To be headquartered in California, Unfold is expected to develop new vegetable seed varieties with rights acquired from Bayer
Bayer’s investment arm Leaps by Bayer and Temasek have established a new company, known as Unfold, to develop new vegetable seed varieties for vertical farming.
The vegetable seeds to be developed by the new company are expected to take vertical farming to the next level in terms of quality, efficiency and sustainability.
With seed genetics (germplasm) from vegetable crops, Unfold expects to develop new seed varieties with agronomic advice to cater to the needs of vertical farms.
Unfold has raised $30m in initial funding and has signed an agreement for rights to germplasm from Bayer’s vegetable business.
To be led by CEO John Purcell, Unfold will be headquartered in the Davis, California, with commercial and R&D operations in both in the US and in Singapore.
Purcell said: “What sets Unfold apart is its unparalleled investment in germplasm and crop growth models best suited for vertical farming environments, an area currently largely underserved.
“As a company fully focused on the vertical farming industry, Unfold will combine leading seed genetics with the best agtech experts in order to dramatically advance productivity, flavour and other consumer preferences.
“We look forward to serving the market through partnerships with vertical farming operators, technology providers and others across the produce supply chain.”
Unfold aims to support hyperlocal production of vegetables using new seed varieties
The new company Unfold aims to support hyperlocal production of vegetables while also addressing the need for reliable and safe supply of fresh and sustainably grown produce.
Leaps by Bayer head Jürgen Eckhardt said: “Innovation that offers sustainable solutions for agriculture is one of the 10 areas of engagement and investment that Leaps by Bayer is focused on.
“The investment in Unfold is a great example of a transformative, creative approach to developing agricultural products that meet the needs of consumers, farmers and the planet by increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables, supporting sustainably grown, hyperlocal production and addressing food security challenges faced by growing urban populations.”