Sirius Venture Capital, a Singapore-based food tech and logistics-focused venture capital firm, has led a $1 million investment in Aerospring Gardens Pte Ltd, an agri-garden tech startup that offers vertical aeroponics gardening systems, according to an announcement.
Aeroponics is a method of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil and pesticides to enable year-round harvesting at home.
Aerospring Gardens, founded by couple Nadine Keller and Thorben Linneberg, uses aeroponics for its patented vertical gardening systems. The automated system grows up to 27 edible plants at a time using only 10 square feet of space, with plants growing as fast and using 90 per cent less water compared to traditional methods of gardening.
Apart from root vegetables and trees, Aerospring can grow a wide range of produce such as leafy greens, herbs, and even cucumbers, tomatoes, passionfruit, strawberries, and chilies in one compact system.
“Using modern-day agri-garden technology, Aerospring’s vertical aeroponic garden systems empower urban dwellers to be self-sufficient and gain access to nutritious produce, which is aligned with Sirius’ placement in food innovations to grow resilient local food systems,” said Eugene Wong, founder and Managing Director of Sirius Venture Capital.
Aerospring intends to use the fresh capital to expand its distribution network and develop a new warehouse and showroom facility in Singapore. It will also carry out research to expand its existing product lines, among others, to grow the company’s presence in the US, Europe, and Japan.
Sirius Venture’s investment in Aerospring comes as global food security is expected to cause a major challenge in 2050, when the global population reaches an estimated 9 billion, according to data from the World Health Organisation.
This problem is further exposed in today’s COVID-stricken world, where countries face upended food supply chains owing to closed borders and disrupted farming activities, Wong added.
“With most food in Singapore currently being imported, Singapore is subject to a volatile global food market. But with Aerospring’s smart systems, we can ensure household sustenance,” he said.
Sirius Venture is focused on startups in the food tech and logistics space, with funding size of between $100,000 and $600,000.
In April, the firm co-anchored a $3-million funding round in Hargol FoodTech, an Israel-based startup that produces alternative protein sourced from grasshoppers.
In 2018, the VC firm made a strategic investment in Israeli biotech and food-tech startup SuperMeat‘s seed funding round, which raised $3 million. It also backed an $8-million Series A funding round in Israeli foodtech firm Genie Enterprises, which was invented an automated computer-controlled cooking device.