With fresh funding, vertical indoor gardening company Gardyn is continuing its growth in the DMV (pun intended). The growth company just landed a $5 million from JAB Ventures.
“What we’re trying to do with Gardyn is reimagine the way people have access to healthy food and a healthier lifestyle overall,” CEO FX Rouxel told Technical.ly.
Gardyn, which is based in Bethesda, Maryland, is a vertical garden system (featuring grow lights that are also vertical) that’s usable indoors and away from any windows. Users can grow anything from microgreens to zucchini to eggplant, and even indoor flowers through Gardyn, which Rouxel said was designed by a furniture designer so it wouldn’t look out of place in a home.
The system, which incorporates AI to automate the lights and water, makes it possible for people to continue growing and maintaining their indoor gardens while away or on vacation.
Rouxel, an engineer by trade, said he founded Gardyn in 2018 because he himself was frustrated with the normal method of product consumption (aka buying expensive produce…only for it to go bad in the fridge a few days later).
“I was thinking, is there a way to use these new technologies to really make it easy for people to grow their own food and have access to their grown food?” Rouxel said. “[And do so] in a way that you don’t need to spend time, you don’t need to be an expert.”
With the funding, Rouxel plans to continue building out the Gardyn system, which allows people to grow about 8-10 pounds of produce each month in a two-foot space. He also intends to continue growing the team, which has already moved from 20 to 50 employees this year, and Rouxel expects it to reach 100 in the next year.
Gardyn, Rouxel said, offers consumers can have a more sustainable option for purchasing produce, reducing carbon emissions in shipping fruits and veggies and a need for plastic packaging. But since the produce grown on the system can be eaten right when it ripens, he said users can also eat healthier, as produce loses much of its nutrients in the few days it takes to ship from the farm to the grocery store.
“That’s really the breakthrough — you don’t need to have a green thumb,” Rouxel said. “You don’t need to be an expert or spend [tons of] time. You can even go on vacation. You don’t need to eat from your garden every day, but each time you’re at home, each time you want to have something fresh and tasty and healthy, this is here.”
For Rouxel, though, the full impact of Gardyn extends its holistic approach to health. In addition to offering a sustainable approach to produce, he noted that Gardyn can also provide a calming space in the home for meditation.
“When you talk about health, mental health is part of it,” Rouxel said. “You want your place to be a place that you feel great about, that before work or after work has something that is growing that you love. And that’s really what we’re trying to build with Gardyn.”-30-