TORONTO — BDC Capital announced four new women-led startups for its Women in Technology Venture Fund on Wednesday, including Lufa Farms, a Montreal-based company that’s growing vegetables in urban rooftop greenhouses.

The idea behind Lufa Farms is that growing vegetables closer to where people live makes for fresher food, while also decreasing greenhouse energy consumption, because sitting on top of another building means the greenhouse benefits from residual heat.

They grow the vegetables, and then distribute baskets that are also filled with meat, bread and other food sourced from partner producers, all sold online through the Lufa Farms website.

“We actually ship about 14,000 baskets a week right now, and we’re looking to at least double that in the next couple years before we look at expanding outside of Montreal, so this investment is a key piece for us to make that move,” said Lufa Farms co-founder Lauren Rathmell.

Rathmell said that capital hasn’t been the hardest part of their growth; most of the funding for their Series B venture capital round came from existing investors who got in at Series A, but BDC wanted to be involved too.

And building greenhouses on top of buildings isn’t cheap, so more money always helps.

Rathmell said …read more

Source:: Financial Post – Tech


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