Crocus Labs' vision is to spark life into spaces. The team achieves this by producing the most energy-efficient full-light spectrum lighting solutions that enable a sustainable future for vertical farms and greenhouses.
With the seven-figure investment round led by High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and Brandenburg Kapital, the company will focus on R&D and bring the next generation of luminaires to the market. The round is also supported by BACB Bet. GmbH, the investment vehicle of Business Angels Club Berlin-Brandenburg e.V. (BACB) and angel investors.
Crocus Lab's mission is to empower the world's transition to sustainable food through increasingly sun-like, efficient light technologies for greenhouses, vertical farms, and all other forms of closed-environment agriculture. By leveraging proprietary semiconductor technologies, Crocus Labs is developing lighting systems with best-in-class performance. With the received investment, Crocus Labs will continue to innovate, scale and reduce the costs of operating indoor farms while improving crop quality.
Crocus Labs' founding team Dr. Prashanth Makaram, Markus Erbe, and Galina Gorshkova, are focusing on bringing a sustainable agriculture future by utilizing proprietary innovation. The team brings to the table a mix of skills from different industries and first-hand entrepreneurial experience from all three founders.
"Crocus Labs was started in 2020 with the idea to leverage the proprietary innovation we had developed and experienced in the semiconductor industry and build a product that will bring a strong positive impact,' said Dr. Prashanth Makaram, CEO & founder of Crocus Labs.
The product brings up to 50% of energy efficiency by combining intelligent driver technology, proprietary LED diodes, and software components. It also covers a full light spectrum that improves crop quality and health.
With the massively increased energy prices and importance of locally grown food caused by the geopolitical situation, Crocus Labs will play a crucial role in enabling the future of sustainable, regional agriculture.
"Disruptive and addressing a strategic issue for Europe in terms of food independence," stated The European Innovation Commission Jury.
The financing round enables the transition to growth phase
Crocus Labs has been developing the process since 2020, with multiple successful studies demonstrating the product can support the quality & biomass increase across various crops: stevia, basil, chilies, and strawberries. The testing has also demonstrated 15% energy efficiency of the first product generation.
The investment will support further product R&D and production in Brandenburg, as well as testing across various customers to prepare the company for further geographical expansion and wide product commercialization.
"In light of the energy and food supply crisis, Crocus Labs highlights how important lighting is to secure crop produce in Europe. We look forward to entering this next phase of the business with new partners from Brandenburg on the investment side, who will help to develop and scale the business," said Dr. Maximilian Bock, Investment Manager at HTGF.
"The innovative lighting solution of Crocus Labs forms one the most fundamental catalysts for the future of sustainable and self-sufficient agriculture in Europe. We see great potential in the combination of good market timing, significant impact, excellent technologies, and a highly competent team, and we are proud to welcome Crocus Labs to our portfolio," said Binh Vu, Analyst at Brandenburg Kapital.
"Further development of indoor and vertical farming concepts will be crucial to successfully face the challenges of sustainable food production. More efficient lighting systems will be the deciding factor in making those concepts profitable and more widespread. We believe Crocus Labs has the technology to enable those concepts, and we are super excited to be part of the journey, together with a phenomenal team and great Co-Investors," said Martin Huber, Managing Director, BACB Beteiligungsgesellschaft.