iFarm, a startup founded in Siberia but now headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, creates and develops modern technologies for city farming. IFarm aims to satisfy the essential right of citizens to consume affordable and quality products.
The company has secured $4 million from an international pool of investors led by Gagarin Capital. The VC firm has led a previous $1 million round in early 2019.
The funding is going to develop iFarm Growtune tech platform that permits operations of multiple sorts of vertical farms and can quadruple the amount of plants available to iFarm’s tech. In addition, iFarm is aiming to optimize its automated production lines to scale back labor costs and complete experiments with growing strawberries, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, radish and other crops.
iFarm’s turnkey solutions “enable anyone to grow fresh vegetables, berries, greens and edible flowers for private use or commercial purposes.”
The startup is also involved in vertical farms for indoor agriculture. This technology is based on a highly controlled indoor environment, using artificial lighting to power all-year-round agriculture. At the same time it allows urban farmers to grow plants without pesticides.
Furthermore, iFarm has designed automated all-year-round greenhouses from 100 to 1000 sq.m. as well as growing trays “for growing greens and strawberry right in your restaurant or grocery.”
The company told TechCrunch that its systems “involve a variety of technologies to watch and automate crop care.” Applying computer vision and machine learning, these systems “draw on data on thousands of plants collected from a distributed network of farms.”
“The main thing is that the software that mixes optimization systems like humidity, temperature, CO2 etc; and a few business separations — like why, how, once we start growing, which clients,” co-founder and CEO Max Chizhov said in his exchange with the US publication.
“It’s sort of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) plus an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system that controls all the parameters,” he added.
iFarm’s first experimental project was completed in 2017. The company now claims to manage 50 projects in Europe, the Middle-East, Russia and neighboring countries.
Earlier this year iFarm was distinguished as “Europe’s Hottest Ag/FoodTech startup” at The Europas contest.
Alongside Gagarin Capital, several major investors were involved in iFarm’s latest round. These are Impulse VC, Matrix Capital, and several business angels including Qiwi’s co-founder Boris Kim.