Crocus Labs closes a seven-figure seed investment round to build energy-efficient lights designed for horticulture

Berlin, DATE 23.11.2022 – Crocus Labs’ vision is to spark life into spaces. The team achieves this by producing the most energy-efficient full-light spectrum lighting solutions that enable a sustainable future for vertical farms and greenhouses.

With the seven-figure investment round led by High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and Brandenburg Kapital, the company will focus on R&D and bring the next generation of luminaires to the market. BACB Bet also supports the round. GmbH, the investment vehicle of Business Angels Club Berlin-Brandenburg e.V. (BACB) and angel investors.

Crocus Lab’s mission is to empower the world’s transition to sustainable food through increasingly sun-like, efficient light technologies for greenhouses, vertical farms, and all other forms of closed-environment agriculture. By leveraging proprietary semiconductor technologies, Crocus Labs is developing groundbreaking lighting systems with best-in-class performance. With the received investment, Crocus Labs will continue to innovate, scale and reduce the costs of operating indoor farms while improving crop quality.

Crocus Labs’ founding team Dr. Prashanth Makaram, Markus Erbe, and Galina Gorshkova are focusing on bringing a sustainable agriculture future by utilizing proprietary innovation. The team brings to the table a mix of skills from different industries and first-hand entrepreneurial experience from all three founders.

“Crocus Labs was started in 2020 with the idea to leverage the proprietary innovation we had developed and experience in the semiconductor industry, and build a product that will bring a strong positive impact.”
Dr. Prashanth Makaram, CEO & founder of Crocus Labs

The product brings up to 50% energy efficiency by combining intelligent driver technology, proprietary LED diodes, and software components. It also covers a full light spectrum that improves crop quality and health. With the massively increased energy prices and importance of locally grown food caused by the geopolitical situation, Crocus Labs will play a crucial role in enabling the future of sustainable, regional agriculture.

“Disruptive and addressing a strategic issue for Europe in terms of food independence”
 European Innovation Commission Jury

The financing round enables the transition to the growth phase
Crocus Labs has been developing the process since 2020, with multiple successful studies demonstrating the product can support the quality & biomass increase across various crops: stevia, basil, chilies, and strawberries. The testing has also demonstrated 15% energy efficiency of the first product generation.

The investment will support further product R&D and production in Brandenburg and testing across various customers to prepare the company for further geographical expansion and wide product commercialization.

“Energy and food crises underscore the importance of alternative approaches and innovation in securing food production. Crocus Labs’ novel, efficient full-spectrum light enables the implementation of new cropping methods and can thus make a crucial contribution to food production in the future. We look forward to supporting the experienced and diverse team with the new partners in the further development and scaling of the business.”
Dr. Gernot Berger, Senior Investment Manager at HTGF

“The innovative lighting solution of Crocus Labs forms one the most fundamental catalysts for the future of sustainable and self-sufficient agriculture in Europe. We see great potential in the combination of good market timing, significant impact, excellent technologies, and a highly competent team. We are proud to welcome Crocus Labs to our portfolio.”
Binh Vu, Analyst at Brandenburg Kapital

“Further development of indoor and vertical farming concepts will be crucial to successfully face the challenges of sustainable food production. More efficient lighting systems will be the deciding factor in making those concepts profitable and more widespread. We believe Crocus Labs has the technology to enable those concepts, and we are super excited to be part of the journey, together with a phenomenal team and great Co-Investors.”
Martin Huber Managing Director, BACB Beteiligungsgesellschaft

About Crocus Labs

Crocus Labs is a Berlin-based startup developing smart LED lighting technology that enables indoor farms (greenhouses, vertical farms, etc.) to significantly reduce their CAPEX and OPEX arising from artificial lights and pathing the way to profitability. The tunable broadband spectrum and related sensors allow customers to grow a wide variety of crops indoors with significantly higher yields. 

Founded in 2020, Crocus Labs has developed two generations of products that have been successfully tested with commercial partners growing strawberries, basil, and lettuce. With a team of serial entrepreneurs and engineers, seed investment, and the EIC grant, Crocus Labs is planning to exponentially develop the technology and expand across the European region and beyond.

Contact info Crocus Labs

Galina Gorshkova
Co-founder & CRO