Dutch scale-up PlantLab has raised a first external investment of € 20 million from De Hoge Dennen Capital. The company has developed a globally patented technology for ‘vertical farming’, an efficient method for growing vegetables and fruits. It will use the injection of capital to open indoor production sites in various countries, including the Netherlands, the US, and the Bahamas.
Over the last 10 years, PlantLab has succeeded in developing innovative and revolutionary technology for efficient urban farming, which is already being applied in a commercial production site in Amsterdam. The new technology enables growing vegetables on a large scale very close to the consumer, without using any chemical crop protection agents. On a surface area the size of only two football fields, it is now possible to produce enough crops to feed a city of 100,000 residents with 200 g of vegetables each on a daily basis, the company claims.
Additional production sites
“This injection of capital will enable us to open up additional production sites and further perfect our technology”, explains Plantlab CEO Michiel Peters. “The increasing population of the planet and the climate crisis are posing new and enormous challenges to the production of food for the world’s population. We have no choice but to grow our food more sustainably and efficiently, and that demands innovative and revolutionary solutions.”
PlantLab’s production sites can be set up anywhere in the world, even on barren land or urban areas. Due to optimized temperature, moisture, and light control, the crops grow to their full potential, while water use is reduced by as much as 95%, Peters says. Light is provided by specially developed LEDs that provide the specific wavelength needed by the plant for photosynthesis.
New CEO, new CFO
De Hoge Dennen is part of the investment company founded by the De Rijcke family, the former owners of Kruidvat. The company has made previous investments in the online supermarket Picnic, the salad producer De Menken Keuken, and the electric bicycle brand QWIC. CFO Jelle Roodbeen says he wants to help PlantLab make a real difference on a global level. “It will make healthy and delicious vegetables affordable and accessible to everyone, in an environmentally friendly and sustainable fashion.”
In addition to the injection of capital by De Hoge Dennen, Frank Roerink and Michiel Peters are joining the scale-up company as its new CFO and CEO, to strengthen the management team. PlantLab has its vertical farming R&D center in Den Bosch and a commercial production site in Amsterdam. PlantLab employs over 60 people.
PlantLab specializes in technology for innovative urban farming and aims to supply the planet with a sustainable source of food for the future. The company was founded in 2010 in Den Bosch with the goal of revolutionizing the production of food for our planet. Over the last 10 years, the company has already invested € 50 million in the development of technology. The goal is to grow healthy, day fresh vegetables close to the consumer anywhere in the world without the use of chemical crop agents, while at the same time reducing water consumption to an absolute minimum.