Post #84: Shout it from the rooftops

Many bright minds are engaged with solving the conundrum of shrinking food supply combined with growing demand needs. Indeed, over $10.5bn of venture capital…

Post #84: Shout it from the rooftops

Many bright minds are engaged with solving the conundrum of shrinking food supply combined with growing demand needs. Indeed, over $10.5bn of venture capital flooded into the agtech industry in the first half of 2020 (which compares favourably to the $21.6bn for all of 2019, per AgFunder, a venture capital platform). With the playing field taking in everything from farm to fork, excitement is rife in multiple areas, although e-grocers, midstream technologies and food innovation which are receiving the highest levels of current investment interest.

To give one indication of how far agtech has come, we were impressed to read that the world’s biggest rooftop greenhouse recently opened at the end of August. Based in Montreal and pictured below, it spans 15,000 square metres, or the equivalent of three football pitches. Operated by Lufa Farms (a privately owned venture), the farm will grow everything from tomatoes to eggplants. Its backers estimate that a normal weekly harvest could feed up to 20,000 families locally. Not only do they get organically grown produce (albeit at a price, since baskets will sell from ~$30), but also one with a minimal carbon footprint.'

The Québécois are not the only people to benefit from the expansion of rooftop farms. Another north American business, Gotham Greens, now has eight city centre greenhouses operational in New York, Chicago and Denver. Aero Farms is another player active in the field across the US. Other ventures are afoot in countries as diverse as Japan and Singapore, while even the citizens of Paris will get access to rooftop produce from 2022, once French Urban Nature opens its first venture.

The backers of Lufa Farms have the ambitious intention of “reinventing the food system.” Early signs are that it might be working. Beyond the satisfaction of producing (and consuming) almost truly local food, the advantage of having your farm on the roof means that you can recover a lot of energy from the bottom of the building. Lufa says that its water system is also able to collect and reuse rainwater, resulting in savings of up to 90% relative to a traditional farm. There’s more to come. Beyond further farms, the business is also experimenting with a fleet of electrified delivery trucks in order to widen further its footprint. We’re all certainly hungry for more innovation in this area.


The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

The document is protected by copyright. The use of any trademarks and logos displayed in the document without Heptagon Capital's prior written consent is strictly prohibited. Information in the document must not be published or redistributed without Heptagon Capital's prior written consent. 

Heptagon Capital LLP, 63 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HS
tel +44 20 7070 1800
fax +44 20 7070 1881
email [email protected] 

Partnership No: OC307355 Registered in England and Wales Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 

Related Insights

Featured Insights
Featured Insights22 July 2021

Season 3, Post 29: Quiz time

Your one and only question is the following: what do electric vehicles and plant-based burgers have in common? The answer: they’re both getting better the whole time. As improvements to these products occur, so adoption levels should increase. This intriguing analogy was made to us by the Chief Executive of Meatless Farm, Morten Toft Bech, […]

Learn more
Featured Insights
Featured Insights15 July 2021

Season 3, Post 28: The magic of mushrooms

Mycelium-tech could be the next big thing. You might think you are familiar with the humble mushroom. Fried, they work well as a breakfast option, for example. Alternatively, they could perhaps be chopped into a pasta dish or salad. However, when you buy mushrooms in your local store or – even better – see them […]

Learn more
Featured Insights
Featured Insights06 July 2021

Season 3, Post 27: Take a trip on the hyperloop

Imagine being able to get from central London to Edinburgh in less than an hour, or from downtown New York to San Francisco in fewer than five. Think of all that extra time you would save. Travelling the former route by train currently takes close on four hours, while, a coast-to-coast US trip might require […]

Learn more

Get The Updates

Separated they live in Bookmarks right at the coast of the famous Semantics, large language ocean Separated they live in Bookmarks right


Sign up to our monthly email newsletter for the latest fund updates, webcasts and insights.