Indoor food-growing startup Grove Labs raises $2 million

Grove Labs founders Jamie Byron (left) and Gabe Blanchet. (Photo by Kyle Alspach.)
Grove Labs founders Jamie Byron (left) and Gabe Blanchet. (Photo by Kyle Alspach.)

Grove Labs, a Somerville startup developing easy-to-use indoor food growing systems, has raised $2.05 million in seed funding.

The company was founded by two MIT students, Jamie Byron and Gabe Blanchet, in their fraternity. The company’s goal is now to create a “ready to go” system for consumers that will let them grow a significant amount of their food indoors, year-round, Blanchet told me earlier this month.

Grove is developing an app that will tell users when and what to do, monitor their systems, and allow users to interact with others and order seeds.

“We want to put the means of production back in the hands of people,” Blanchet said. “In the future we believe many people will have areas in their homes that have groves.” 

The funding was led by Upfront Ventures, with participation from Gary Vaynerchuck through his seed stage fund, Vayner RSE. Other participants included Felicis Ventures, Galvanize VC, and best-selling author Tim Ferriss and his AngelList syndicate.

The company’s technology “could literally change the world,” Ferris is quoted as saying in a blog post by Grove Labs.

After going through the R/GA Connected Devices accelerator, a New York program affiliated with Techstars, Grove landed at Greentown Labs in Somerville.

At Greentown the startup has set up a water and lighting system to test the growing of vegetables without soil, via hydroponics (which uses growing additives) and aquaponics (which uses fish).

Grove Labs is also taking part in this year’s MassChallenge startup accelerator in Boston.

A rendering of the Grove Labs system:

GroveLabs_Appliance_web

Kyle Alspach has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since 2005 and was one of the original staff writers at BetaBoston.
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