The phrase “vertical farming” probably does not need to be explained, although it is completely new. However, vertical cultivation leads to a relatively new range of new technologies, which use artificial lights instead of sun in steep vertical layers, perhaps on several floors within a building.
Now, these are two important reasons to be the most discussed topic.
- Many emerging companies are emerging in this sector and attract investments of tens of millions of dollars. AND
- More people live in cities than in rural areas, which is a global trend that seems irreversible, and this means that the demand for fresh produce in urban areas will increase and bring production closer to consumers. That would be great
The third thing we can add is that there are now new technologies available that make vertical farming profitable and potentially profitable in urban areas. But we have already mentioned it.
Some of these technologies have been available for some, even decades, but in the past it was very difficult to make vertical farming a viable business.
Key technologies for vertical agriculture include:
act effect technology. Cameras and other sensors that can monitor diseases, such as color and other factors.
Artificial intelligence: which can process sensor data and generate solutions.
Automatic and even autonomous mechatronics: robots and other automatic machines that collect the crop when it is ready for commercialization, or apply a cure for diseases during its development.
The above list is a very simple breakdown of the basic technologies that should be minimized or even eliminated the need for human participation.
If vertical farms function as traditional greenhouses, much human input will be needed and will not be profitable.
These are the new automation technologies that will make it work.
This is a very new business area, so this list is not scientifically organized, only 20 companies that are notable and active.
This company is highly praised for its operation and has used its “patented aeroponic technology … to ensure indoor vertical appetite with minimal environmental impact and practically zero risk for precision and productivity.” Can be brought to a new level. ”
Since its inception in 2004, the company has raised at least $ 138 million in funds, according to Crunchbase. Some of its sponsors are quite impressive, as reported in this fund by Egg Funder News.
“Aeroponic” refers to the term agriculture or the process of growing plants in a humid environment without the use of any material equivalent to the ground, called “geoponics”.
The aeroponic system allows the production of plants that use 95% less water, which Aerofarms says it does.
Although it may not seem like aeroponics are mentioned on its website, it is difficult to see how it can reduce the water consumption of its vertical fields by up to 95%, as they say, without wind and fog. Without the system described above.
Like the other large vertical agricultural companies on this list, there is another one that sells its products, including black and other vegetables, as well as some exotic herbs.
According to Crunchbase, the company is probably a very large company in terms of the amount of $ 226 million in funds raised.
- Green Spirit Farms:
Green Spirits Farms began collecting funds from 2013, but has not disclosed those amounts. Area Development reported that the company is investing $ 27 million in vertical agricultural systems in Pennsylvania, which would suggest it is well funded.
However, since it does not have its own website, it is difficult to say that its current and future activities are in good faith. The owner estimates that its annual revenue is 1.2 million.
One would think that any agricultural company of any kind would be left out of everything that has been genetically altered, but the fact that Boer says they use seeds “without pesticides and GMOs” This may suggest that some vertical agricultural companies do not. They have the same ideas
Since its inception in 2015, investing more than 140 million dollars, Bory has carefully established a distribution network in the United States. Their green leafy vegetables are available for purchase in Whole Foods Market and Foragers. It also offers numerous restaurants and sells online.
Sack does not appear to provide its platform to other companies, though some are interested in their claims, such as: 95% less water use than conventional agriculture; 100 times more productive land in the same volume. And from harvest to shelf “in a few days.”
Since its formation in 2010, Bright Farm, which is another startup with a lot of money, has raised more than $ 112 million, according to Crunchbase.
But unlike some of the other big companies, there isn’t much about Aeroponics. They are more interested in hydroponics, which refers to growing plants with water or more precise, mineral nutrients in water solvents.
Neither aquaponics nor hydroponics use clay. The way each one is compared in terms of quality, performance and profitability will probably be explained in a few years, when we look at how well these companies have performed. Each system is likely to use a combination.
Bright Farm has a long list of partners that look impressive, including giant, Walmart and the metro market.
- Gautam Greens:
The company is one of many that started in the New York area. It’s strange to say of any such new sector, but the market for vertical agricultural products could at least be saturated in this city.
Since its inception in 2011, Gautam Green has raised at least $ 45 million. It has four production-scale facilities in New York City and Chicago and many more in other states.
And, like BrightFarms, they are more advocates of the hydraulic method, though they can eventually mix everything and try different approaches to different facilities.
