LED technology company, Rift Labs – which has been developing award-winning LED products and solutions since 2010 – has received a significant funding boost to make further inroads into the vertical farming sector.
"We are excited to announce that Rift Labs has raised US$1.7 million in new funding to fuel our growth in vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture," commented Halvard Aagaard, CEO of Rift Labs. "We have already secured commercial contracts and great interest from global players for our vertical farming solutions, and now we are utilizing this momentum to scale and expand internationally."
The round was led by the largest shareholder, Karbon Invest, along with substantial participation from existing shareholders. Bulk Industrier with Peder Nærbø was invited onboard as a new investor and participated in the round, joining the list of prominent existing investors such as Carucel Finance and Datum Invest.
Rift Labs has been working with partners ONNA and Crayon since autumn 2020 to develop the Hydroponics Lab system, a project which has been supported by Innovation Norway and RFF Viken. The system especially makes use of Rift Labs’ advanced dynamic LED lighting, traditionally reserved for other industries such as photo and video, which enables extremely precise and high-quality light in different wavelengths to be continuously optimized for plant growth.
“We aim to become the world's leading technology for controlled environment agriculture using our patented LED technology and software control systems based on AI and machine learning," continued Aagaard. "We are the only company today that is offering a solution like this on the market.”
According to Fortune Business Insights, the market for vertical farming is expected to grow significantly from US$3.47 billion in 2021 to US$20.91 billion in 2029 with a CAGR of over 25% due to continued ESG-focus in food production, combined with ever increasing uncertainty in global supply chains and desire to improve self-reliance. With a huge demand for innovative LED lighting solutions, Rifts Labs is well positioned to become a leader in this industry.
Through Bulk Industrier, Peder Nærbø founded Bulk Infrastructure Group in 2006 to create sustainability as a business. Bulk started to move logistics out of Oslo to improve the air quality in the city and since used its know-how from industrial real-estate to develop a scalable platform for digital infrastructure to get access to renewable energy in the Nordics. This led to scale developments of data center campuses and subsea and terrestrial fiber networks linking the Nordics to a global market.
“With large scalable data center sites in our portfolio, Bulk Industrier is interested in re-use of heat from data centers and believe greenhouse and vertical farming production to have great synergies in co-locating into circular industrial parks," explained Nærbø, owner and chair of Bulk Industrier. "To create the optimal yield for agriculture or aquaculture products to grow in these controlled environments the industry will depend on smart solutions and complete digitalization. This is where we believe Rift Labs is very well positioned to make significant impact.”