PlantLab, an indoor farming platform, announced that it has secured €50M funding in a new round led by De Hoge Dennen Capital.
De Hoge Dennen is part of the investment arm of the De Rijcke family, the former owners of Kruidvat. Its previous investments included online supermarket Picnic, the Felyx shared scooter concept and the electrical bicycle brand QWIC.
PlantLab says the funds will enable it to open more production sites outside the Netherlands, like North America and Europe. To date, the company has raised a total funding of €120M.
“Over the last 10 years, we have worked really hard together with the pioneers of the company to further develop our technology”, says Leon van Duijn, one of PlantLab’s founders.
“Our technology solves important issues in our food system and is already being successfully applied at commercial production sites in the Netherlands, the USA, and the Bahamas. We are now ready to take the next step and scale our operations up to the next level, that is also why we have doubled our workforce over the last year,” he adds.
PlantLab: What you need to know
Founded in 2010 in Den Bosch, the company has developed a globally patented technology for ‘vertical farming’, a hyper-efficient method for growing vegetables and fruits.
The company has already invested €70M in technology 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, the company says it is now possible to produce enough crops to feed a city of 100,000 residents with 200 g of vegetables each daily.
Currently, the company’s technology is already being used at its 15,000 m² commercial production location in Amsterdam and other locations, including Indianapolis and the Bahamas.
The Dutch company is focusing on growing salad vegetables, herbs, tomatoes, and cucumbers, however, the company claims that it has already done the research necessary for cultivating a great many other commercial crops.
How does it work?
As per the company, the production sites can be set up anywhere in the world, even on barren land or urban areas.
The sites use optimised temperature, moisture and light control to grow the crops to their full potential, while water use is reduced by 95 per cent.
Light is provided by specially developed LEDs that provide the specific wavelength needed by the plant for photosynthesis.
The company has its R&D centre in Den Bosch, the largest such centre for vertical farming in the world. The company is also expanding its activities in the US and Europe. It currently employs over 100 people internationally.
“We are happy that De Hoge Dennen is investing in our further growth”, says Eelco Ockers, CEO of PlantLab.
“This innovative technology will enable us to shape the future food supply of our planet for many years to come. The potential is enormous. Our production location in Amsterdam has already proven that the technology is very suitable for large-scale urban farming. Our client base in the Netherlands already includes Van Gelder and Picnic, and our locations in Indianapolis and the Bahamas are also seeing rapid growth. This latest injection of capital will enable us to now accelerate our expansion outside the Netherlands,” he adds.