New board

CEO departs as vertical farmer IGS raises funds

David Farquhar has been replaced by Andrew Lloyd as chief executive of IGS

Intelligent Growth Solutions, the Scottish vertical farming company, has announced the departure of its chief executive and a £22.5 million fundraise to support its global ambitions.

David Farquhar, who has led the Edinburgh-based company since 2017, has left the business and has been replaced by his deputy, Andrew Lloyd.

No reason was given for Mr Farquhar’s departure just weeks after he led a major deal in Dubai. A spokesperson for the company said: “There’s nothing to say at the moment.”

Sonya Hotson, who has supported IGS as interim CFO since July, joins the company full-time and becomes a board member.

The latest investment was led by existing institutional investors, with COFRA Holding, media group DC Thomson, and S2G Ventures, supported by Cleveland Avenue, Ospraie Ag Science, and Scottish Enterprise. Private shareholders and IGS staff also contributed to the Series C raise.

The funding comes after IGS announced at COP28 that it would be joining Dubai-based partner ReFarm to build a game-changing 900,000 sq ft gigafarm in the United Arab Emirates, capable of replacing 1% of food imports to the country.

The innovative waste-to-value farm will have the ability to recycle more than 50,000 tonnes of food waste and grow two billion plants each year.

Mr Lloyd said: “This year will be transformational for IGS as we prepare to deploy the most advanced indoor farm in the world.

‘The scale and scope of the opportunity in the Middle East promises to be market-defining and will begin to make a genuine difference to food security. With the backing of our institutional investors and shareholders, we are equipped to deliver this game-changing project.

“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to David Farquhar, under whose visionary leadership IGS has grown from an innovative concept to a world leader in vertical farm technology.

“Working with our institutional investors, Sonya has been instrumental in securing this funding, and I am delighted to confirm her appointment. Her experience, alongside the talents of the IGS team and our partners, combine to deliver the essential ingredients for scale-up success.”

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