BASF Venture Capital Invests in Sustainable Food Production
Marking the company’s first investment in an early stage business, BASF Venture Capital GmbH (BVC) has announced its investment plans in Indian startup UrbanKisaan.
Who is UrbanKisaan?
Founded in 2017, UrbanKisaan specialises in hydroponic cultivation of vegetables, greens and herbs in tropical urban environments.
“We wanted to create a sustainable future for farming and feed the world in a way that is good for both people and [the] planet,” said UrbanKisaan. “By creating hyper-local urban farms we are creating a complete transparent supply chain with [a] low-carbon footprint.”
UrbanKisaan operates several suburban greenhouses and vertical indoor farms in Hyderabad and Bangalore, selling fresh produce directly via brick-and-mortar stores, via its app and website.
“Our approach in hydroponics enables us to produce our food cost-effectively and with relatively little effort,” said Vihari Kanukollu, co-founder and CEO at UrbanKisaan.
“Our produce also contributes towards sustainability as it is grown in clean, hygienic farms in and around the city, thus minimizing the total carbon footprint. Use of IoT (Internet-of-Things)-enabled technology for monitoring the farms ensures pesticide-free produce. The growing demand from our customers shows that our idea is well-received,” he added.
UrbanKisaan manages its farm’s nutrient content, pH levels, atmospheric humidity, CO2 concentration, and light concentration with its proprietary technology controlled and adapted via an app.
“UrbanKisaan, as a pioneer in the hydroponics space, has developed a unique growing method and combines this with a compelling business model for sales,” commented Markus Solibieda, Managing Director of BASF Venture Capital GmbH.
“AgTech is one of our key investment focus areas worldwide. This includes, in particular, our goal of supporting innovative agricultural and food-related businesses in Asia. We look forward to learning more about hydroponic farming and exploring its potential through a close collaboration between UrbanKisaan and BASF’s agriculture experts.”
What UrbanKisaan Has Planned for the Investment
With the investment made by BVC, UrbanKisaan plans to expand its market presence in India, as well as deploy its farming technology to work with thousands of farmers, and bring fresh local sustainable produce to locals.
Hydroponic Farming - A Sustainable Way to Grow Crops
With the area available for farming and fresh water reserves becoming scarce, coupled with the world’s population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, BCV explains the sustainable value in growing crops without soil, using vertically stacked layers while reducing water usage by 90%.
In densely populated urban areas, hydroponic farming can be an efficient way to use limited resources.
Both parties agreed not to disclose the financial details of the investment.