Recently, Raiz Vertical Farms, a Portuguese agtech company, officially opened its concept farm at Arroz Estudios. They certainly didn’t hide their enthusiasm and gave a grand opening, jointly with a barbeque so guests could try out the produce, combined with a DJ and some delightful drinks.
Arroz Estúdios is a Cultural Association in Lisbon, Portugal that provides a shared space for artists, events and international creatives. It is one of the most prominent rising cultural hubs in Lisbon with integrations ranging from web3 to music and most recently, vertical farming.
Emiliano Gutierrez welcomes all guests and shares the program with invitees (Photo credits: André Zuccolo)
The hybrid concept farm
“Arroz and Raiz create an amazing synergy. As we grow basil for the local pizzeria, herbs for fun drinks, and provide educational activities for the hundreds of people passing by on a weekly basis,” says Emiliano Gutierrez, Founder and CEO of Raiz Vertical Farms.
Beyond that, Arroz and Raiz both chose to partner up and launch the concept farm at their site given the commonly shared values around community, sustainability and artistic ways to engage with people.
The Arroz and Raiz team posing for a photo in front of the farm (Photo credits: André Zuccolo)
Guests were welcomed to step inside the farm and experience the products (Photo credits: André Zuccolo)
The bartender made sure to add fresh basil to requested drinks (Photo credits: André Zuccolo)
The concept farm is located in Beato, a trendy neighborhood in Lisbon that has been on the rise for the last couple of years. At the farm, three kinds of basil will be produced: red, pluto and Genovese basil. Moreover, the team is currently experimenting with Amaranth, dill, and mint. Emiliano gives away that there is a salad mix on the roadmap and more to come.
Launched as Raiz' first operating farm, the agtech is selling the crops to local communities and restaurants; while giving some surplus to the Salvation Army and people in need. The farm itself belongs to Raiz, whereas Arroz is hosting the farms at an accessible monthly fee.
By using a hybrid solution, software to improve the growing conditions, combined with solar panels to power the farm in urban space, Raiz aims to adjust the way humanity connects with food.
Freshly harvested microgreens were used to garnish some delights and distributed to the attendees (Photo credits: André Zuccolo)
Attendees were interested in hearing more about the hybrid farming concept (Photo credits: André Zuccolo)
So can we expect more projects in the following months? “Yes, we have more and larger projects in the pipeline. We’re planning to expand in 2024 through an upgraded version of our concept farm and more advanced designs with new materials and biophilic principles added.”
The farm by night (Photo credits: André Zuccolo)
The company is yet to fundraise. Since they finished their most recent crowdfunding campaign in January they've received a grant from NEAR protocol in April. Therefore, Raiz is submitting its first institutional round in the following months.
In September, a $1 million pre-seed round is going to be launched in order to fasten team expansion, and operations and further develop the software and tokenization technology. “Our vision is to fill cities with vertical farms that feed our people and heal our planet.”