We’re excited to announce that Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS), a Scottish vertical farming tech provider, has raised £5.4 million in Series A funding. The round was led by leading agri-foodtech investor S2G Ventures as well as AgFunder and Scottish Investment Bank (SIB).
IGS has developed a highly sophisticated and unique vertical farm “in a box” to answer the industry’s biggest challenges; today’s largest vertical farms continue to struggle with the high energy costs associated with LED lighting, inconsistent plant growth and quality, and high labour costs. And that’s before they even get into the challenges of marketing and selling produce.
“After three decades in the tech sector, I have never experienced a sector in which there is more interest and more BS in equal measure; it is quite incredible,” says David Farquhar, CEO of IGS.
A key reason for high energy costs and inconsistencies is the use of LED lighting with single phase electricity — the standard for lighting globally. Without getting too electrical, single phase electricity causes LED lights to flicker. It also creates massive losses in electrical efficiency when you dim them. The solution for this, typically, is to throw ever more electronics at them, but at scale — imagine thousands of LED lights in a large plant factory — this is very unreliable. IGS has patented the use of three-phase electricity to power LED lights, which enables indoor growers to mimic different forms of sunlight, such as jungle light, Mediterranean light, grasslands and so on, optimised for different crops to give a consistent yield.
IGS’ lighting system also incorporates its communications and power system, which is fully IoT-enabled and connected to the cloud; however, there are no computers in an IGS-enabled vertical farm.