A Week Marked By New Investments & Company Expansion
Discover this week's top 10 indoor vertical farming articles
Good morning readers, new investments, companies expanding exponentially, new funding facility, and much more!
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Here are this week’s top 10 indoor vertical farming articles:
1- DIC Invests in Back of the Yards Algae Sciences
DIC Corporation has completed an investment in Back of the Yards Algae Science Inc. (BYAS), a sustainable food technology startup focused on developing innovative extracts and alternative proteins, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The move strategically advances DIC’s growing business position in more sustainable and circular algae-derived products, including natural food colorants, natural food additives, and biostimulants — vital for improving vertical farming yields.
BYAS owns proprietary technology for efficiently extracting active ingredients from biobased materials, notably algae and mycelia. BYAS currently produces unique products such as the company’s spirulina (cyanobacteria) algae-based Heme Analog (BYAS-AHA) which is receiving intense interest for its ability to enhance the alternative meat taste and aroma, without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO).
Moreover, the BYAS proprietary zero-waste platform effectively utilizes all ingredients obtained from biobased materials, contributing to both the improvement of consumer health and the circular economy, perfectly aligned with DIC’s Vision—to improve the human condition by safely delivering color and comfort for sustainable prosperity.
2- Cultivatd Inc, Hires Former Forbes 30 Under 30 To Lead Their Strategic Growth
After recruiting seasoned CEA veteran, Kyle Barnett, Daniel Penn, former 30 under 30 award winner, and co-founder of Tickit Health joins Cultivatd to drive their Strategic Growth.
Building upon his experience in early-stage companies (Co-founder of Tickit Healthy, head of business development for Terramera where he assisted the company’s +10M fund raise, and more recently CEO for Hekate), Daniel Penn will contribute to Cultivatd’s growth.
“I want my kids and grandkids to have access to clean and responsibly grown produce – indoor farming will play a major role in that future.”- Daniel Penn
“We’re really excited about the strategic experience and leadership that Daniel will bring to Cultivatd” says Cultivatd Managing Partner Eric Levesque – “The value he brings will be monumental in making vertical farming accessible to all.”
3- PlanTFarm Agrees For JV With Premium Group Mongolia
PlanTFarm, a spin-off from Farm8 and backed by IMM investments (a Korean VC known for its recent investments in indoor vertical farming leaders, Pure Harvest Farms based in the UAE), is a vertically integrated smart farming company based in South Korea. The company recently agreed to a joint venture between them and Premium Group of Mongolia to set up an agri-tech firm in Mongolia, to construct and operate indoor vertical farms this year. According to a recent article from Pulse News, the project, upon completion, would represent the first indoor vertical farm in the country.
This agreement goes into effect as Mongolia, among other countries, face unprecedented food security challenges after the Russia - Ukrainian war but also the effects of climate change.
PlanTFarm holds agri-tech solutions to produce crops in challenging environments by controlling external conditions such as light, temperature, and humidity. The firm came under the spotlight for its successful plantation in harsh environments such as subway stations and Antarctic base camps.
Kolmar BNH under Kolmar Korea invested 3 billion won ($2.3 million) in PlanTFarm after valuing the firm at 100 billion won in September last year. Premium Group operates construction, mining, and logistics businesses in Mongolia and is a local partner of operations of Korea’s BGF Retail’s CU convenience stores in the country.
4- AgriFORCE Announces Convertible Debt Facility
AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: AGRI; AGRIW), recently announced it has entered into a definitive agreement for a convertible debt facility of an initial principal amount of $14.025 million (which is subject to a 10% original issue discount) and up to an additional principal amount of $33 million with accredited institutional investors.
The initial conversion price of the Notes is $2.22 per share. Under the agreement, the Company expects to receive an initial amount of $12.75 million (less fees to be deducted) and would have the right to receive up to an additional aggregate of $33.0 million at the discretion of each of the investors, in one or multiple tranches, subject to certain conditions, at then-current market prices. In addition, the Investors have received 3.5-year warrants with 65% warrant coverage at an initial exercise price of $2.442 per share, subject to customary adjustments.
Upon receipt of shareholder approval, consistent with Nasdaq Rules, the Company intends to use the net proceeds of the Notes towards the closing of the previously announced acquisition of Delphy Groep BV (Delphy). This facility is in lieu of the planned convertible debt facility, previously announced in March 2022. The notes are due in 2.5 years and amortize over a 25-month period. The Company has agreed to file a resale registration statement for the shares underlying the notes and warrants.
5- Affinor Growers (CSE:AFI) Announces $2M Private Placement
Affinor Growers (CSE:AFI), recently announced it was undertaking a private placement for gross proceeds of up to USD 2,000,000. Issuing 10,000,000 units at a price of USD 0.20 per unit, each unit will consist of one common share and one common share purchase warrant. Each warrant will entitle the holder to acquire one additional share at a price of $0.30 for a period of 24 months.
Proceeds will be used to increase production capacity in the company’s current greenhouse and build the new Atlantis building as well as for working capital. The offering is subject to the receipt of all necessary corporate and regulatory approvals, including the approvals of the Canadian Securities Exchange.
All securities issued in connection with the offering will be subject to a statutory hold period of four months. A finder’s fee may be paid to eligible arm’s length finders in accordance with CSE policies and applicable securities laws.
6- Edible Garden Reports Zero-Waste Inspired® ESG/Sustainability Mandate
Edible Garden AG Incorporated (Nasdaq:EDBL, EDBLW), provided updates on their Zero-Waste Inspried® ESG/ Sustainability mandate.
