What if you could go into a grocery store and quickly harvest your own fresh crops housed in an illuminated farm, instead of picking through expiration dates and wilted veggies stored into plastic bags. Well this is the option that developers of Infarm are providing for their consumers. Each farming unit would have its own individual ecosystem, creating the exact environment the plants need to flourish.
These plants would be monitored and fed by an internet-controlled irrigation and nutrition system which allows plants such as, lettuce, herbs and other fruits or vegetables to grow in a vertical indoor farm. What has been setting Infarm apart from other startups, is the modular approach and go-to-market strategy it is taking.
Infarm co-founder Erez Galonska had stated that, “We are the first company in the world that has put vertical farming in a supermarket. We did it last year with Metro Group, which is one of the biggest wholesalers in Europe, and now we are facing very big demand from other supermarkets that want to do the same”. They also plan to put Infarm in your local mall, schools, restaurants, and shopping centers.
Infarm highlights on being environmental friendly in adopting a system that allows for your crops to grow chemically pesticide free. Meaning Infarm focuses on the nutritional value the food will provide along with its taste. This will ultimately eliminate the need for mass production and worrying about shelf life.
Also, because this system is indoors, with individually controlled ecosystems, the restrictions for seasonal foods will be eliminated. Creating some of the freshest crops money can buy.
These mini ecosystems will have the ability to be controlled remotely. Sensors will collect and record data from each farm so that monitoring these plants growth and troubleshooting any problems will be in real-time.
“The system is smart. It can guide you where to harvest and can notify you when the produce needs to be harvested, and this is your part in the game,” says Galonska. “Machine learning can help us understand and predict future problems”.
This new process and technique has surely not gone unnoticed by investors. The startup has just closed a $4 million funding round led by Berlin’s Cherry Ventures. Impact investor Quadia, London’s LocalGlobe, Atlantic Food Labs, design consultant Ideo, Demand Analytics, and other various business angels have also participated in this new food farming process.