French vertical farming startup Jungle has raised €42m in new funding. They will use the money to develop three vertical farms in France to produce herbs, salads, microgreens and also flowers for perfumery. Currently products from their first farm is already for sale at Monoprix.
Founded in 2016 by Gilles Dreyfus and Nicolas Séguy, Jungle began experimentally in Portugal before launching in France in an industrial shed located in Château-Thierry. It produced 50,000 plants in 2020, with a turnover of 70,000 euros. Its objective is to produce ten million plants in 2022.
Out of the 42 million euros obtained, the start-up has raised 7 million euros through the issuance of shares subscribed by the investment funds Founders Future (Marc Menasé) Demeter Partners and its historical investors, notably Alain Denin, CEO of Nexity, Serge Papin, ex-CEO of Système U and Christian de Labriffe, of Tikehau Capital. This sum will allow the two partners "to hire and cover the operating costs of the company until it becomes profitable," Gilles Dreyfus, 38, told AFP. The 35 million euros of debt were obtained from Atlante Gestion.
Currently, Jungle is operating on only 200 m2 on the Château-Thierry site, but it plans to gradually expand its production to a total of 5,500 m2 of productive area. The products from this farm will be destined for Paris and eastern France. A second vertical farm will be built in 2022 in the west of the country and will offer 5,500 m2 of cultivable area. Finally, a third, larger farm is planned for the south of France starting in late 2022. At the same time, Jungle is working to secure outlets for its products.
"The objective is to sign framework agreements with major retailers," explains Gilles Dreyfus. In October 2020, Jungle signed a partnership with Monoprix, a city-center retailer. By next October, its herbs and salads will be sold in 60 stores. Six Parisian stores already offer the brand's products in the fruit and vegetable section. Jungle is also "moving towards a partnership with Intermarché", added the entrepreneur. Jungle's selling points: it intends to offer the consumer a "living, pesticide-free, tasty and locally produced" plant.