Square Mile Farms
Bringing vertical, urban farming to the modern workplace
- Early customers include Grosvenor Estates and Vodafone
- Strategic relationship with British Land Plc
- Featured on BBC Inside Out London & BBC Radio
- Operational vertical farm in Paddington Central
We install innovative, productive vertical farms in the workplace, engage employees and help businesses create a culture of healthy, low-impact living.
With employee wellbeing and corporate sustainability at the top of the post-COVID agenda, large employers are rethinking the function, layout and appearance of the workplace.
Our Office Farming model creates green, inviting spaces for engagement and collaboration, helping attract talent back into the office, and visibly demonstrate commitment to sustainability, and employee health.
In 2019 we were invited to build a vertical farm in Paddington Central by British Land, one of the UK’s largest landowners, which now acts as a hub for our office farm installations, as well as a base from which to conduct R&D.
We continue to work closely with British Land, offering our services to their occupiers. We already count Vodafone and Grosvenor Estates as clients and have an exciting pipeline in London and beyond.
Substantial accomplishments to date
- Constructed our first ‘flat-pack farm’ of our own design.
- Began experimenting with growing more than 40 plant varieties vertically, indoors, from micro-herbs to large leafy greens, researching production costs, gathering growing data and experimenting with business models.
- Invited by British Land Plc (FTSE 100 & one of the UK’s largest landlords) to build a farm on the roof of Microsoft’s UK HQ in Paddington Central.
- Used the profile and location to gather customer feedback, both consumer and corporate, from which we developed our Office Farming model.
- Agreed with British Land to jointly approach their large corporate occupiers as a solution to their workplace wellbeing and sustainability needs.
- Began supplying 3 restaurants with fresh, local produce & started trialling our consumer veg bags & lobby stall
- Secured our first 2 corporate clients in Grosvenor Estate and Vodafone.
Ongoing conversations with a number of other well-known corporate names and now have a rich Business Development pipeline.
- Started to explore new locations for expansion across British Land's London campuses, including Broadgate.
- Combined forces with Yeeld, a pioneering vertical microgreen grower, to strengthen our founding team.
- Square Mile Farms was the subject of a BBC London Inside Out documentary titled “Office Farming”. Also filmed for a piece in the FT ‒ we expect it to be released in July/August.
Our Office Farming model takes advantage of existing corporate demand & budgets (e.g. workplace fit-outs, employee wellbeing & engagement).
Key customer profiles: facilities managers & HR/wellbeing managers.
Channels to market: landlords, office designers & property consultants.
Key revenue streams:
1. Farm installation. Developing custom installations for clients, based on our modular design.
2. Farm servicing & employee engagement. A monthly service charge to run farms & engage employees in the process.
3. Wellbeing services. Packages of workshops, seminars, nutritional consultations & other events.
Based on the combined market size for corporate wellbeing services & office landscaping, we estimate the market for office farming services in London to be £143m and the UK £621m.
A presence in the workplace is our first step to creating consumer awareness and brand familiarity, from which we intend to launch consumer products & services in the future.
Use of proceeds
Proceeds of this campaign will be used alongside revenue to fund the following activities over the next year:
1. Sales & Business Development ‒ 45%
The raise will help us complete several upcoming projects & secure recurring income that will be reinvested in the business.
2-3 key new hires to grow the team & scale the business.
2. Technology & R&D ‒ 15%
We’ll invest in the design & technology for our farm-walls & hub farms to ensure it is the product of choice for building integrated farming
Continually improving our technology & growing techniques will ensure we further differentiate ourselves and support our value proposition.
3. Brand & Profile ‒ 15%
We intend to raise our profile & increase brand awareness through selective marketing, PR and attendance at relevant events.
4. Operations - 25%
A percentage of the raise may be used to fund short-term operations to give us enough runway to grow comfortably & sustainably. However, we expect most of these costs to be covered by revenue.
The company has the following outstanding loans:
- £34,592 Director’s loan with no interest rate. The loan is to be repaid at the Board's discretion with the intention of repaying this loan when the business is profitable.
- £32,892 Director’s loan with no interest rate. The loan is to be repaid at the Board's discretion with the intention of repaying this loan when the business is profitable.
- £8,000 bounce-back loan, with a 2.5% interest rate to be paid back over 6 years. The first 12 months of the loan are interest free, with the 2.5% interest rate kicking in from Year 2 onwards. The loan was approved 27 May 2020.
The funds raised from this investment round will not be used to repay these loans.
Founders Salary Conversion
Two of the Founders have agreed to accept a reduction on their agreed contracted salary on the basis the difference between their contracted salary and paid salary will accrue to these Founders and be paid in the form of equity at the agreed share price at the next funding round. The reduction took effect in April 2020 and the intention is that the Founders’ contracted salary will be reinstated from the end of this funding round. The third founder does not take a salary.