You don’t need a green thumb and a big backyard to grow baskets of fresh produce. In fact, according to Chicago-based Rise Gardens, you probably just need a bookshelf’s worth of space in your living room and an app. Rise Gardens, an indoor hydroponic gardening system, has raised $2.6 million in seed funding for home-grown produce. The financing was led by True Ventures.
Rise Gardens sells a hardware and software indoor planting system. Customers receive a home garden kit and can assemble the system, which looks like a piece of furniture, in 45 minutes. Then, users can input Rise-provided plant pods in each row of the system to grow produce of their choice, from butter lettuce to tomatoes and arugula. The “garden” comes in three sizes, which Rise Gardens details as “matching the dimensions of an entryway table, a credenza and a shelf.” Rise can offer this flexible solution thanks to hydroponics, a scientific method that grows plants using nutrients and water, rather than soil and sunlight. The planting system includes specific features to optimize growth. For example, Rise provides a meter for users to check the pH of the water.
From a software perspective, Rise has an app that tracks how often a user should water their plants. It also sells a subscription-based offering that brings new “seed pods” and nutrients to customers on a monthly basis. While the system is intentionally designed to resemble furniture one would already have in the home, according to founder Hank Adams, it has a use beyond aesthetics.
Read more at Tech Crunch (Natasha Mascarenhas)