As more consumers adopt plant-based diets and sustainable food practices, Rise Garden is giving anyone the ability to give the green thumbs up from the comfort of their own home. An oversuppired series led by Chicago-based indoor, smart hydroponics firm Telas Ventures has raised $9 million in rounds, joining existing investors True Ventures and Amazon Alexa Fund and new investor Lease Ventures. The company has a total of $13 million in Rise 2017 since its inception, venture-backed investments, founder and CEO Hank Adams told TechCrunch.
Although he started in 2017, Adams, who has a background in sports technology, says he spent several years on prototypes before launching the first product in 2019. Rice’s IoT-connected systems are designed to grow vegetables, herbs, and micrograins year-round. Customers can choose between three system levels and start their first garden for around $300. Adams said there is “a kind of joy” in being able to grow something but people are looking for help because they don’t want to fall into a hobby that will turn into demands or pressures, Adams said. As a result, Rise’s assistant app monitors water levels and plant progress, then alerts users when it comes time to water, fertilize or care for their plants.
“People are paying attention to food, and caring about what they eat,” he added. “Then the global epidemic played a role, people are tending to increase their own food.” In fact, consumers were increasingly leaning towards food that Rise Gardens saw seven images of its sales in 2020, and gardens sold three times a year. Customers bought about 100,000 plants and yielded 50,000 of them. The company estimates that it has saved more than 2,000 pounds of food waste and 250,000 gallons of water since its inception in 2019.
The concept of an indoor farm is not new. Officers include Aerogarden, Aerogro, acquired by Scots-Miracle Gro last November, and Click & Grow. Rise is a new crop of startups that has raised funds, including the Guardian. However, Rise Gardens is distinguishing itself from those competitors by making its gardens from powder-coated metal and glass and designed as a focal point of the house. People also provide ways to experiment with their gardens.