Urban Farming Startup Uses AI, a First Step in Building Smarter Cities
TORONTO & PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AIinfarming–Raiven Capital, a global early-stage tech venture fund, today announced its investment in Vertical Harvest, an AI-driven, urban hydroponic farming startup. Raiven Capital co-led the investment with Nicoya AB out of Sweden. Raiven General Partner Paul Dugsin and Limited Partner Bjorn Oste have also joined the board.
“We are thrilled to invest in this woman-led innovative company that is transforming urban farming. Vertical Harvest’s approach using AI and IoT to improve yields are game changing,” said Paul Dugsin, General Partner at Raiven Capital.
Vertical Harvest’s agricultural output is attractive from an investment standpoint. Over five years, the company proved their model and streamlined operations in their 14,000 square foot pilot facility. They are now scaling to ten farms across America, each over 200,000 square feet of space.
“Vertical farms are critical to urban infrastructure and the development of smart cities,” said Supreet Manchanda, adding that the Vertical Harvest platform has sophisticated systems that use 90 percent less water and require 90 percent less space while increasing yields by up to 15 times in a year.
Vertical Harvest CEO Nona Yehia said that: “In the past few years we have been iterating with new ways to develop our Next Generation Grow Systems™. Raiven is already helping us implement new technology and deepen industry partnerships. Their insights will be crucial as we scale.”
CEO Christopher Slim, Nicoya AB, said that: “It has been a pleasure working with Raiven on this co-investment. Nicoya and Raiven together support Vertical Harvest as it combines foodtech, AI, and smart city initiatives with public and private financing for the 21st century together.”
A hallmark of the company is the impact it will have on inner cities, as well as its social mission to first employ people with intellectual and physical disabilities. Their public-private partnerships reimagine civic infrastructure by co-locating food production in urban housing, retail, parking and other community spaces. These initiatives foster smart city innovations, climate resilience and security.
About Raiven Capital
Raiven Capital is a global early-stage technology venture fund with roots in both Silicon Valley and Toronto. Raiven Capital focuses on opportunities in artificial intelligence, DLT and Internet of Things. Raiven actively seeks passionate founders developing companies that optimize value chains across cybersecurity, finance, energy, health, environment, and food sectors. Once growth is robust, Raiven exits its portfolio companies to later-stage capital in Silicon Valley and beyond.
About Vertical Harvest
Vertical Harvest is a hydroponic, vertical farming company dedicated to sustainable farms, food and futures. In addition to our passion for local, healthy food grown sustainably, Vertical Harvest also operates on an inclusive employment model. Our farms are designed for accessibility and staffed via hiring practices developed for people with disabilities, and our mission is to energize local food economies by using food as a medium for meaningful change. As we bring food production back to the city, we are partnering with civic leaders and local developers to co-locate our farms with affordable housing, bolster local green energy efforts, keep dollars in-community longer and reestablish people’s connection to their farmers and the fresh, flavorful, food we grow.