Rise Gardens, a Chicago-based maker of indoor, smart hydroponic garden systems, has secured $9 million in Series A financing. The round was led by Telus Ventures, the venture capital arm of Canadian telecommunications company Telus Corp, with participation from Amazon Alexa Fund, Listen Ventures and True Ventures. Rise Gardens has raised $13 million to date.
CHICAGO, July 19, 2021 /CNW/ — Rise Gardens, which makes indoor, smart hydroponic garden systems, today announced it has raised $9 million in an oversubscribed Series A round, led by TELUS Ventures, Canada’s most active corporate venture capital fund. Current Rise Gardens investors True Ventures and Amazon Alexa Fund also participated in the round, along with new investor Listen Ventures, bringing the total amount raised to date to $13 million. The additional funds will be used to continue the company’s product innovation and expansion into new markets.
“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to grow and expand our product offerings and reach an even wider audience in the US, Canada and around the world,” said Hank Adams, Founder and CEO, Rise Gardens. “This investment will help us toward achieving our mission of connecting people to the food they eat and creating a new generation of conscientious food consumers.”
Rise Gardens makes an IoT-connected, indoor hydroponic gardening system that comes with everything needed to grow a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and microgreens at home, year-round. The systems are designed with simplicity in mind, including a mobile app that monitors water levels and plant progress, and reminds users when and how much to water, fertilize, and care for their plants. Rise Gardens’ Family Garden has a modular design allowing for one, two, or three levels of growth, accommodating everything from greens and herbs to micro greens, tomatoes, and beets. No other system allows for such variety. Its Personal Garden is a counter-top version designed to fit into any space without sacrificing variety or quality of growing.
“There is a clear market need in vertical farming and hydroponic gardening for home use and we are committed to making investments that leverage the power of technology to further sustainability initiatives while promoting healthy outcomes,” said Rich Osborn, President & Managing Partner, TELUS Ventures. “Aligning our social impact mission with investments in companies like Rise Gardens that have exceptional founders, innovative leadership and first rate solutions applied to the industry will help us to collectively advance the positive transformation of the food supply chain.”
This investment is the latest move in TELUS’ larger Agriculture strategy. In November of 2020, TELUS launched a new business unit, TELUS Agriculture, with the goal of connecting the food value chain from end-to-end to enable a safer, more sustainable food system; economically, environmentally and socially.
“In order to build a more resilient, sustainable food system we are looking at ways to enable all forms of agriculture,” said Nish Majarian, Head of Agribusiness, TELUS Agriculture. “This investment in Rise Gardens is a natural fit and compliment to more traditional forms of production.”
Fueled by early anxiety about grocery shopping during the pandemic and ongoing concerns about sustainability, Rise Gardens saw sales soar over the past year, with gardens selling out three times in 2020 alone. To date, Rise Gardens customers have harvested over 40,000 plants, which is over 12,000 pounds of produce grown for more than 3,000 families across the United States, Canada and Mexico. The company estimates it has helped divert more than 2,000 pounds of food waste and saved about 120 million food miles as well as saving 250,000 gallons of water since 2019.
This week Rise Gardens, formerly a DTC-only brand, is also launching for sale on Amazon as the company’s first retail channel.
About Rise Gardens
Rise Gardens designs state-of-the-art indoor hydroponic produce gardens that make it easy for anyone to grow their own food. The system makes a complicated process productive and fun for gardeners constrained by busy schedules, short growing seasons or access to land in urban settings. The modular, WiFi-connected platform allows for expansion and enables growing of a wide variety of greens and vegetables. Founded in 2019 and based in Chicago, Rise Gardens encourages better nutrition and healthy outcomes by helping people grow their own food year-round and by partnering with schools to build nutrition education into the classroom.