Tallinn-based startup Click & Grow, which produces indoor gardens, has landed $11 million in a funding round led by Estonian-based United Angels VC alongside two strategic investors: Ingka Group, the world’s largest home furnishing retailer operating 367 IKEA stores, and SEB Alliance, the corporate venture arm of the French Groupe SEB. Y Combinator and Yunqi VC also participated in the round.
The Estonian company was founded in 2009 with the idea of building electric-powered self-watering indoor gardens for everyone to grow their greens at home. According to Click & Grow, its main market is currently the US, followed by the EU and Singapore.
Priced from €99 a piece, Click & Grow's “smart gardens” are essentially really good-looking frames for special plant pods equipped with an LED lamp and a system that evenly distributes water across the plants. New water has to be added every 2-3 weeks. The customers can buy any of more than 40 kinds of pods separately or subscribe for quarterly delivery.
The strategic investment from Ingka Group could theoretically mean that at some point we will see “smart gardens” on sale in the IKEA stores, but it's more likely that they will be used for catering purposes — at least for now.
“We see this as another step forward in our journey to serve IKEA customers and our co-workers healthier and more nutritious food, and it opens up new opportunities for IKEA Retail markets to become more self-sufficient by growing fresh local produce,” said Krister Mattsson, head of investments at Ingka Group.
Groupe SEB, which participated in the round through its corporate venture arm, is mostly known in Europe by the brands like Krups, Moulinex, Rowenta, Tefal. The consortium became a co-branding and distributor partner of Click & Grow in the French and DACH (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) markets back in July.