Scottish vertical farming tech provider Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) has raised a further £1.6 million for its Series A round of funding, bringing the grand total to £7 million. Breaking down the expanded fundraise, Ospraie Ag Science invested £1.5 million, while AgFunder (that’s us!) contributed an additional £100,000. The overall Series A, that first closed in June, was led by leading agri-foodtech investor S2G Ventures joined by Scottish Investment Bank (SIB).
“Working alongside our other investors in this Series A funding, we are in a really strong position to take our offering to a global market and meet the demand that is growing almost daily,” said IGS CEO David Farquhar. In the release, the startup said the funds would go towards expanding its market presence through global sales operations for lighting in both agritech and commercial uses. It expects its lighting systems to be rolled out in early 2020.
Snapshot: All about IGS’ tech
IGS’ vertical farm “in a box” addresses the vertical farming industry’s biggest challenges. The largest of such farms today struggle with the high energy costs associated with LED lighting, inconsistent plant growth and quality, and high labor costs. And that’s before they even get into the challenges of marketing and selling produce.
A new way to make vertical farming ‘stack up’
But what sets IGS apart from the rest of its ilk? According to the company, its tech can reduce energy usage by up to 50% and labour costs by up to 80%, compared with other indoor growing environments. It also produces yields of 225% compared to growing under glass.
“IGS owns a patent to the delivery of this special kind of power, which also allows the farmer to send instructions to the farm to make the light, wind and rain the crops really need,” said Farquhar. The system can be pre-programmed with a ‘weather recipe’ to alter the ‘weather’ conditions automatically using AI. It also uses the same communications to monitor the condition of the crop and the farm in real-time so that the farmer is always in the know about what’s going on.
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“IGS has tremendous potential to transform the way food is produced and supplied, and our investment – Ospraie’s first in the indoor agriculture market and in Scotland – is a testament to our strong belief in the success of IGS’ technology,” said Dwight Anderson, CIO at Ospraie Ag Science.
Our very own Michael Dean, who’s founding partner at AgFunder, echoed sentiments by fellow investor, Anderson. He said, “we look forward to working with the Ospraie team to ensure that the game-changing IGS technology is rolled out to Controlled Environment Agriculture project developers globally.”