UK vertical farming scale-up Vertical Future secures £21m in Europe’s largest ever Series A raise in the sector

Founded in 2016 by husband-and-wife team Jamie Burrows (ex-Ernst & Young life sciences consultant and PhD health economist) and Marie-Alexandrine Burrows (health researcher) in Deptford, SE London, Vertical Future has positioned itself as the standout British company in the controlled-environment-agriculture (CEA) space.

The Series A raise involves some of the biggest names in UK finance and retail, including Pula Investments Ltd (Guernsey-based private family office), environmentalist Gregory Nasmyth (private family office), Nickleby Capital (representing various UHNW family offices), Dyfan Investment (Luxembourg family office), and other high calibre investors. Leading EIS fund, SFC Capital, the company’s second largest shareholder, also participated in the round.

Vertical Future is a market leader in the development and deployment of advanced vertical farming hardware and software technologies, encompassed within its indoor soilless farms, which are being deployed across the UK and internationally. The company’s farms will eventually dwarf the scale of those seen and imagined so far for indoor agriculture, and advanced discussions are already underway with several major UK retail and logistics brands to further accelerate growth.

The close of this Series A raise will leave Vertical Future with a nine figure post-round valuation and a pipeline which includes a range of diverse projects in the UK and abroad (from Italy and Ireland through to Singapore) and provides the scope and autonomy for rapid expansion. Funds raised will be used to accelerate the deployment of Vertical Future’s farms, vertical integration of specific manufacturing capabilities, technological improvement, and team build-out, with a headcount of over 60 expected by the end of Q2 2022.

Founder and CEO Jamie Burrows says: “Unlike others in the vertical farming sector whose technologies and ambitions are restricted to growing only premium-priced salad and microgreens for a premium domestic and restaurant market, we are aiming to feed everyday working families with fairly-priced, higher-quality produce. This is achieved through a combination of technology, scale, and data insights.”

“Our indoor vertical farms offer a cost-effective way to dramatically increase output and productivity per cubic metre, enhance nutrient profiles, and improve flavour; all through an approach that is completely free from pesticides and thus better for human health. Over the next few years, we will be doing this at an industrial scale.”