16/01/2019 – News / Agriculture / Technology / Innovation / Aeroponics / LettUs Grow / UK
Aeroponics innovator LettUs Grow secures £1 million in funding to build the farms of the future
UK-based startup LettUs Grow – creator of advanced aeroponic technology for indoor farms – has just secured £1 million (nearly US$1.3m) in funding to build world-leading indoor growing facilities, to help feed the growing global population.
Innovate UK – the UK’s innovation agency – awarded the agri-tech company a grant of £399,650 to lead a £700,000 project aimed at helping increase food resilience and security in the face of climate change. LettUs Grow will work alongside ECH Engineering – industry leaders in controlled environment technology – and urban agriculture experts from Grow Bristol. The new funding comes alongside a further €100,000 from the Green Challenge and several additional research grants.
The new grants came hot on the heels of the disruptive startup’s most recent investment round, where they raised £460,000 from Europe’s leading impact investment bank ClearlySo’s extensive network of high-net-worth individual and institutional investors, alongside Bethnal Green Ventures and the University of Bristol Enterprise Fund II (managed by Parkwalk advisors, and angel investors). This funding has allowed the company to scale operations and drive forward product development to access a rapidly growing global market for efficient and sustainable farming technology.
Tackling the food security challenge
By 2050, humanity must increase food production by 70 per cent, in order to feed a global population of over nine billion people. Existing methods of agriculture will not be enough to feed this burgeoning global population, according to the FAO – with 25 per cent less farmland, degraded soil quality, and an ever more unstable climate looming on the horizon. Alongside this, most ‘fresh’ produce is imported out of season, often travelling hundreds of miles to reach consumers and resulting in colossal waste throughout the supply chain.
To help solve this problem, LettUs Grow has designed a patent-pending aeroponic system that has shown crop yield increases of over 70 per cent compared to existing solutions for leafy greens, salads and herb production. Instead of using soil, the firm’s aeroponics suspend plant roots in a nutrient-dense mist. This results in faster growth rates than conventional hydroponics, consistent and predictable yields, and a 95-per-cent reduction in water usage versus open-field farming. Moreover, LettUs Grow doesn’t use pesticides or herbicides and massively reduces the environmental impact of delivering food from farm to fork, by siting farms in rural and urban locations.
Providing technological innovation to the vertical smart farming movement
Charlie Guy, co-founder and Managing Director of LettUs Grow (pictured above, centre), said that the new injection of private and public funding into the company would enable it to accelerate its innovative products to market and build one of the world’s most technically advanced facilities for indoor growing.
“The global agri-tech industry is very exciting right now, all stemming from the necessity to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of food production,” enthused Mr Guy. “We are fielding enquiries from all around the world from food producers and farmers who want to experience the benefits of our technology across a growing range of crops.”
Matias Wibowo, investment manager at ClearlySo, stressed the critical role that innovation will play as the world strives to ensure long-term food security and sustainability. “Our investors see the value, both in terms of financial and environmental/social returns from tackling this systemic global problem. That’s why they got involved in LettUs Grow,” he advised. “LettUs Grow provides the technological innovation piece to the vertical smart farming movement that is currently trending rapidly in the urban context.”
For more information on how you can work with LettUs Grow or support their growth, contact Managing Director Charlie Guy at: firstname.lastname@example.org.