HomeFrance-StartupsFrench startup Futura Gaïa secures €11 million to fuel the future of...

French startup Futura Gaïa secures €11 million to fuel the future of vertical agriculture

French startup Futura Gaïa is aiming to harness the power of indoor vertical agriculture for a more sustainable future. The agritech team has just secured €11 million to reach industrial scale. 

Vertical farming is increasingly seen as a way to feed our growing population. As the name suggests, it consists of growing produce vertically, (rather than in traditional horizontal rows), which saves space, can be done indoors and enables a more efficient and more sustainable agricultural process. Being located indoors means produce can be grown locally as environmental conditions can be better controlled and the need to import is reduced.

Futura Gaïa, a French startup that has designed an automated soil-based vertical farming solution, has just secured new funding to scale. It reflects growing attention to agritech solutions in the investor space as European startups continue to innovate in this market, creating sustainable solutions for future society.

Funding details

  • €11 million raised in a second funding round
  • Existing and continuing investors include (UI Investissement, Sofilaro, Région Sud Investissement, Caap Création a subsidiary company of Crédit Agricole Alpes Provence, Occipac, Elpis and Alain François Raymond
  • New investors include Banque des Territoires, Abeille Impact Investing France, Colam Impact, InvESS’t PACA and several dozens of private individuals through Sowefund
  • It adds to a €2.5 million raise in 2020.

Founded in 2019, Futura Gaïa designs and markets ready-to-use vertical farms that offer soil-based automation and are complementary to open-field and greenhouse agriculture.

Pascal Thomas, co-founder and CEO of Futura Gaïa: “We see our innovation as a complementary solution to the necessary changes in the agricultural world. Our solution enables the supply of fresh, local and healthy plant products. It will also be a privileged source of high environmental quality plant produce for both pharmaceutical and cosmetic markets. The support and loyalty of our historical investors combined with our new capital providers testify the relevance of our approach.”

The Controlled Environment Agriculture market (CEA)  is growing at a fast pace at the moment. European startups, corporates, investors and governments are increasingly turning to this space as a viable and sustainable solution.

The French firm stands out in this emerging market by offering rotating geoponics, a soil-based solution for indoor plant production. To face the accelerating impacts of climate change and water scarcity, Futura Gaïa aims to contribute to improving the outlook for food sovereignty, whilst involving local actors.

Annabelle Viollet, Occitanie Regional Director of Banque des Territoires: “Futura Gaïa is the proof that innovation belongs to local territories. The startup provides a unique and innovative solution to tackle major challenges such as the erosion of France’s production capacity and its high-dependency to agri-food imports. Convinced of the need to transform production models, Banque des Territoires is supporting Futura Gaïa in every key step of its development by investing in equity capital.”

The vertical farms enable local, pesticide-free, year-round production of plants with quality healthy, nutritional and taste qualities. The solution limits the impact on the use of natural resources (water and arable land) and guarantees plants with an optimized concentration of active ingredients. It also includes all actors within the value chain, creating a localised process.

Philippe de Moustier, CEO of Colam Impact: “Colam Impact is delighted to support Futura Gaïa in this new development stage. The company provides a particularly relevant solution for sustainable agricultural production which is innovative and complementary to open-field crops. Its technology and agronomic expertise respond to the many challenges facing the agricultural sector: better management of water resources, zero pesticide use, preservation of biodiversity, but also the resilience and food security of territories, thus creating real environmental and economic value.” 

Thomas Rivron, Investment Director of Abeille Assurances: “The highly innovative nature of the agricultural production solution developed by Futura Gaïa is able to create stable and quality employment in territories by relocating some of the agricultural production and optimizing water and inputs consumption in a context of water scarcity.”

In 2020, the firm secured funding to build its first indoor farm in Taarascon, France. It includes 50 growing systems and combined advanced agronomical and technological innovations. 

For Muriel Sembelie and Patrick Gounelle, founders of the regional entrepreneurial fund Occipac: “Thanks to its vertical farm solution which combines precision agronomy and new technologies dedicated to the cultivation of plants, fruits and vegetables with high nutritional value, Futura Gaïa provides one of the most efficient and successful solutions on the market. Through its reinvestment, Occipac fund, a long-time investor in Futura Gaïa, confirms its support and commitment to the company’s management, which is providing a concrete and sustainable response to the major food challenges.”

Now, with this new funding, the startup will enhance its agronomical and technological R&D capacities along with the installation of the first vertical farm at an industrial scale.

Jean-Michel Sibué, Associate Director of A Plus Finance: “This new funding round is exciting news not only for the company and its committed team but also for the future of indoor farming. Our region is once again demonstrating the dynamism of its business ecosystem in the service of transitions. We are delighted with this co-investment alongside our historical shareholders and other leading impact funds.”

Georges Viglietti, CEO of Sowefund: “The relevance and positive impact of Futura Gaïa have generated a strong interest among our community of individual investors. We are pleased to join this funding round and to support them in the next stages of their development.”

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Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.

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