- Iron OX:
It seems that the company uses robotics more than others, in the process of collecting, and claims to run a fully autonomous agriculture. He is also an advocate for hydroponics, and a retail company.
Their products are just like any other: green leafy vegetables like lettuce and bananas or something like that. This is one of the newest companies on the list, so many things can change.
Iron Ox has just started delivering its products to local California markets. The company has raised more than $ 6 million in funds so far, according to Crunchbase.
Most of the companies mentioned are based in the United States. But there are several emerging vertical agriculture companies in Europe and Asia. Infarma headquarters are located in Berlin, Germany, and have invested approximately $ 35 million so far.
The company appears to be entering the market for foreign herbs, including Thai basil, Peruvian mint and such. But it is also growing very common herbs such as dal, basil, sage etc.
They don’t say on their website that they use hydroponic or aeroponic systems, but they say they use 95% less water, which is to recommend at least one of them. However, they say they use 75% less fertilizer, which they can suggest to add ground-based processes to their technology. Probably, You use the hydronic system.
The Aeroponic system is used to grow fruits and vegetables at the beginning of a French vertical farm. He thinks he likes strawberries more than any other product. This is not a bad idea because strawberries are very popular in France, in which the traditional agricultural industry is very high.
AgriCool says its purpose is to be 20 kilometers away from its customers and offer a program called “Cooltivators”, whereby consumers can learn to use their technology and potentially become producers and distributors.
According to VentureBeat, Agri-Cool has more than $ 41 million in funding since its launch in 2015. The company also uses shipping containers such as “cooltainers” in which its aeroponic forms can be installed.
Although we did not immediately know how much funds cropone had raised, we learned that it had signed a $ 40 million joint venture agreement with Emirates Airlines, which was built in Dubai ” Is the largest vertical agriculture facility “. United Arab Emirates
As a result, perhaps, it will eventually give Emirates Airlines a large amount of its products for passengers on its flights.
Established in 2011, cropone claims to use only 1% of the amount of water needed by conventional agriculture using a hydraulic system. It’s even bigger in big data, “collecting millions of data points every day” on its plants, which are mainly edible green leaves.
In the bottom half of this list, we feel the need to relax, and what better way to relax than to write about Illumitex, which provides LED lights, light emitting diodes, that cannabis growers I am popular.
Indeed. Other companies of all kinds use LED lights, but the biggest consumers of Illumitex are probably in the drug sector.
It is claimed that LED lights use up to 90% less energy than incandescent lighting and 60% less energy than fluorescent lighting. This energy efficiency, and therefore lower cost, is an important factor in the possibility that profitability in vertical agriculture is high.
Lights provided by Illumitex, founded in 2005, are installed in some of the world’s largest vertical farms.
A widely used lighting equipment manufacturer, Assam also manufactures specially made lights for vertical agricultural applications, and it is certainly worth mentioning in this article.
- Pod Ponics:
Not much information is immediately available about this company, but according to Angel Investment’s website, it raised about $ 5 million in 2014, which is a long time ago for startups.
The company built a vertical agricultural facility and is said to be doing the same in the Middle East. However, without being able to find the company’s website, we can’t really say much more.
Even after approaching the “vicious herb”, the company specializes in providing water-efficient solutions for indigenous hemp cultivation, and has more than 800 crop plants as a client and partner.
It seems that the company usually uses hydraponic systems, but in view of its long list of customers, it installs a variety of technologies, depending on the needs of the consumer.
Surna is based in Colorado, one of the first states to dispose of cannabis, now in the center of a thriving industry. However, the company says it can grow anything, including “potatoes on Mars.”
- Freight forms:
Like Agricool, Freight Farms produces a product called “Greenery”. As the name implies, Freight Farms also provides modified shipping containers such as indoor hydroponic form: Granary.
In fact, Freight Farms claims to be the world’s leading container farming manufacturer and offers ready-to-use or “trunk” container farms. Or maybe plug and play.
As is to be expected, these farms can be managed through smartphones. The company has a wide range of technical solutions based on its core products.
Freight Farms has raised nearly $ 15 million in funds since its formation in 2010, according to Oiler.
- Voeks Inc:
Voeks Ink, an American company, seems to have nothing to do with a similar company in the Netherlands, Europe, called Voeks, which seems to belong to former Shell employees.
