“By now, after all the investments, the biology works, the technology works, but the financials need to work as well for vertical farming to become truly sustainable,” said Tom Debusschere, CEO. He introduced the topic of profitability during a session at the CEA 4.0 event. According to Tom, there are four drivers for a successful vertical farm.
Meet Urban Crop Solutions: A start-up that engineers and builds fully automated indoor vertical farms inside shipping containers and buildings. They also provide clients that have bought a system with carefully selected and tested seeds, substrates, nutrients and comprehensive software grow recipes. The result: year-round production of fresh and healthy crops.
Before you dive into this article too deeply, take a moment to read the following description, and then close your eyes for a second. Imagine yourself standing inside a climate-controlled, high-ceiling warehouse. In front of you stands a tower with eight irrigated levels, on each of which lettuces, herbs, microgreens, and baby greens grow under LED lights. Robotics bring trays with young plants from outside into the right position in the growing tower, while on the other end fully grown crops are taken out, ready to be harvested. Can you see it? You are standing in Urban Crop Solutions’ PlantFactory – an indoor vertical farm – a highly engineered manufacturing plant producing not goods, but crops.
It was while pursuing an elective course with existing entrepreneurs, when Maarten had the chance to develop a business plan; a plan that went on to change his life forever.
“At that time, I had limited knowledge about plant science, but the idea of indoor vertical farming was already on my mind and intrigued me a lot,” he recalls.
Urban Crop Solutions was awarded the Public Choice Award on the European finals of the FoodNexus Challenge
Urban Crop Solutions was awarded the Public Choice Award on the European finals of the FoodNexus Challenge on Wednesday evening December 13th. Fifteen companies from 8 different EU countries were competing during a three-day event in Wageningen (NL) for the European FoodNexus Challenge Award. The expert audience consisting of academic, corporate and venture capital people selected Urban Crop Solutions during a live closing event.
2017 marked another year where several of vertical farming’s big names raised millions of dollars for their future development. Aerofarms closed on its 40 million USD series D, Bowery Farming secured 27.5 million USD for its series A, and of course Plenty locked in a whopping 200 million USD as well. What have these companies done with these type of funds in the past and what are they planning on doing with them now? Pieter De Smedt, US country manager for Urban Crop Solutions explains it to HortiDaily.com