Seed & Roe, an indoor farming and aquaponics company, announced today it has rebranded as Upward Farms and plans to build a new headquarter farm in Brooklyn, NY to increase production of both leafy greens and fish. Today’s announcement also comes just as the company has closed a $15 million funding round led by Prime Movers Lab. The company has raised $20 million total to date.
The company, which was called Edenworks before it was Seed & Roe, said in today’s release that it plans to open its Brooklyn facility in 2020 and increase production by more than 20x its original facility (also located in Brooklyn).
That production includes both leafy greens and fish — striped bass, specifically. The forthcoming facility will farm these fish, which it says will be available to those in the New York area by 2021. Keeping the entire operation something of a closed loop, the water produced by fish feeds (which is nutrient-enriched) then goes on to feed the plants in the facility’s greenery.
Upward Farms provided this handy diagram of the new facility to explain its operations:
It’s approach to indoor farming is somewhat unique in that most companies aren’t yet combining indoor vertical farming with any other type of farming. Though there is plenty of activity currently in the vertical farming space, thanks in no small part to the pandemic surfacing the many insufficiencies of our current food supply chain. Also this week, Hong Kong-based Aspara launched its high-tech indoor farm for consumers in the U.S. Over in Singapore, the government has allocated more than $40 million (USD) to aid agtech and aquaculture startups grow more food locally. Finally, here in the U.S. South, AppHarvest is building a vertical farming powerhouse to feed the Appalachian region.
Because of its Brooklyn location, Upward Farms will service consumers in the New York area for now, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. The company plans to expand in the future, though a timeframe is not yet clear.