Dutch indoor farming pioneer PlantLab has received an injection of €50 million in a new funding round led by De Hoge Dennen Capital. The funds will be used to open more production sites outside the Netherlands, in North America and Europe. This will make it possible to grow fresh, healthy, and delicious vegetables everywhere on a large scale very close to the consumer without the use of any chemical crop protection agents. A total of €120 million has now been invested in the company.
Over the last 10 years, PlantLab has developed a breakthrough technology for innovative urban farming. This patented technology is already being used at its 15,000 m² commercial production location in Amsterdam as well as locations in Indianapolis and the Bahamas. Enough crops can be grown on an area no larger than two football fields to supply a city of 100,000 residents with 200 g of fresh vegetables every day. Plantlab is presently focusing on growing salad vegetables, herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers but has already done the research necessary for cultivating a great many other commercial crops.
Ready to scale up further
“Over the last 10 years, we have worked really hard together with the pioneers of the company to further develop our technology”, explains Leon van Duijn, one of PlantLab’s founders. “Our technology solves important issues in our food system and is already being successfully applied at commercial production sites in the Netherlands, the USA, and the Bahamas. We are now ready to take the next step and scale our operations up to the next level, that is also why we have doubled our workforce over the last year."
“We are happy that De Hoge Dennen is investing in our further growth”, says Eelco Ockers, CEO of PlantLab. “This innovative technology will enable us to shape the future food supply of our planet for many years to come. The potential is enormous. Our production location in Amsterdam has already proven that the technology is very suitable for large-scale urban farming. Our client base in the Netherlands already includes Van Gelder and Picnic, and our locations in Indianapolis and the Bahamas are also seeing rapid growth. This latest injection of capital will enable us to now accelerate our expansion outside the Netherlands.”
De Hoge Dennen is part of the investment arm of the De Rijcke family, the former owners of Kruidvat. Its previous investments included investments in the online supermarket Picnic, the Felyx shared scooter concept and the electrical bicycle brand QWIC. PlantLab’s CFO Jelle Roodbeen: “We think that PlantLab’s innovative technology will be a game-changer on a global scale. It will make fresh, healthy, and delicious vegetables available to consumers wherever they are, and it will do so affordably and sustainably.”
Less CO2 emissions
PlantLab’s technology makes it possible to grow vegetables all over the world, including crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and mint. This can even be done on barren soils or in urban areas. Thanks to optimized temperature, moisture, and light regulation, the crops can reach their full potential with a 95% reduction in the amount of water needed and zero use of chemical crop control agents. Light is provided by specially developed LEDs, which generate the specific wavelength needed by the plans for photosynthesis. As the production locations can be situated near client companies and consumers, the crops no longer have to be transported over long distances, which in turn greatly reduces CO2 emissions, costs, and food waste.
PlantLab has its R&D center in Den Bosch, the largest such center for vertical farming in the world. Its commercial production location in Amsterdam is the largest such location in Europe. In addition to its Amsterdam location, PlantLab also has production locations in Indianapolis (Indiana, USA) and the Bahamas. The company is presently also expanding its activities in the US and Europe. It presently employs over 100 people internationally.