"The new funding is very much making sure that the balance sheet is in the right shape to be able to commit to the supply chain. It will take us through what will be a very significant uptake in the revenues of our business and the outflows to buy the parts needed to supply the towers to our customers, particularly ReFarm in the UAE," says Andrew Lloyd, CEO of Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS).
IGS bags £22.5 million in a Series C fundraise to support global expansion plans. The new year will be a busy one for IGS as they are set to open a 900,000 sq. ft. (83,612 m2) 'GigaFarm' in the United Arab Emirates, which is said to be capable of replacing 1% of food imports to the country. According to IGS, the 'waste-to-value farm' will have the ability to recycle more than 50,000 tonnes of food waste and grow two billion plants each year.
The 12M tower: an additional 3 meters
The 12-meter tower is the newest addition to IGS' product range. With better economy of scale, the taller version allows for better unit economics. On top of that, IGS continues to innovate in its crop range and crop recipes and test new technologies like phenotyping sensors to detect early on plant stress in the crops. As well as ongoing R&D to improve operations, trials are ongoing on behalf of customers to boost yield and production to ensure that despite the economic challenges, there is a strong return on their investments in the business' technology. The ReFarm' GigaFarm' project in the UAE will feature 200 IGS 12-M towers.
"Typically, the number one input to a vertical farm is electricity. The ability to convert that KwH of electricity into kilos of crop biomass is a key measure for success in indoor growing, and our technology consistently comes out as the global market leader in that regard from market studies and independent industry reviews."
Celebrating its 11th birthday next month, IGS spent the first seven years of its history transforming what started as a science project into a commercial product. "Our business model is fundamentally different from other players in the space. We're a product business rather than a project business, as we're focusing on one thing solely. Rather than trying to do two miracles at once, we focus our talent on the science of technology. We can deliver the same product anywhere in the world, and the farmers reap the benefits of our R&D investment."
David and Sonya
"I would like to extend my sincere thanks to David Farquhar, under whose visionary leadership IGS has grown from an innovative concept to a world leader in vertical farm technology. Working with our institutional investors, Sonya has been instrumental in securing this funding, and I am delighted to confirm her appointment. Her experience, alongside the talents of the IGS team and our partners, combine to deliver the essential ingredients for scale-up success," Andrew adds.
Andrew Lloyd, the former Deputy CEO, takes over from David Farquhar as CEO to lead the company as it readies to deliver the world's first GigaFarm. Sonya Hotson, who has supported IGS as interim CFO since July, also joined the company full-time. The new CEO and CFO join the IGS board.
Led by existing institutional investors with COFRA Holding A/G, DC Thomson, and S2G Ventures, the fundraising was supported by Cleveland Avenue LLC, Ospraie Ag Science, and Scottish Enterprise. Private shareholders and IGS staff also contributed to the Series C raise.
David Levin, the Executive Chair of COFRA's Sustainable Food Group, commented: "IGS is a strong company with proven technology that is in demand by vertical farmers and greenhouse operators globally. We are pleased to join IGS' latest funding round, with the likes of DC Thomson and S2G Ventures, to ensure the company's continued growth. Congratulations to IGS' new CEO, Andrew Lloyd, and new CFO, Sonya Hotson, whom I am confident are the right appointments to steer the company forward. I also recognize and thank David Farquhar for his remarkable service to IGS over six years and wish him all the best in the future."
For more information:
Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS)
Andrew Lloyd, CEO
Tel.: +44 (0)131 202 1050