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Agri-tech Gardin raises £8m to help grow seasonal crops all year round

 

Agri-tech startup Gardin has raised £8.1m to fuel its development of new technology that will aid the growth of seasonal crops and berries all year round.

The latest round was led by Molten Ventures and will accelerate Gardin’s growth in Europe and North America. The funding follows a £0.9m pre-seed round in January 2021.

The UK-based startup aims to address current inefficiencies in food production by utilising its “optical phenotyping” hardware and analytics software.

The technology uses optical sensors in order to obtain data from individual plants, meaning farmers can analyse processes such as photosynthesis in crops instantaneously.

This enabled the optimisation of controlled growing environments such as vertical farming and should lead to improved yields, economic efficiency, and superior crop nutrition, Gardin said.

Using the technology will allow UK farmers to grow seasonal crops and berries all year round with a lower carbon footprint.

Gardin founder and CEO Sumanta Talukdar said it had “set out on a mission to develop cutting-edge enabling technology for the future of food sustainability. Today’s announcement of Molten Ventures as the lead investor of our seed round marks an important step on that journey.”

The company was backed by the UK government innovation agency with a Smart grant to develop its technology. It also has a strong number of clients in the vertical farming and greenhouse space.

Edel Coen, investor and head of deal flow at Molten Ventures, said: “The global food and agriculture system is coming to a tipping point. There are more people, more waste and less land available than ever before: food security and sustainable food production are now enormous challenges we are experiencing at a global scale.

“Gardin’s unique technology enables a step-change in how and where food can be produced. We are excited to partner with Sumanta and the Gardin team on the journey toward solving one of the most significant challenges of our time.”

This week’s funding round included capital from LDV Capital, MMC Ventures and Seedcamp.

It comes as the Scottish agri-tech business Intelligent Growth Solutions announced the conclusion of its latest funding round, which raised £42.2m.

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