Mr. Jim Kras, Chief Executive Officer of Edible Garden, commented on a recent press release, “We are both pleased and proud to announce the positive impact of our Zero-Waste Inspired® ESG/Sustainability mandate. As part of our involvement with Walmart Project Gigaton™, an initiative with a goal of eliminating one billion metric tons, or one gigaton, of CO2 emissions from global value chains by 2030, it is estimated that in 2021, we will contribute to the effort by saving 21,000 gallons of gasoline, recycling 38,000 tons of cardboard, conserving 500,000 barrels of oil, and avoiding 442 tons of CO2 emissions. A sustainability survey conducted by Thepacker.com, the fresh fruit and vegetable industry’s leading source for news, information, and analysis, provides further evidence of the importance of sustainable products to consumers. More than half of consumers surveyed were more likely to buy products labeled as “climate-smart,” 54% prefer recyclable packaging, and 25% indicated that they only buy from brands that can demonstrate how the brand addresses climate change. Attributes rated highly by consumers regarding the impact on the sustainability of the food they bought were recyclable packaging, 57%, low carbon footprint, 50%, and urban and vertical farming, 41%. These results demonstrate why our ESG/sustainability approach has resonated extremely well with both retailers and consumers who care about the environmental impact of the food supply chain, which we expect will help Edible Garden expand our distribution channels and drive demand for our products.”
7- Innovation Agri-Tech Group Name Bannatyne As Non-Executive Director
Mr Bannatyne joins the IAG board as a Non-Executive Director, having been impressed by the technology developed by the team at IAG and how the future of vertical farming is set to revolutionize the way that we grow food on a global scale.
Duncan Bannatyne, Non-Executive Director at IAG, comments: “On visiting the IAG farm, I was quite amazed at how simple it is to grow food indoors and – importantly – vertically. There is no denying the massive issues affecting people today – such as the terrible situation in Ukraine. However, this isn’t by any means the sole factor when considering the global food shortage which has been apparent for decades. As populations continue to grow, we need a new way of producing food as traditional farming methods alone aren’t meeting demand, and in my opinion, vertical farming is the perfect solution. It complements the work farmers around the world are already doing, and by using aeroponic technology it combats the issues of soil degradation, food miles, seasonality and water usage.
Jaz Singh, CEO, Innovation Agri-Tech Group says: “We’re delighted to welcome Duncan to the board of IAG. Having such a fantastic ambassador for vertical farming can only be beneficial for us as we look to take our business from the R&D phase to market. It’s a really exciting moment and we genuinely believe that vertical farming is the technology of the future.”
8- An Upcoming Trailblazing Global Vertical Farming Show
With so much underway and the event going live—just this month, the organizers of the 2nd Global Vertical Farming Show, GVF2022- Dubai, TAB group are determined to make this event a grand success by bringing together prominent vertical farming companies and solution providers of this industry.
Companies including AeroFarms, Pure Harvest, Cyber Farms, Igrox, Farmfluence, Multivac, Grow Glide, Qualiplast, Culligan, Kaydee Solutions, Indian Hydroponics, Valoya, Future Farms, Simply Fresh, Harvest Today, Trane Technologies, Tomato+, Bosman Van Zaal, Agrimataco, Flora Consult, Neogreen, NUFilteration, JASA Packaging and Solutions, AL Aliyo Hydrofarms, and many more are already in.
The event will be attended by senior representatives from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Private Office of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Ahmed Al Maktoum, Abu Dhabi Investment Office, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), FAO, Emirates Green Building Council, Emirates Flight Catering, Emirates Nature-WWF and many other key organizations shaping the country’s food system and extending support towards the integration of indoor farming.
Mark dates: 27-28 July 2022
9- 3rd Vertical Farming World Congress in Brussels
fter two successful years online, the 3rd Vertical Farming World Congress will be held in Brussels at the heart of European policy-making from 19 to 21 September.
Aimed at operators, suppliers, investors, advisers, legislators, and policymakers, the program is stacked with top company leaders and the latest in technology innovation.
One of President Obama’s key agriculture advisers, Sonny Ramaswamy will give the opening address.
An industry leadership panel will feature AeroFarms, Bowery, Infarm, and Jones Food Company chief officers.
Other speakers will be flying in from Australia, Korea, North America, and Singapore alongside entrepreneurs from Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Sweden.
Additional highlights of the event include:
visits to urban farms in the new Abattoir re-development site, such as the Urban Harvest vertical farm, the ECLO underground mushroom farm, and the BIGH aquaponics greenhouse
the Vertical Farming World Awards dinner to celebrate all aspects of recent industry success, as well as extensive other networking opportunities
policy round tables to support the industry’s growing recognition and representation.
10- VertiFarm is Back, 27th - 29th September in Dortmund
The concept of vertical farming and new food systems has already become a global topic of the future and a dynamically developing market, in which not only innovative start-ups, but also large corporations are jointly driving the development of vertical farming in urban areas. The goal of New Food Systems is to maximize and secure the yield - without neglecting ecological and social factors.
High time not only to give the topic the necessary social relevance, but also to give it a 100% topic-focused information and sales platform. With the new VertiFarm, the first and only pure trade fair for Vertical Farming & New Food Systems, Messe Dortmund is closing this gap and, from 2022, will be combining knowledge, technology, development and a network at one of the most important logistics locations in Germany.
Messe Dortmund, as a modern and forward-looking trade fair location, and the Association for Vertical Farming (AVF) offer a platform for vertical farming that is intended to show the exchange in the industry and the rapid development of future business models in a bundled form. The AVF is the world's leading non-profit organization, enabling international exchange and collaboration to accelerate the development of the indoor/vertical farming industry.