French startup secures £7M investment to grow strawberries in containers

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A French startup that uses shipping containers to grow strawberries around big cities has just secured an €8 million (£7 million) investment, according to publication Tech Crunch.

Agricool raised the funds from Jacques-Antoine Granjon, Thibault Elziere as well as existing investors Henri Seydoux and Daphni, from whom the company last year raised €4 million (£3.5 million).

This summer, the startup plans to put five containers around Paris. 

“At first they tell you that strawberries are not going to have a great taste with LEDs, but they like them when they try them,” co-founder and CEO Guillaume Fourdinier was quoted as saying.

“Then they tell you that you can’t scale production, but you scale. And then they tell you can’t distribute and now we’re going to distribute,” he told the publication

A 250g pack of strawberries will reportedly sell for €4 (£3.51), far cheaper than the €6.70 (£5.88) Fourdinier said 250g of French organic strawberries would typically cost.

“Our challenge is to find an industrial model that lets us grow quickly from 1 to 1,000 containers,” Fourdinier told Tech Crunch. 

Agricool's vision is not limited to strawberries, however. The company is reportedly also considering producing  lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes and peppers.

“We want to build the biggest brand for fruits and vegetables,” Fourdinier was quoted as saying.


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