Future Crops

Vertical farming group Future Crops has announced a new investment round led by Tencent as it looks to accelerate growth.

The Israeli-Dutch venture has developed advanced vertical farming that uses a unique soil-like substrate to better reproduce the natural environment, growing sustainable, high-quality crops.

Future Crops had already raised over US$30m in seed funding from a private equity arm run by the Lerman Family, leaders in the American steel industry, to finance the construction of its state-of-the-art facility and to build their team of experts.

This is the first time Future Crops has sought investment beyond its initial round of funding.

“We are tremendously excited about this investment,” says Gary Grinspan, CEO and co-founder of Future Crops.

“Tencent’s investment reflects the company’s focus on sustainable innovations and support for technologies, like vertical farming, which can create clean, locally grown sustainable food while helping to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change,' he explained. 'We believe our soil-substrate-based platform is closer to nature and produces fresh, longer-lasting, higher-quality produce at improved yields, as plants grow best in soil.'

“Tencent supports companies creating solutions to the world’s most critical challenges, including technologies that can feed more people using fewer resources” said Ling Ge, chief European representative, Tencent. “Investments in sustainable agriculture technologies, such as vertical farm systems, aligns with our mission to apply technology for good.”

“The timing of this investment round is perfect for us as Future Crops has recently scaled up to mass production capacity,” Grinspan added. “We’re already supplying fresh high-quality herbs to leading European retailers, both under private label and our own brand.

'Currently, we market all our produce, so this investment will allow us to expand our capacities to meet demand and continue to increase our R&D capabilities and develop proprietary technology.”