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CO2Sense invest in GrowUp Urban Farms

April 24th, 2017 | 10:23 am

CO2Sense is pleased to announce our latest equity investment made into GrowUp Urban Farms, the UK’s first vertical farm based on aquaponics.  

GrowUp Urban Farms was founded in 2013 by Kate Hofman and Tom Webster with a vision to build aquaponic urban farms growing food for local markets. Aquaponics is a form of food production which combines aquaculture (fish farming), hydroponics (growing plants in a nutrient solution rather than water) and indoor crop cultivation to produce food in a harmonious way through a connected waste water and fertilisation system. Whilst the concept is based on standardised technology, it is the first commercial scale aquaponics urban farm in the UK.

The GrowUp Urban Farms team started with an upcycled shipping container named the GrowUp Box, funded by a kickstarter campaign to prove the concept and demonstrate its viability. Following the success of the GrowUp Box in 2014, the team then secured funding from Ignite, the social impact fund run by Centrica, to set up their current facility named Unit 84. The team also expanded from 2 people in 2013, to 12 people in 2016. The Unit 84 facility has the capacity to cultivate 800 tilapia fish per month and can grow a variety of salads and herbs. It currently sells its produce to local retailers and restaurants within the London area.

Sustainability runs throughout the core of GrowUp Urban Farms; whose mission is to produce sustainable food for local businesses and customers. The facility creates an ideal environment for year-round food production, which reduces the need to import certain crops during winter periods and addresses issues around food security. Energy is sourced from a green utility company which supplies 100% renewable energy, reducing the carbon emissions associated with the food produced even further.

The investment is CO2Sense’s first investment into the agriculture sector via the first external equity round launched by GrowUp Urban Farms. The investment will be used to grow sales and upgrade the Unit 84 facility. CO2Sense will have a seat on the board and provide ad-hoc support where possible. The investment round has also attracted funding from a number of other investors including private and institutional investors.

Commenting on the investment from CO2Sense, Tom Webster and Kate Hofman said

“We are pleased to have received the investment from CO2Sense and to have them on the board. We found the experience of securing investment from them to be efficient and friendly, and we would recommend them to others looking for a funding partner”.    

The investment into GrowUp Urban Farms is CO2Sense’s first equity investment of 2017. If you are seeking growth capital to further develop your environmental business activity, then please contact us on 0113 247 3848 or e-mail talk2us@co2sense.co.uk.

ENDS

CO2Sense manages an ethical investment fund dedicated to providing flexible finance for environmental businesses with a positive carbon impact. Profits from our investments are recycled back into the fund to further invest in other businesses and projects.

Finance is provided UK wide through both debt and equity, to both commercial and community organisations who are carrying out activities related to development of renewable energy assets, energy storage projects, energy efficiency and demand management schemes, heat networks, sustainable agriculture and water management. Other business activities with a sustainable and positive carbon impact can also be considered.

For examples of our work, please visit www.co2sense.co.uk/case-studies

To learn more about CO2Sense, please call 0113 247 3848 or e-mail talk2us@co2sense.co.uk

GrowUp Urban Farms operates the UKs first commercial scale Aquaponic urban farm. Located in Beckton, East London, the farm is capable of producing 20 Tonnes of leafy salad per year and 4 Tonnes of fish. All the produce grown on the farm is sold to local customers in London.

To find out more please visit www.growup.org.uk

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