Vertical agriculture in Chile

Urban agriculture is beginning to take off in Chile, where the AgroUrbana start-up has just closed a $ 1 million seed capital round, raising its total capital to $ 1.5 million, to create a vertical farm, according to the Association for Vertical Agriculture.

Leading the round with a 33% cash contribution was the CLIN Private Investment Fund managed by Chile Global Ventures, the venture capital arm of Fundacion Chile, a public-private initiative for innovation and sustainability in the country. Funding also came from CORFO, Chile's economic development agency, and private investors.

The funds will go to the construction of a 280-square-meter pilot facility in the suburbs of Santiago, where tests are being carried out with hydroponic crops and led lights powered by renewable energy. Green leafy fruits and vegetables are grown there.

According to company sources, the closure of restaurants due to COVID-19 made them focus on e-commerce and direct sales to consumers. In the long term, the owners plan to expand the facility to 3,000 square meters, which they speculate could be financed with funds from new capitalization rounds before the end of this year. Design and production will depend on the results of their pilot tests.


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