UK agri-tech company LettUs Grow has raised £2.3 million in seed funding as demand for vertical farming technology continues to rise.
The Bristol-based firm raised the significant amount in an investment round led by Longwall Venture Partners LLP.
It comes as the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report states that climate change is threatening global food security with severe potential risks for traditional methods of food production.
The report makes it clear that the level of risk will depend on how production, technological development and land management evolve.
LettUs Grow was founded to mitigate these risks posed to agriculture and to lessen the environmental impacts of growing fresh produce.
The firm has designed a patent-pending indoor farming system for greenhouse and vertical farms to address global food security and sustainability concerns.
These indoor farms need no fertile land to operate, use zero pesticides and provide a 'consistent, predictable and climate-resilient food supply all year round'.
The company's offering is centred around two core products: a novel aeroponic system and an integrated farm management software called Ostara.
Growth rate increases of over 70% across a range of crops has been seen using this system, compared to current vertical farming methods such as hydroponics.
Ostara automates and controls the whole indoor farm, whilst collecting data on plants, overseeing inputs to crop growth and allowing farmers to trace crops from seed to sale, making operations more efficient.
LettUsGrow built one of the world’s most advanced indoor aeroponic growing facilities in 2019.
The investment will now allow the company to build their second aeroponic research centre, scale existing technology and accelerate new product lines to market.
Charlie Guy, co-founder of LettUs Grow: “This investment gives us a platform to really accelerate in 2020 and scale-up the delivery of our game-changing technology to farmers across the country.
“We’re seeing rising demand from around the world for new technologies to help farmers grow crops in ways that mitigate against the effects of climate change and ever-increasing extreme weather events.”
The seed fund round also included follow-on investment from the University of Bristol Enterprise Fund, Bethnal Green Ventures and ClearlySo, with legal representation from VWV LLP.