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Agritech deal

Global investors back Scots vertical farming firm

Nicola Sturgeon at the IGS stand at COP26

Vertical farming firm, Intelligent Growth Solutions, has raised £42.2 million from a series of new and existing investors in the UK, US and Switzerland to develop its sustainable food systems.

IGS, which has 150 staff and is based in Edinburgh, designs and builds award-winning vertical farms for farmers and growers in food, pharmaceutical and fragrance markets around the world.

Its technology is now in use around the worl, with a sales pipeline that has quadrupled in the past 12 months.

The Series B investment will be pivotal for its technical development and enhancement of scientific understanding.

It will allow wider and faster market penetration 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.

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The Series B funding round drew new investors COFRA (Zug, Switzerland), Cleveland Avenue (Chicago) and DC Thomson (Dundee).

They joined existing institutional investors Ospraie Ag Science (New York City), S2G Ventures (Chicago), venture capital firm AgFunder (San Francisco); and Scottish Enterprise. Private shareholders and IGS staff also contributed.

Donald Brenninkmeijer, Director appointed by COFRA, commented: “With a growing population putting ever greater strain on resources and the environment, there is an urgent need for sustainable, high-yield forms of food production.

“IGS’s technology is unique, its growth plan solid and we are confident in its potential to rethink the future of agricultural food systems.”

Mr Brenninkmeijer and Jason Mraz from Ospraie Ag Science will join the IGS Board as non-executive directors.

Speaking at IGS’ COP26 demonstration site in Glasgow, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said: “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.”

Chief Executive David Farquhar said: “The conclusion of a hugely over-subscribed Series B round represents another exciting step for IGS and our investors.

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“We have been supported with this investment by well-established, globally recognised and highly ethical investors. 

“There is growing realisation in all regions of the world that sustainable, deliverable and scalable food production is fundamental to the future of the planet and its people.”

The funding round was overseen by Thorntons Solicitors, principal legal advisers for IGS.

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