British vertical farming startup Vertical Future which grows crops without soil inside warehouses, said it had secured £21mn in a series A investment round, the CEO announced on social media.

Vertical farming has become hugely popular in recent years as consumers and producers look for ways to buy products grown closer to home with less food miles. Vertical farming has been dubbed one method to help with efficiencies in food production.

The funds will move along deployment of Vertical Future’s farms, integrate specific manufacturing capabilities and grow the company’s team. The company intends to now grow the workforce to over 60 people by the end of the second quarter.

The company has an active research and development programme with a variety of academic institutions, including the University of Cambridge, Loughborough and the NIAB.

Areas including phytopharmaceuticals as well as maximising yield production are part of t Vertical Future’s business plan.

Burrows said, “The raise, which is all newly issued shares of one share class, is thought to be the largest Series A equity raise to date within the EU vertical farming space, and was supported by a number of UHNW and HNW family offices and investors, from the UK, EU, and US, including Pula Investments Limited (Guernsey), and UK environmentalist Gregory Nasmyth. SFC Capital, the leading UK EIS fund and our second largest shareholder, also supported with the raise, following their £4.1m investment in late 2019.”

He added, “The UK market continues to develop at a fast rate, addressing a range of important topics, from the supply chain through to climate change, population growth, and human health. Funds from the raise will be used to improve and vertically integrate some of Vertical Future’s in-house manufacturing capabilities and to continue to seek improvements for our hardware and software solutions.”