Siberian Startup iFarms Secures $1mn To Develop “Vertical Farms” Across Russia and Europe
By EWDN in Moscow February 19, 2019
iFarm, a Novosibirsk, Siberia-based startup, has just secured $1mn in a round led by Gagarin Capital – the California-based VC firm founded by Nick Davidov and Mikhail Taver – with participation from individual Russian investors. The details of the deal have not been disclosed, reports East-West Digital News.
"We created iFarm to grow natural vegetables, berries and greens in the city at any time of the year, using innovative technologies," the company says on its website. Russia has enormous agricultural potential, but the weather makes growing fruit and vegetables difficult on most of the country's territory.
This agritech startup builds vertical farms, which “use a footprint of land more productively than traditional greenhouses.” It has also designed automated all-year-round greenhouses from 100 to 1000 sq.m. as well as growing trays “for growing greens and strawberry right in your restaurant or grocery.” iFarm’s first experimental projects were completed in 2017. The next year, iFarm developed vertical farms to grow such short-term crops as strawberries, lettuce and herbs. Two such vertical farms of 500 sq. m. were developed with grocery stores.
This year, iFarm plans to launch a new 3,000 sq. m. project in Novosibirsk, a smaller one in Moscow (100-500 sq.m.), and to experiment its technology on the European market. It will also use the money raised in the recent round to develop further its technology and enlarge its team.
The company has offices or representatives in Novosibirsk, Moscow and Luxembourg.