Vertical Future, a London-based agtech and vertical farm, raised £21 million ($29 million) in funding which will be used to increase farm production, technology efforts and construct more farms. However, the main objective really is to first stabilize production in the UK. This is very much emphasized as the core strategy, with money spending focused on the UK, at this point.
The parties that have invested in Vertical Future are Pula Investments Limited, environmentalist Gregory Nasmyth, Nickleby Capital, Dyfan Investment, and other high-caliber investors. Last but not least, leading EIS fund SFC Capital.
Farms scheduled in Singapore, Italy and the UK
“We’ll do at least 20.000-30.000m2 of new growing space in total this year, which is pretty significant in the size of projects,” says Jamie Burrows, Co-founder and CEO of Vertical Future.
For 2022, Vertical Future has scheduled on-site technology and data projects in Northern Italy and Singapore which thus far haven’t been deployed due to COVID. Jamie explained that the company is very content with the opportunistic projects abroad that have come out of Vertical Future’s network. Besides the offshore works, there are a number of projects going on in the UK. In addition, a joint venture is in the books.
Increasing number of team members and growing recipes
Not only the size of projects is growing, yet the number of team members is rapidly flourishing. Jamie gives away that R&D purposes are set on finding the right strawberry growing recipes since they’ve recently hired a specialist.
“We’re not focused on being a grower, but a tech provider. We haven’t really spent any money yet on outbound marketing, so we’re building some core functions here as well. Tripling the size of R&D functions and the software team is key now,” Jamie affirms.
A sharing economy
With Vertical Future's system, farmers are able to
grow specific types of products and, at scale. The company is vertically integrating in-house solutions such as tech and manufacturing. This helps Vertical Future to manufacture low-cost equipment which substantially decreases CAPEX.
Jamie explains that Vertical Future is focused on growing recipes, in combination with algorithms, and a high level of automation. R&D activities are constantly updated in the system, also from the entire farmer's network.
“Everyone can benefit from the data as each of them doesn’t have central ownership of the data. As we see the future in this sector being a more shared economy, sharing is crucial.”