Scottish vertical farm technology business, Intelligent Growth Solutions Ltd (IGS) has secured £5.4 million of funding to deliver ground-breaking technology to the burgeoning indoor farming sector.

The money will be made available through a Series ‘A’ fund led by US-based S2G Ventures; the world’s leading agri-food technology investor.

IGS supplies highly sophisticated ready-to-use vertical farming technology to indoor farms to enable efficient food production in any location.

IGS opened Scotland’s first vertical farm in August 2018 at the James Hutton Institute’s Dundee site.

Removing barriers to growth

IGS’ unique technology has been designed specifically to address some of vertical farming’s biggest challenges, including the cost of power and labour, as well as the inability to produce consistently high-quality produce at scale.

The team at IGS claims can save up to 50% on energy costs and 80% off labour costs compared to other indoor growing systems. It also boasts yields of 225% compared to growing under glass.

The £5.4 million investment will allow the firm to create jobs in areas such as software development, engineering, robotics and automation.

It will also help IGS to increase its product development, including continued innovation in Artificial Intelligence, big data and the Internet of Things. IGS will also be building global marketing, sales and customer support teams in three continents.

In 2019, IGS will be deploying indoor farming systems for clients in every major territory globally.

With global market growth in vertical farming predicted at 24% a year over the next three years, the opportunities are substantial.

Sanjeev Krishnan, managing director of S2G Ventures said: “Indoor agriculture production is at a tipping point. Grocery and food service firms have never been more interested in adopting this in their future supply chain.

Cost and quality of product will be critical to scaling this adoption.

“IGS’s revolutionary technology has proven itself to reduce power consumption, improve ventilation and hence reduce the capital and human costs to deliver fresh and differentiated products to consumers.

“We are excited IGS will help enable this emerging movement”.

IGS chief executive David Farquhar said: “This industry is just at the starting line and we look forward to working with our customers, partners and colleagues at the James Hutton Institute to enable the highest quality produce to be grown at economically viable prices and help feed the burgeoning global population.”