Cycloponics to expand organic farming facilities in French car parks

9 Apr 2020

A French subterranean agriculture startup launched its first funding round last November and raised almost double the investment that was requested. When Cycloponics launched on Lita.co, a platform for investment in sustainable companies, the company hoped to raise €500,000. As of April 8, it had raised €950,800, 110% of which was from individual contributors.

This underground urban farm operates in Paris and cultivates mushrooms, strawberries, lettuce and microgreens in abandoned parking garages using hydroponic agricultural techniques. The startup launched in the French capital in 2016 with the goal of producing 30 metric tons of fruit and vegetables and 24 metric tons of mushrooms in 3,500 square meters of abandoned underground parking.

Cycloponics to expand organic farming facilities in French car parks
Photo Courtesy of Cycloponics

The euros received from this investment will go toward the company’s expansion as it looks to rehabilitate other abandoned urban sites for crop cultivation. Euractiv reports that Cycloponics recently won bids to expand its project into two other car parks in the 19th arrondissement of Paris.

Funds will also support an increase in vendor capabilities for the produce the company cultivates. Cycloponics delivers fresh organic produce daily with its fleet of cargo bikes. It also sells directly to restaurants and at markets.

Despite raising nearly a million euros to increase its access to abandoned real estate, Euractiv reports the company already has excess space in the abandon parking garage it has repurposed. To fill up the unused footprint, Cycloponics shares the premises with other sustainable agricultural startups, including a Norwegian fishmonger that produces Arctic sea urchins in aquariums and other hydroponic agricultural projects.

The farming startup currently operates in a space called La Caverne (The Cave) and grows its produce on the second underground level of the parking structure. Cultivation at that depth allows for plants to benefit from an autumnal-like environment year-round and limits the pests that can damage crops. It also requires techniques such as vertical farming; climactic engineering through the use of LED lights and thermal regulation; nutrient-rich hydroponic tanks that replace traditional dirt and permit denser cultivation; and the use of substrates and compost to encourage fungi growth.

According to the company website, the goal is to create nutritional hubs in urban neighborhoods to bring people closer to their food. Although Cycloponics currently only cultivates less than 4,000 square meters of space, French publication Le Monde estimates that there are 80 hectares of rooftop space and nearly 770 hectares of limestone quarry are available to be transformed into food production sites.

Related news

Blue Apron co-founder raises $10M to breed a superior chicken

Blue Apron co-founder raises $10M to breed a superior chicken

31 Jul 2020

For decades the American poultry breeding business has been dominated by Cobb and Aviagen. However, Cook Ventures, a new breeder focused on slow-growth, heirloom chickens, may give its two major competitors a run for their money.

Read more 
Study: 2% of Brazil’s soybean farms are responsible for 62% of deforestation

Study: 2% of Brazil’s soybean farms are responsible for 62% of deforestation

29 Jul 2020

A new study published in the Journal of Science found that 20% of soy and 17% of beef imports into European from Brazil may be contaminated with illegal deforestation. Although a substantial figure, this deforestation is linked to a small number of far...

Read more 
Two plant-based investment arms are created and invest in ice cream

Two plant-based investment arms are created and invest in ice cream

28 Jul 2020

Two plant-based startups have migrated into the ranks of venture capitalists. Perfect Day recently created The Urgent Company in order to develop CPG products from its animal-free dairy proteins, and Jason Karp, the co-founder of Hu snacks started Huma...

Read more 
Eradication may not be the future of the palm oil industry

Eradication may not be the future of the palm oil industry

17 Jun 2020

Environmental advocates have been calling for a reevaluation of the palm oil industry for years. While some like the European Palm Oil Alliance are calling for companies to perform mandatory due diligence of their palm oil sourcing, others are calling ...

Read more 
Tyson publishes sustainability report showing progress toward plant-based sustainability

Tyson publishes sustainability report showing progress toward plant-based sustainability

11 Jun 2020

Tyson Foods released its 2019 sustainability report entitled “Grow – Deliver – Sustain” where the company outlines its progress across its five focus areas of food, animal welfare, environment, workplace and communities.

Read more 
Apeel Sciences on track to save 20 million pieces of fruit from food waste

Apeel Sciences on track to save 20 million pieces of fruit from food waste

9 Jun 2020

At the end of May, Apeel Sciences raised $250 million dollars in new financing, bringing the startup’s total funding to more than $1 billion. This infusion of funds will be put toward the company’s mission of food waste prevention, an area in which it ...

Read more 
Malaysian firm develops package-less packaging

Malaysian firm develops package-less packaging

26 May 2020

A group of Malaysian Ph.D. students won the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Save our Seas global engineering challenge with their new bagless approach to food packaging called the PICAS block. The competition is hosted in partnership wi...

Read more 
Hong Kong compostable food packaging startup lands $6 million funding round

Hong Kong compostable food packaging startup lands $6 million funding round

18 May 2020

Hong Kong startup Ecoinno received US$6 million in Series A funding from the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund to help stand up its manufacturing facilities as well as increase its overall production of its biodegradable packaging. This is the startup’s secon...

Read more 
COVID-19: Zomato delivery app shows body temperature of drivers in India

COVID-19: Zomato delivery app shows body temperature of drivers in India

27 Apr 2020

In an effort to further increase the safety of those ordering take out, Zomato introduced a temperature tracking feature on its delivery app in India. The feature was released the week of April 13 and covered 50% of the application’s delivery partners ...

Read more 
Catered foodservice meals in the UK to have 20% less meat

Catered foodservice meals in the UK to have 20% less meat

24 Apr 2020

Public sector caterers serving schools, universities, hospitals and care homes have pledged to reduce the amount of meat served on their menus by 20%. There is simultaneously a focus on reducing overall red meat offerings.

Read more