Vertical farming firm Intelligent Growth Solutions raises £5.3m
Scottish start-up Intelligent Growth Solutions has secured €6 million (£5.3m) in a funding round led by leading food and agriculture venture fund S2G Ventures.
Other investors included online venture capital firm AgFunder, and the Scottish Investment Bank.
Founded in 2013, the firm supplies the technology to allow indoor farms to operate and grow plant-based food in an automated warehouse.
The firm’s fully-automated trial centre is housed in a two-storey building in Invergowrie.
After experimenting with different colours of LED lights while growing the plants, the firm has reported being able to grow basil in 20 days.
The latest investment will allow the company to create jobs in areas such as software development, engineering, robotics and automation. It will also help Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) to increase its product development, including continued innovation in AI, big data and the Internet of Things. IGS will also be building global marketing, sales and customer support teams in three continents.
This growth is pivotal for IGS to meet significant demand from growers, retailers and governments aiming to address food security issues through alternative methods of production and new business models in their regions. In 2019, IGS will be deploying indoor farming systems for clients in every major territory globally.
“Indoor agriculture production is at a tipping point. Grocery and food service firms have never been more interested in adopting this in their future supply chain,” said Sanjeev Krishnan, Managing Director of S2G Ventures.
“Cost and quality of product will be critical to scale this adoption. IGS’s revolutionary technology has proven itself to reduce power consumption, improve ventilation and hence reduce the capital and human costs to deliver fresh and differentiated products to consumers.”
IGS Chief Executive Officer David Farquhar added: “We are thrilled to have the backing of the world’s leading agri-tech investors and the Scottish Investment Bank.
“We have recruited a world-class international management team, to be announced soon, to drive our plan forward with support from a board of senior international business people bringing industry expertise and best practice governance to the table.”Online supermarket Ocado has invested £17m into similar vertical technology in the past month.