Venture Capital: Vertical Farming Startup Jungle Starts Cultivating Perfume Plants
In an unusual partnership, vertical farmer Jungle has tied up with Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company.
French vertical farming startup Jungle has partnered with Firmenich for growing plants that are vital as ingredients for the European perfume industry. Firmenich is a Swiss fragrance house that has produced scents for over 125 years, including the renowned Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal and Calvin Klein’s CK Everyone. (Sifted)
Climate change and Jungle
Climate change is clouding the production of crucial ingredients that Firmenich sources from around the world – for example, patchouli from Indonesia, neroli from Tunisia, and jasmine from India. Rising temperatures and droughts have forced a supply chain crisis on Firmenich, and one solution is to grow these precious plants in controlled conditions that simulate their home environments – such as in a Jungle vertical farm.
Fimenich’s collaboration with Jungle has already had an early success. Earlier this month, Firmenich announced the production of Muguet Firgood, the first-ever commercial extract safely obtained from the lily of the valley flower, and used in the luxury perfume market.
“Lily of the valley is known in perfumery as one of the most iconic “silent flowers”, a flower that yields no essence,” Firmenich said. “It is the first time in the history of perfumery that an extract of this flower has been captured with a safe and sustainable process, offering a completely new olfactory profile with genuine tonalities.”
“Jungle is thrilled to successfully break into the perfume industry. This project with Firmenich has strengthened our protocols and expertise in cultivating plants, in our vertical farms, for their enhanced biological activity,” said Gilles Dreyfus, President and Co-founder of Jungle. “We are now well positioned to support the cosmetics and nutraceutical industries by providing safe, local and reproductible plant extracts.”
The diversification out of food and into ingredients for the luxury fragrance market could help the bottom line at Jungle, which is aiming to become profitable by next year.
Unsurprisingly, the composition of Jungle’s income has changed to 40% perfume: 60% food from its previous ratio of 10% : 90%.
Jungle raised its Series A funding of €7 million in February 2021 from Founders Future and Demeter Partners.
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