The French start-up Jungle has raised 42 million euros [50 million USD] to develop three vertical farms in France. Created in 2016 by Gilles Dreyfus and Nicolas Séguy, Jungle develops vertical farms for the production of aromatic herbs, salads, micro-sprouts and flowers for the food and perfume industry.
With this concept of vertical farms, the plants are grown above ground using the hydroponic system. The plants grow on a substrate with the water and nutrients they need, under LED lighting. This method of cultivation requires less water and surface than conventional greenhouse or field methods. Additionally, it has the advantage of bringing the production site closer to the consumer.
Jungle currently operates on the Château-Thierry site (Aisne department) on a surface of 200 m², but plans to expand its production. A second vertical farm will be built in 2022 in western France, with a production surface of 5,500 m². There is already a plan for a third larger farm in the south of France at the end of 2022.
50,000 plants were produced in 2020, generating a revenue of 70,000 euros [83,000 USD]. The goal is to reach 10 million plants in 2022.
Partnership with supermarkets and development in Europe
“The objective is to sign framework agreements with major retailers,” explains Gilles Dreyfus. A partnership with Monoprix was signed in October 2020: aromatic herbs and salads will now be sold in approximately 60 stores. Another partnership is planned with Intermarché.
The start-up also wants to develop in Europe. “The goal is not to saturate the French market but to have strategic choices with major retailers in each European country,” explains Gilles Dreyfus on BFM Business. “We are very interested in England as well.”