22 July 2020
Den Bosch (the Netherlands), 22 July 2020 – Dutch scale-up PlantLab has raised a first external investment of € 20 million from De Hoge Dennen Capital. The company has developed a globally patented technology for ‘vertical farming’, a hyper-efficient method for growing vegetables and fruits. It will use the injection of capital to open indoor production sites in various countries, including the Netherlands, US, and Bahamas.
Over the last 10 years, PlantLab has succeeded in developing an innovative and revolutionary technology for hyper-efficient urban farming, which is already being successfully applied in a commercial production site in Amsterdam. The new technology makes it possible to grow fresh, healthy, and delicious vegetables on a large scale very close to the consumer without using any chemical crop protection agents. On a surface area the size of only two football fields, it is now possible to produce enough crops to feed a city of 100,000 residents with 200 g of vegetables each on a daily basis.
’This injection of capital will enable us to open up additional production sites and further perfect our technology’, explains Michiel Peters, CEO of PlantLab. ‘The increasing population of the planet and the climate crisis are posing new and enormous challenges to the production of food for the world’s population. We have no choice but to grow our food more sustainably and efficiently, and that demands innovative and revolutionary solutions.’
PlantLab’s production sites can be set up anywhere in the world, even on barren land or urban areas. Thanks to optimised temperature, moisture, and light control, the crops grow to their full potential, while water use is reduced by as much as 95%. Light is provided by specially developed LEDs that provide the specific wavelength needed by the plant for photosynthesis. ‘Our technology makes it possible to grow crops anywhere in the world very close to the consumer. The crops then no longer need to be transported over long distances. The result: less CO2 emissions, lower cost, and less food waste’, says Peters.
Making a difference
De Hoge Dennen is part of the investment company founded by the De Rijcke family, the former owners of Kruidvat. The company has made previous investments in the online supermarket Picnic, the salad producer De Menken Keuken, and the electric bicycle brand QWIC. CFO Jelle Roodbeen: ‘We are convinced that PlantLab’s technology will make a real difference on a global level. It will make healthy and delicious vegetables affordable and accessible to everyone, in an environmentally friendly and sustainable fashion’.
In addition to the injection of capital by De Hoge Dennen, CFO Frank Roerink and CEO Michiel Peters are joining the scale-up company to strengthen the management team, which also includes the founding partners Leon van Duijn, Marcel Kers and John van Gemert. PlantLab has its vertical farming R&D centre, the biggest of its kind anywhere in the world, in Den Bosch, and a commercial production site in Amsterdam. PlantLab already employs over 60 people.
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