LettUs Grow secures £1 million in funding to build the farms of the future
Bristol, United Kingdom – LettUs Grow, creator of advanced aeroponic technology for indoor farms, announced today it has secured £1 million in funding to build world-leading indoor growing facilities, to help feed the growing global population.
The UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, has awarded the agri-tech company a grant of £399,650 to lead a £700,000 project – which will help increase food resilience and security in the face of climate change. LettUs Grow will work alongside ECH Engineering, industry leaders in controlled environment technology, and urban agriculture experts from Grow Bristol. This is alongside a further €100,000 from the Green Challenge and several additional research grants.
The grants came hot on the heels of the disruptive startup’s most recent investment round, where they raised £460,000 from ClearlySo’s extensive network of high-net-worth individual and institutional investors, Bethnal Green Ventures, the University of Bristol Enterprise Fund II, managed by Parkwalk advisors, and angel investors. This funding has allowed the company to scale operations and drive forward product development to access a rapidly growing global market for efficient and sustainable farming technology.
By 2050, humanity must increase food production by 70% to feed over 9 billion people. Existing methods of agriculture will not be enough to feed this burgeoning global population with 25% less farmland, degraded soil quality, and an ever more unstable climate. Alongside this, most ‘fresh’ produce is imported out of season, often travelling hundreds of miles to reach consumers and resulting in colossal waste throughout the supply chain.
To help solve this problem, LettUs Grow has designed a patent-pending aeroponic system that has shown crop yield increases of over 70% compared to existing solutions for leafy greens, salads and herb production. In aeroponics, instead of using soil, plant roots are suspended in a nutrient-dense mist. This results in faster growth rates than conventional hydroponics, consistent and predictable yields, and a 95% reduction in water usage versus open-field farming. LettUs Grow doesn’t use pesticides or herbicides and massively reduces the environmental impact of delivering food from farm to fork, by siting farms in rural and urban locations.
Charlie Guy, co-founder and Managing Director of LettUs Grow: “This injection of private and public funding into the company enables us to accelerate our innovative products to market and build one of the most technically advanced facilities for indoor growing in the world.
“The global agri-tech industry is very exciting right now, all stemming from the necessity to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of food production. We are fielding enquiries from all around the world from food producers and farmers who want to experience the benefits of our technology across a growing range of crops.”
Matias Wibowo, investment manager at ClearlySo: “Innovation is critical to ensuring long-term food security and sustainability. Our investors see the value, both in terms of financial and environmental/social returns from tackling this systemic global problem. That’s why they got involved in LettUs Grow. LettUs Grow provides the technological innovation piece to the vertical smart farming movement that is currently trending rapidly in the urban context.”
For more information on how you can work with LettUs Grow or support their growth, contact Managing Director Charlie Guy on email@example.com.
Notes to the Editors
About LettUs Grow
LettUs Grow is a Bristol-based startup that designs irrigation and control technology for vertical farms. Their mission is to reduce the waste and carbon footprint of fresh produce, by empowering anyone to grow delicious food near its point of consumption.
Founded in 2015, the company conducted an extensive period of research and product development before filing patents on their proprietary aeroponic technology in 2017. Having demonstrated significant yield increases with their technology, they’re now building commercial aeroponic systems for growers around the UK.
ClearlySo is Europe’s leading impact investment bank, working exclusively with enterprises and funds delivering positive social, ethical, and/or environmental impact as well as financial return.
Originally founded in 2008, ClearlySo has helped more than 130 clients raise more than £230 million in impact investment from its extensive network of high-net-worth individual and institutional investors.
ClearlySo is headquartered in London.
About Bethnal Green Ventures
Bethnal Green Ventures is an early stage investor for founders using technology to change people’s lives for the better.
They help talented teams launch and grow tech for good ventures that significantly improve millions of lives and deliver great returns for investors.
Twice a year they run a 12-week accelerator programme, where they select 10 teams and provide intensive mentoring and support and £20,000 investment in exchange for 6% equity plus access to a further £50,000 and co-working space in London.
University of Bristol Enterprise Fund
The University of Bristol Enterprise Fund invests in Bristol University spinout companies which are developing scientific and technological innovations as well as other early-stage companies supported by SETsquared Bristol Business Incubator. The Fund is managed by Parkwalk Advisors.
Parkwalk invests in high growth, knowledge-intensive companies seeking to develop and commercialise technology and innovation originating from UK universities, research-intensive institutions and technology clusters. Founded in 2009, Parkwalk is the UK’s largest EIS growth fund manager focused on university spin-outs, having raised over £200m to date and backed over 100 companies across its managed funds since inception. The Global University Venturing organisation recently announced Parkwalk as the world’s second most active investor in this sector from 2013 to 2017.
In addition to the Parkwalk Opportunities Fund, Parkwalk has established EIS funds with three of the world’s leading research universities, Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol, to expand EIS initiatives into untapped areas of funding for the commercialisation of UK R&D.
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