Somerville-based Grove Labs raised $2.05 million on Thursday in seed funding to take its simple indoor food-growing system and companion app to the next level. The company will also use the funding to expand its team.
The MIT-spun start up was created by a pair of entrepreneurial students, Jamie Byron and Gabe Blanchet in their fraternity in 2013. Since then, the now nine-person team has moved into cleantech incubator Greentown Labs. Starting in June, Grove will also have space among the ranks of companies in MassChallenge’s new location in South Boston.
Grove aims to empower everyone to grow healthy food right where they live. “If we’re right, this movement will help mitigate some of the largest global problems that agriculture is causing — from soil degradation to greenhouse gas emissions to agro-chemical abuse,” Blanchet, the startup’s CEO, said in a blog post.
Grove is currently building an app that will basically give users a green thumb. The app will help people monitor their in-house gardens, telling them what and when to do various tasks. Users will also be able to chat with each other and order seeds for their systems.
“This is a technology that could literally change the world. Gabe has assembled a world-class engineering team from MIT, and, frankly, I want a Grove in my own home as soon as possible,” said Twitter and Uber angel investor Tim Ferris in a statement.
Ferris’s AngelList syndicate is also an investor in Grove. The round was led by Upfront Ventures, with participation from Gary Vaynerchuk’s seed fund, Vayner RSE, Felicis Ventures and Galvanize VC.