Canada: BDC Capital invests in Lufa Farms

BDC Capital announced four new women-led startups for its Women in Technology Venture Fund on Wednesday, including Lufa Farms, a Montreal-based company that’s growing vegetables in urban rooftop greenhouses.

“We actually ship about 14,000 baskets a week right now, and we’re looking to at least double that in the next couple years before we look at expanding outside of Montreal, so this investment is a key piece for us to make that move,” said Lufa Farms co-founder Lauren Rathmell.

Rathmell said that capital hasn’t been the hardest part of their growth; most of the funding for their Series B venture capital round came from existing investors who got in at Series A, but BDC wanted to be involved too.

And building greenhouses on top of buildings isn’t cheap, so more money always helps.

Rathmell said over the past seven years, she’s run into sexist comments from people who don’t expect a woman to be the head grower of an agricultural company.

“We’re a technology company and also in the agriculture space, both (industries) obviously are not women-led,” Rathmell said.

“I think we’ve made strides there, just in how strong our business is.”

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