The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) announced that CIT GAP Funds made an investment in Charlottesville, Va.-based Babylon Micro-Farms, provider of an on-demand indoor farming service.
Very pleased to announce a new @CITGAPFunds investment in Babylon Micro-Farms! @BabylonMF provider of on-demand indoor farming services https://t.co/s0QT0hlOmJ #UrbanFarming #MicroFarms #Cville #innovation
"Tech to inspire a new generation of urban farmers" #sustainability #food pic.twitter.com/kRc1p4adnV
— Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (CIT) (@VirginiaIPC) August 13, 2019
Founded in 2017, Babylon provides small growers and businesses with indoor agriculture modules through on-demand farming services using their patented IoT tech. The financial terms of the investment were not disclosed but Babylon said in a press release that it plans to use this investment from CIT GAP Funds to expand their operations with new hires in product, sales and marketing.
Alexander Olesen, cofounder and CEO of Babylon Micro-Farms, said the startup’s idea was born in a University of Virginia (UVA) classroom when he and cofounder Graham Smith were asked by their professor to develop a high impact, low cost product that could help refugees.
“I quickly discovered and became interested in hydroponics, a way to grow plants without soil, use less water, and grow crops faster,” Olesen said in a statement. “Our mission is to develop technology that will inspire a new generation of urban farmers to grow their own fresh, affordable, sustainable produce at the push of a button. We are grateful for the support of CIT GAP funds at this stage of our development.”
The startup provides 24/7 farming support for the patented IoT system that remotely controls the customizable farming ecosystems. Babylon provides farmers with a guide to take them through the indoor farming process. Some of the startup’s customers include a UVA dining hall, The Boar’s Head’s Resort and Corner Juice.
“Being able to grow any kind of produce year round within our communities, such as for local food service industries, education and assisted living, or community farms to name a few, is a game changer for the state of sustainable urban agriculture. CIT is very confident in Babylon’s future success, and we look forward to being part of their journey,” Thomas Weithman, managing director of CIT GAP Funds and president and CEO of MACH37, said in a press release.
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