Empowering more #realfood entrepreneurs, Square Roots eyes next city for its urban farming platform
With plans to scale its urban farming and entrepreneurship platform across America, Square Roots announces $5.4M seed financing, led by Collaborative Fund.
Billions of people today are at the mercy of industrial food. This is destroying our health, our environment, and our communities. It’s no surprise people are turning against this system on an enormous scale. People want local, real food — food they can trust.
It’s also a fact that people increasingly live in cities. According the United Nations, by 2050 there will be 9.6 billion people on the planet, and 70% will live in urban areas.
Finding the right solutions — to feed a huge number of urban dwellers with locally grown food they can trust — presents an extraordinary opportunity for entrepreneurs. So we launched Square Roots last August, as a platform for urban farming and real food entrepreneurship, to empower a whole new generation of leaders to work towards a real food revolution.
In our first year we’ve opened a campus of indoor, controlled climate, hydroponic farms in the middle of Brooklyn, and created a first-of-its kind 12-month program to coach young, passionate people to grow and sell real food, all year round. Supported by the USDA, our first cohort of modern farmers now distribute freshly harvested greens directly to customers at over 80 office locations in NYC. Meanwhile, restaurants across the city work with Square Roots to better connect their guests to their local urban farmer. And while all that delicious food is being grown and sold and eaten, Square Roots is also unleashing an army of next generation leaders into the food industry — all ready to fight for the real food revolution together.
Now it’s time to take things up a level. We recently opened applications for the second season at our Brooklyn farming campus. Today we’re announcing we’ve closed a total of $5.4M Series Seed funding, including a recent $2M injection led by Collaborative Fund. Collab is the perfect partner for us. They deeply understand impact-oriented businesses, and are invested in iconic, community-strengthening companies such as Sweetgreen and Kickstarter (both Square Roots partners). We are also fortunate to include new investors and forward-thinkers such as James Walton as well as long-term supporters including Thomas Ermacora and Grant McCargo from Bio-logical Capital in this round.
There is undoubtedly a lot of work ahead of us, and this funding will only help accelerate that. From hardware and software projects to help farmers grow more real food using fewer resources; to expanding our programming so we can support more entrepreneurs. We’re building for a future where every person on the planet has a direct relationship with their farmer — who is producing locally grown food that people can trust. Ultimately that means placing a Square Roots urban farming campus in every major city. So we are also now in active discussions to finalize our next US location — and we couldn’t be more excited to extend our platform and start working alongside new communities soon.
We’re also hyper-aware that empowering entrepreneurial leaders through real food takes a wider community and lots of collaboration. We can’t say “Thank You!” enough to everyone who has supported us so far. If you want to get involved, follow Square Roots on social, sign up for our newsletter, come to a farm tour, or support your farmer and buy some local, real food. The more of us working towards the real food revolution the better!