If Agricool, the most famous and best financed of French Tech’s urban farms, was placed in receivership at the beginning of the year, other projects continue to develop in France and explore different paths.
This is for example the case of Peas&Love, which wants to reconnect city dwellers with the agricultural world and make them aware of the rhythm of the seasons. This company was born in 2016 and first bet on BtoC. In exchange for the payment of a lump sum, it allowed individuals to come and grow fruit and vegetables on its farms.
In the summer of 2020, the company made a strategic shift by appointing Nicolas Brassier as its head and by opening up to BtoB. The goal? Develop urban agriculture within companies or land companies seeking to revegetate unused spaces. The start-up designs, installs and manages urban farms, and organizes workshops there for employees who, between two meetings, can plant, repot or water.
Create new spaces in the company
“You have to give good reasons to return to the office,” argues Nicolas Brassier, who says he wants to create experiences that combine “pleasure and sharing”. Peas&Love has, for example, set up an urban farm on a BNP Real Estate site and another in the heart of the Ministry of Economy and Finance!
In total, the company operates seven farms in Paris and Brussels on a total area of 9,000 square meters. “On the BtoB, we are on smaller sites, from 100 to 300 square meters, while for the BtoC, we have to rely on sites of 3,000, 4,000 or 5,000 square meters”, explains the entrepreneur.
To continue its development, agritech has just amassed 1.3 million euros from GoGreen Capital and Eutopia, its historical shareholders, Issarts Invest and other family offices. Peas&Love plans to open between 7 to 10 corporate urban farms this year.
Nutreets is another innovative player. This start-up specializes in aquaponic agriculture in greenhouses, where it grows fruits and vegetables and practices fish farming. “We want to produce more with less”, emphasizes Guillaume Pelet, its manager. The company supplies its urban farms to traditional agricultural actors but also to groups that want to diversify.
Supplying a hotel with fresh produce
The young shoot has, for example, sold one of its farms to the Accor group. The latter supplies fresh produce to a hotel and its restaurant in Paray-Vieille-Poste, near Orly (Essonne). “They own the farm and we manage it for them,” says the boss. The start-up will soon deliver another farm for Nexity, the real estate development giant, in Colombes (Hauts-de-Seine).
The activity of this start-up is clearly accelerating. “We signed ten quotes in the first quarter of 2022 for an amount of 3.9 million euros”, advances the entrepreneur, specifying that urban farms are “complementary” for certain types of production but cannot solve all the problems. problems. Nutreets had raised 700,000 euros in 2021 and hopes to complete a new, more significant funding round by the end of this year or the beginning of 2023.