US vertical farming company Kalera has announced the acquisition of Vindara, a S2G Ventures portfolio company which breeds plant varieties specifically designed for use in vertical indoor environments.
Founded in 2018, Vindara develops customised, non-GMO seeds for use in high-tech vertical indoor farm environments, as well as other controlled environmental agriculture farming methods.
Based in North Carolina, the company uses genomics, machine learning and computational biology along with traditional breeding methods to meet the market need for produce that is non-GMO, nutritious and high-yielding.
Following the acquisition, Vindara will become a fully-owned subsidiary of Kalera and will operate out of Kalera’s headquarters in Orlando, Florida.
Kalera says Vindara will significantly increase the output from its current and future facilities by reducing the plant grow cycle and providing higher yields.
According to the press release, Vindara’s breeding process shortens development time from the usual 5-7 years to just 12-18 months, resulting in increased output and optimising yield and profitability.
Together, the companies say they are better positioned to offer differentiated products – expanding beyond leafy greens to include high yield basil, spinach and strawberries – and have improved ability to optimise colour, texture, flavour and nutrient profile.
“While advances in technology such as lighting, robotics, sensors, and planting substrates are all improving grower economics, seeds developed specifically for indoor farming have been a ‘missing link’ to vertical farming achieving its full potential,” said Daniel Malechuk, CEO of Kalera.
“Together with Vindara, we are ushering in a new era of agricultural advancements that will increase production yields and produce unique crop varieties customised for the needs of our discerning customers around the globe,” he added.
The deal will see Jade Stinson continue in her existing role as co-founder and president of Vindara. “With Kalera’s commitment to R&D and improving the yield, variety and characteristics of its produce, we will be able to better leverage our ability to develop customised seeds for indoor growers faster than any other seed provider,” she said.
The transaction will reportedly enable Vindara to accelerate and expand its seed research and development programmes.
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