CBA Catalysts of Brampton back vertical hydroponic startup Just Vertical with seed funding
The CBA Catalysts of Brampton, a group comprising of accredited investors, mentors, experts and corporate representatives focused on expediting economic development and upward job mobility in the City of Brampton through innovation, have invested seed capital in Just Vertical, a Toronto headquartered vertical hydroponic farming startup. The total amount of infused capital and terms of the round are confidential.
The seeds for Just Vertical were sown when founders Conner Tidd and Kevin Jakiela were completing their Master’s of Science degrees in Sustainability Management at the University of Toronto Mississauga. While working and talking about food sustainability internationally, Conner encountered people interested in growing their own food but didn’t know where to start. Kevin at the same time was working on hydroponic modules for growing food in the Arctic. Just Vertical now operates with a hardware sales and subscription model selling the hydroponic module and also seed & custom-blended nutrient kits. The target market so far has been US and Canada with Europe in the radar in 2019 followed by international expansion in 2020. “Just Vertical has been received incredibly well generating over six figures in revenue over the last year while seeing steady growth in their recurring revenue line of business. At the same time, our growing technology has managed to save 2.6 million liters of water and eliminate 74 million miles of food transport. These dual benefits for business and the environment have been recognized globally, most recently with Just Vertical winning the People’s Choice Award at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, UAE.” shared Conner.
Just Vertical was one of the 5 startups shortlisted by the CBA Catalysts of Brampton during their launch Pitch & Dinner in July 2018. Thomas Wong, Founder, Rent-to-Own Specialist, an Executive Committee member and also the Entrepreneur Relations Catalyst at the Brampton chapter was the lead investor on this deal. “Successful investment is mainly related to being a the right place at the right time. The CBA Catalysts of Brampton provided just that for me and Just Vertical. I began to be interested in indoor farming at the beginning of 2018. When I met Conner and Kevin of Just Vertical at the Catalysts of BramCBA started as a managed angel network focused on cross border co-investments and has evolved into an execution partner throughpton launch dinner, I saw the right opportunity to work with them. After several preliminary meetings, we finalized our commitment to work together. We will grow the business into a success story soon.” said Thomas about his hands-on investor approach.
The Catalysts program for regional economic development is powered by the US based Cross Border Angels & Experts (CBA) which is in the midst of building the world’s largest startup ecosystem with its engaging programs for startups, corporates, investors, mentors & Governments. “The Catalysts program is structured to bring together every month, some of the best minds in the region to deliberate projects that can create an impact in the local community. By backing high potential startups like Just Vertical, the Catalysts can not only provide the requisite growth capital but also open-up market access and resources such as niche mentors & high-skilled city-based talent to such founders. This approach can be more impact driven than pure venture investing as the key objectives of RoI and Economic Development go together!” said Ashwin Sanzgiri, Chief Catalyst Brampton & Vice-President CBA.
CBA started as a managed angel network focused on cross border co-investments and has evolved into an execution partner through their structured programs for high potential growth businesses/startups across various stages. CBA startup program member funding rounds & market traction have been covered by international media and some of these publications can also be viewed at http://blog.crossborderangels.com.