Scottish vertical farming outfit Intelligent Growth Solutions has raised £42.2 million after a Series B funding round.

The news was revealed at the ag-tech firm's COP26 exhibition site and was welcomed by First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon. The latest investment round has been supported by a conglomerate of new investors including COFRA AG, Cleveland Avenue and DC Thomson.

For lead investor COFRA, a sixth-generation family-owned business, it represents a first investment into sustainable food systems and agritech as part of its strategy to contribute to the food system transition. The investment is part of COFRA’s broader commitment to contribute positively to both society and the environment through its businesses and investments, the company said.

COFRA, Cleveland Avenue and DC Thomson were joined in the Series B investment round by existing institutional investors Ospraie Ag Science, S2G Ventures, venture capital firm AgFunder and Scottish Enterprise, with private shareholders and IGS staff also contributing.

'Wider and faster market penetration'

IGS designs and builds vertical farms for farmers and growers in food, pharmaceutical and fragrance markets around the world. It has deployed its technology to customers across four continents to date, with a sales pipeline that has quadrupled in the past 12 months.

The firm said the Series B investment reflects a broad, global momentum driving agricultural transformation and will be pivotal for IGS’ technical development and enhancement of scientific understanding.

It will allow 'wider and faster market penetration for IGS as demand for its technology increases from growers, retailers and governments aiming to address food security issues, mitigate environmental concerns and develop sustainable methods of production and new business models in their regions.'

Speaking at IGS’ COP26 demonstration site in Glasgow, Sturgeon said: “Here at COP26, it’s fantastic to see a Scottish company at the forefront of innovation in agri-tech and vertical farming attracting investment from across the world.

'With a great team behind it and support from Scottish Enterprise, IGS is expanding rapidly and now has nearly 150 staff. This investment will enable its next stage of global growth. The success of IGS shows that the transition to net zero can create new opportunities for fair work and prosperity. The Scottish Government is determined to work with businesses and partners to grasp those opportunities as part of a just transition to net zero.”