnessing the enormous potential of natural active ingredients in food supplements. While looking for ways to increase their efficiency, he found the answer in liposomal encapsulation technology.
Laying a strong foundation
When Jan began his R&D process in 2015, the German market lacked liposomal formulations suppliers. Internationally too, there were only a half dozen producers of liposomal formulations. Additionally, their self-developed technology was not publicly available. In order to overcome these limitations, Jan decided to develop his own manufacturing process for the production of liposomes.
Special circumstances led Jan back to two long-time friends, a chemist and pharmacist. Under their mentorship, twelve months of intensive literature- and lab-based research resulted in PlantaCorp’s liposomal encapsulation technology, LipoSoneTM. Jan further used his IT expertise to develop an algorithm to control and regulate the different process stages of the production machines. Jan continues to update this in-house software, to this very day.
You can watch our production process video to find out more.
Ready, set, go!
In January 2016, PlantaCorp GmbH rented a former tailor’s shop in Hamburg’s Eppendorf district. Its first production lab was set up in an area of just 40 square meters!
This was followed by Rinat Albetkov, an experienced sales manager and serial entrepreneur himself, joining the company as a partner. This law graduate who likes relaxing to classical music, helped Braband bring their product into the market through the founding of the ActiNovo, B2C brand.
During this nascent phase, Jan and Rinat covered almost all aspects of the company’s operations.
As the demand for ActiNovo products increased, the company had to expand its operations and hire additional employees. In March 2017, PlantaCorp and ActiNovo moved into a 300 square meter premises in the traditional, Zippelhaus in the Speicherstadt warehouse district of Hamburg.
The seven-member team around Jan and Rinat soon started receiving enquiries from interested business clients. PlantaCorp thus entered a new business segment, providing white label solutions in the B2B sector.
Filling out our shoes
In addition to technology and production, the company began investing heavily in the set up and expansion of a research and development department. Natural scientists, food technologists, engineers and computer scientists were hired to complement the team.
The fast-growing company also gained an ISO 22000 certification and, after only one year, had reached the limits of its production facility. Another move was, therefore, inevitable.
In August 2018, the management team and 32 employees moved into a new facility in the Hammerbrook district, Hamburg’s “little Venice”. With an area of 1 300 square meters, the new location was designed for further growth. Thanks to self-financing, the entrepreneurs remained independent of credit institutions or external investors.
Through our cooperation with external laboratories, we started conducting human bioavailability studies of some of its white label formulations. Every one of these studies so far, has proved the superior bioavailability of PlantaCorp’s liquid liposomal formulations, thus making the company one of the innovation drivers on the market.
Contact us today if you would like to know the results of our bioavailability studies.
On the way to becoming a global player
In 2019, PlantaCorp distributed products to approximately 30 000 end users and business customers worldwide.
At the beginning of 2020, production reached a new high of 5 000 bottles per day. By the end of the same year, we produced 2 000 L of a liposomal formulation in a single day!
It was clear therefore, that production at our Oberhafen site was not equipped to handle the corresponding logistics. A new production facility in Hamburg’s Eidelstedt was therefore, established in 2021. The new production facilities house the latest (third) generation of liposomal production machines, offering numerous enhancements.
With the strategic management decision to not only expand our production and logistics facilities but to also continuously improve our technology and products., the company continues setting its course for the future.
PlantaCorp GmbH now has a 70-strong workforce that continues to grow as the company expands. The company has very young teams (average age 31.5 years) with an almost equal share of men and women (43% female employees; almost equal number of women as men in leading positions). This team employs individuals from more than 18 nationalities and strives to continue to diversify its international team.
Maximum efficiency, maximum health
All of this dynamic growth and the trust we have gained from global customers is only possible due to PlantaCorp’s strong brand values. From our founding until today, we are interested in the well-being of every individual, within and outside the company. Through our liposomal technology, we strive to set the standard in supplements that maximizes every individual’s health.
We believe that this will only be possible if liposomal supplements replace traditional supplements. Towards this end, we will continue to research and create meaningful products and services.