Vox Ink offers a number of services, including vertical farming, primarily for heating and irrigation systems as well as the supply of nutrients.
Its client list includes some important names, such as Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer, who are in the process of handling Monsanto.
- Sanan Beau:
Sananbio provides vertical agricultural solutions that primarily include hardware, such as lights and platforms.
In collaboration with an important scientific research and development unit, the company is one of the leading vertical agricultural systems providers in Asia and is expanding in the United States.
He emphasizes hydroponic devices on his website, but is likely to customize his solution based on the needs of his clients.
Interestingly, Sanon claims to be the largest manufacturer of LED chips in the world, and we already know how important LED lights are for indoor farming.
- Helio Spectra:
Talking about LED lights, which mainly replace sunlight, Helio Spectra is one of the leading suppliers in the indoor crop market, with a large customer base in the hemp growing sector.
However, heliospectra do not like to grow hemp. The company’s lights are used to grow a variety of lettuce, tomato and pepper, among other fresh produce.
Return to the full vertical crop system provider, but with some minor differences. Not only because the aggregation is European – German, to be more precise, but also because it provides what it describes as a “personal vertical agricultural ecosystem.”
In other words, your “PlantCube” product can be installed in the average home, taking up space such as a dining table or a large fishbowl.
The product may be similar to the product Samsung is testing, the Agilelation Plant Cube uses a hydraulic process.
- Altius Farms:
Specializing in the Aeroponic system, Altius offers what it calls a “tower garden” in its products. Just imagine a multi-level vessel and you would guess.
The company integrates its fields into a number of urban locations, from schools to urban youth centers and veterans’ homes, sometimes on the terrace, sometimes on the ground level.
Altuis is more like a social enterprise than a private company, and we could not immediately determine if it had raised any investment.
- Badia Farms:
Vertical farms are the end of relatively new technology emerging in the new market, so of course there will be many companies that claim to be “first” or “largest” and, of course, are “revolutionary”.
Badia Farms claims that the first indoor vertical farm will be built in the Gulf States of the Middle East, which will provide “microgreens and herbs” to the best restaurants in places like Dubai.
The company will use the hydroponic method of cultivating a multi-story greenhouse and already has a well-known customer base.
- Intelligent Growth Solutions:
Another specialist in vertical agriculture, which is also overseen in the Middle East, Intelligent Growth Solutions is actually a Scottish company.
Interestingly, IGS has reported that LED performance is increasing by 50%, which would be a huge benefit, as lighting is probably the biggest cost for indoor farming systems. ۔
The company also emphasizes automation in its solutions, saying that its towers and its general system use robotics and reduce labor costs by up to 80 percent.
The main facility in Manhattan has been installed in the basement of a beautiful restaurant in Manhattan, with two Michelin starred bars. The company has used it as a platform to launch in the US. UU and now it is affiliated with several excellent restaurants in several states.
Form One uses a hydroponic method and provides smartphone applications to manage the installation, which can be custom-made or custom-made solutions for individual users.
The company has raised at least $ 5 million since 2017.
- Sky Greens:
The company is based in Singapore, about Manhattan’s size and yet has a major impact on the Southeast Asian economy. The City State may be one of the busiest maritime ports in the world, but its residents would probably love to buy leafy vegetables and locally grown herbs if available.
Sky Greens uses a patented system that integrates a range of hydraulic systems with the construction of very high structures (9 meters with 38 tiers of growing throughs- can use hydroponic or ground-based processes.
The Japanese company was one of the first vertical agriculture startups covered by robotics and automation news when we started three years ago, and the company’s recent plans include something called “the world’s largest plant Factory “.
It also has major partners, including NTT, a major telecommunications company, with which it jointly developed the Internet of Things platform for its facilities, which also uses artificial intelligence.
The company originally started in 2007, making it one of the oldest vertical agricultural companies. The financing at that time was only 10 million, which is very low compared to new businesses.
More real estate developer than a vertical agricultural company. However, at least the company has tried to deny the effect of occupying cultivable agricultural land by building buildings that provide opportunities for farming abroad.
One of its projects is called “Sunqio Urban Agricultural District”, covering an area of about 100 hectares, which is located between Shanghai’s central airport and the city center. It is said that this development is designed to integrate vertical agricultural systems that can provide products of spinach, kale, bok choi, watercress, etc.