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Babylon Micro-Farms Raises $8M For Scaling & Expansion

Babylon Micro-Farms

Babylon micro-farms, a startup specializing in smart indoor gardens, has recently closed an $8 million Series A funding round, reports Techcrunch. The investment was led by Venture South, with participation from Virginia Venture Partners, Hull Street Capital, and New Theory Ventures. The funding will enable the company to accelerate its production and marketing efforts to expand its install base. In addition, Babylon micro farms received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, which will support the company’s innovation and growth in the indoor gardening industry. This is an exciting development for the company, and it is hoped that the funding will help to advance further its mission of making fresh produce more accessible to people around the world.

Our Recent Interview With Babylon Micro-Farms’ CEO

Governments have a critical role in driving the growth of urban farming by providing funding, tailored regulations, and other forms of support. The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production is leading the charge, with up to $7.5 million in grant funding available to boost urban agriculture and innovative production in urban areas through two categories of grants: Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. Planning Projects will assist in developing urban agriculture, while Implementation Projects will accelerate the growth of existing urban agriculture models.

In a significant move, the USDA is investing $43.1 million in grants and cooperative agreements to enhance urban agriculture and widen access to nutritious food. Of this amount, $10.2 million will fund collective agreements to expand compost and food waste reduction initiatives. In comparison, $14.2 million will go towards grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects. Further, $18.7 million will fund 75 grant proposals from the 2021 application cycle. Additionally, six new urban county committees will be established to deliver essential USDA programs to urban producers. These efforts align with the USDA’s Food Systems Transformation Framework, aimed at creating a more robust and fairer food system, emphasizing equity, and encouraging economic opportunity in underserved communities.

Nonetheless, compared to other government aid & funding, the amounts are tiny, points out Alexander Olessen, co-founder & CEO of Babylon Micro-Farms “If the government wants to empower the indoor farming sector truly, they need to introduce bills that go beyond the small band-aid solutions of new government aid. Legislation focused on renewables, for instance, has contributed to the sector skyrocketing. I am sure that if a similar bill were introduced, it would propel indoor farming to new heights.”

“The advantages and disadvantages of indoor farming are the soft benefits for the communities. Indeed, it creates new jobs, appreciates real-estate values, and makes people happier, which is quantifiable. Still, other soft benefits, such as making people healthier, are hard to quantify or will potentially take 20-30 years before we get any medical results,” said Alexander.

Read the rest here.

Image provided by Babylon Micro-Farms

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