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France: Agricool raises 28 million US dollars for urban farming

With the announcement of a new funding round of $28 million, in addition to the $13 million previously raised, Agricool pursues its ambition to make pesticide-free fruits and vegetables accessible to all. Through its innovative concept, the company has paved the way for a new form of urban and technological agriculture, seeking to meet the ever-increasing demand for locally produced food and the expansion of local distribution networks.

The company has raised funds from new investors including Bpifrance Large Venture Fund, Danone Manifesto Ventures, Antoine Arnault via Marbeuf Capital, Solomon Hykes, and a dozen other business angels passionate about Agricool’s mission. The existing investors, which include daphni, XAnge, Henri Seydoux and Xavier Niel via Kima Ventures, have also participated in this new funding round.

Taking the lead in a booming market
According to UN reports, in 2030, 20% of products consumed worldwide will come from urban farming (compared to 5% today). In the past 3 years, Agricool’s teams have developed a technology to grow local, healthy fruits and vegetables more productively and within small and controlled spaces, known as “Cooltainers” (recycled shipping containers transformed into urban farms). Thanks to this new funding round, Agricool will be able to confirm its role in the development of this new type of agriculture, while positioning itself as a key player in the segment of vertical farming in France and worldwide. Agricool plans to multiply by a hundred its production by 2021, in Paris first, then internationally starting with Dubai, where a container has already been installed for several months in The Sustainable City.

The emergence of a new profession with the recruitment of 200 people
The deployment of these production modules will be made possible thanks to the recruitment of over 200 people in the Paris area and around the world, from now until 2021. This will result in the emergence of a new profession: the Cooltivator - an entrepreneur and urban farmer hybrid. These “market gardeners of the future” will play an important role in producing this new type of local, healthy food made accessible to all.

Cities of tomorrow
The challenge of urban farming and for Agricool is to help develop the production of food for a growing urban population who wants to eat quality products, while limiting the ecological impact of its consumption. Agricool strawberries are harvested when ripe, and the company claims they contain on average 20% more sugar and 30% more vitamin C than supermarket strawberries.

"Paris is dreaming of itself as an agricultural city", according to the ambition of the Paris City Council, and many metropolises like London, New York and Singapore share the same approach. "We are very excited about the idea of supporting urban farming towards massive development, and it will soon no longer be a luxury to eat exceptional fruits and vegetables in the city", stresses Guillaume Fourdinier, co-founder and CEO of Agricool.

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