In the past few years, we have seen an explosion of urban farming across many countries, involving the growing of plants or raising animals in the middle of the urban jungle.
Until a few years back, farming has been extensively considered as a rural activity. But the urgent need to find out sustainable consumption and production has led to the huge growth of urban farming.
Raised €20M funding
In this regard, PlantLab is a Dutch scaleup specialised in technology for innovative urban farming and aims to supply the planet with a sustainable source of food for the future. Recently, the company has raised its first external investment of €20 million from De Hoge Dennen Capital. The Den Bosch-based company intends to use the funding to open indoor production sites in various countries, including the Netherlands, the US, and the Bahamas.
“This injection of capital will enable us to open up additional production sites and further perfect our technology’, explains Michiel Peters, CEO of PlantLab. ‘The increasing population of the planet and the climate crisis are posing new and enormous challenges to the production of food for the world’s population. We have no choice but to grow our food more sustainably and efficiently, and that demands innovative and revolutionary solutions.”
In addition to the injection of capital by De Hoge Dennen, CFO Frank Roerink and CEO Michiel Peters are joining the scale-up company to strengthen the management team, which also includes the founding partners Leon van Duijn, Marcel Kers and John van Gemert.
Patented technology for ‘vertical farming’
Founded in 2010, the company has developed a globally patented technology for ‘vertical farming’, a hyper-efficient method for growing vegetables and fruits. Notably, it is being successfully applied in a commercial production site in Amsterdam.
The new technology makes it possible to grow fresh, healthy, and delicious vegetables on a large scale very close to the consumer without using any chemical crop protection agents.
On a surface area the size of only two football fields, it is now possible to produce enough crops to feed a city of 100,000 residents with 200 g of vegetables each daily.
Over the last 10 years, the company has already invested € 50 million in the development of technology.
Anywhere in the world
As per the company, the production sites can be set up anywhere in the world, even on barren land or urban areas. Thanks to optimised temperature, moisture, and light control, the crops grow to their full potential, while water use is reduced by as much as 95%. Light is provided by specially developed LEDs that provide the specific wavelength needed by the plant for photosynthesis.
“Our technology makes it possible to grow crops anywhere in the world very close to the consumer. The crops then no longer need to be transported over long distances. The result: less CO2 emissions, lower cost, and less food waste” says Peters.
Main image credits: PlantLab