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Start-up iFarm raises $ 4M for automated indoor farming

The company will develop its iFarm Growtune tech platform and optimise its automated production lines.

iFarm, a Finnish start-up that provides innovative solutions for growing fresh greens, berries and vegetables, raised $ 4M in funding. The company says it will use the funding to develop its iFarm Growtune tech platform that enables operations of multiple varieties of vertical farms and quadrupling the number of plants available to iFarm’s tech.

Reduce labour costs

In addition, iFarm aims to optimise its automated production lines to reduce labour costs and complete experiments with growing strawberries, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, radish and other crops.

iFarm says it currently has over 50 on-going projects with clients in Europe and the Middle East for 2020. That includes an industrial vertical farm based on iFarm’s tech that is due to launch in Finland by the end of the year. Its construction was funded through the company’s internal crowdfunding platform.

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iFarm aims to optimise its automated production lines to reduce labour costs. - Photo: iFarm
iFarm aims to optimise its automated production lines to reduce labour costs. - Photo: iFarm

Growing crops in urban environments

iFarm says it’s automated vertical farm management technologies allow customers to start growing salads, greens, berries and vegetables in the urban environment: from empty warehouses and factory shops to basements and distribution centers. The technology is based on an adaptive protocol that includes computer vision, machine learning, the data about thousands of plants collected from a distributed network of farms as well as the industry knowledge.

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The iFarm Growtune platform provides recommendations to the farm staff and adjusts the microclimate settings to ensure better results. - Photo: iFarm
The iFarm Growtune platform provides recommendations to the farm staff and adjusts the microclimate settings to ensure better results. - Photo: iFarm

iFarm Growtune platform provides recommendations

The iFarm Growtune platform can determine the plant’s weight, any growth deviations or pathologies and build a system that improves crops’ quality characteristics on its own. It provides recommendations to the farm staff and adjusts the microclimate settings to ensure better results.

Max Chizhov, co-founder and CEO of iFarm says the new round of investment brings the company closer to its goal – to operate 1M m² of vertical farms using iFarm technology around the world and provide technology to grow 500+ crops by 2026.

How can the growth of vertical farming be accelerated? A study identifies future research areas needed.

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