Unfold Seeds Major Growth Across Vertical Farming Industry
Aug 17, 2021
Momentum in Year One fueled by extended partnerships, a growing team of experts, the start of a new R&D facility, customer revenue and variety testing putting Unfold on track to deliver commercial products to the marketplace in 2022
DAVIS, CA, AUG. 17, 2021 -- Unfold, a company that combines leading seed genetics with crop growing and agronomic expertise to advance the vertical farming industry, reached its one-year milestone with notable company growth and momentum in its mission to improve the food ecosystem by enabling farm operators and retailers to deliver on the immense promise of vertical farming.
Since its launch in July 2020, backed by a $30-million investment from Temasek and Leaps by Bayer, the impact investment arm of Bayer AG, Unfold has more than doubled in size as it builds a world class organization and leadership team of industry veterans. Additionally, Unfold has initiated the development of a new state-of-the-art R&D facility in Davis, California and has captured its first revenue. Unfold has seeds in the trialing phase both externally at vertical farms and at a Bayer Crop Science facility, which has resulted in the identification of multiple promising varieties.
“Vertical farmers face many challenges in making their vision for the future of produce a reality while simultaneously creating a path to a profitable and sustainable business model,” said John Purcell, CEO and President of Unfold. “Launching a business during a pandemic made us finely attuned to these challenges, which is why we’re so proud of what we’ve accomplished to-date and excited by what’s to come. As we continue to scale our business, we look forward to delivering on the promise we made at launch - bringing to market new seed varieties and digital solutions for vertical farmers that give them the competitive edge to excel as producers while delivering quality, hyperlocal produce to consumers everywhere.”
With the opening of its new R&D facility in early 2022, Unfold will move one step closer to propelling the industry by accelerating its seed trials of leafy greens and developing the tomato, pepper and cucumber varieties that will bring unprecedented value to vertical farmers and the produce industry. Unfold’s R&D team will leverage expertise in AI, machine learning, and plant biology to test and develop new varieties of fruits and vegetables faster and to advance the digital tools that will speed up plant optimization for Unfold’s customers. Unfold will continue to generate more results from initial variety testing throughout 2021 as the company continues to grow its team and expand its seed and digital offerings globally with the goal of delivering additional potential commercial products in 2022.
Additionally, Unfold expanded its partnership with Bayer AG by utilizing on-site environmental chambers to accelerate variety testing and plant analysis. This internal work allows Unfold to assess the performance of varieties while also experimenting with novel methods and equipment. Unfold and Bayer also formed a joint team focused on commercialization of products for the vertical farming sector.
“Our strategic partnership with Unfold has resulted in a number of key milestones from collaborating on the first vertical farming trials of leafy vegetable varieties to the kickoff of the new greenhouse project. As our partnership expands, Unfold's transformative approach to developing new seed varieties has the potential to greatly increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables that are sustainably grown and hyperlocal at a time when the world's food resources are strained by droughts, climate change and supply chain challenges,” said Jürgen Eckhardt, head of Leaps by Bayer.
Unfold is accelerating the “seed to table” capabilities of vertical farming with an integrated offering of superior seeds, digital services, and agronomic insight. Based in Davis, California, Unfold’s mission is to create a world where the freshest, most nutritious, and most delicious produce is available to every person on the planet. For additional information about Unfold or to hear about potential career opportunities, please visit our website at https://unfold.ag/.