Join today and have your say! It’s FREE!

Become a member today, It's free!

We will not release or resell your information to third parties without your permission.
Please Try Again
{{ error }}
By providing my email, I consent to receiving investment related electronic messages from Stockhouse.


Sign In

Please Try Again
{{ error }}
Password Hint : {{passwordHint}}
Forgot Password?


Please Try Again {{ error }}

Send my password

An email was sent with password retrieval instructions. Please go to the link in the email message to retrieve your password.

Become a member today, It's free!

We will not release or resell your information to third parties without your permission.

How This Vertical Farming AI Technology Brings the Farm back into the City

Jocelyn Aspa Jocelyn Aspa, The Market Herald
2 Comments| March 7, 2022

{{labelSign}}  Favorites

Indoor Vertical farming is the process of growing crops in vertically stacked layers. Notably, instead of farming vegetables and other products in a field or greenhouse, indoor vertical farming produces food on these stacked layers and is done so in a controlled environment that aims to optimize plant growth.

The process of vertical farming has risen in popularity as the population continues to increase and urban city living becomes preferable. In 2019, the vertical farming market was valued at approximately US$4.4 billion and is expected to increase to $15.7 billion by 2025.

Fueling the growth of vertical farming will be the rise in demand for urban food security. Securing revenue within urban centres, providing pure, clean, longer shelf life and easily traceable food, with minimal impact on the environment in terms of water use, chemical, fertilizer, and greenhouse emissions associated with cultivation, processing, and distribution represent the tangible impact that vertical farming delivers.

This is where companies like Sprout AI (CSE:BYFM, OTCQB:BYFMF, Forum) come into the picture. Sprout AI is a technology company that is focused on providing turn-key vertical indoor cultivation solutions that are repeatable, economic, practical, scalable, safe and secure (REP3S).

Formed in 2018 and owned by TheraCann International before going public, Sprout AI is based in Panama Pacifico, Panama. With an office in Canada and Australia the companies vision is to continually innovate and provide the best vertical indoor farming technology that will ensure that anyone, anywhere, at any time, can reliably produce high quality, affordably priced, produce.

In an interview with Stockhouse Editorial, Kyle Horzak, Chief Operating Officer of Sprout AI, said that the company is unique in that it provides clients with an indoor vertical farming solution that is plant agnostic and readily designed to manage multi-crop requirements all within the same indoor space.

As Sprout AI CEO Chris Bolton explains, the company is purposely designed to easily scale up or down using its unique modular design that includes enclosed habitats, that are fitted 5 per row, and in racks 3 rows high. These racks are then mounted on rolling tracks to make best use of available warehouse space and to eliminated unnecessary isle space. These enclosed habitats measure 300 cubic feet (8.5 cubic meters) and a rack measures 4,500 cubic feet (127.5 cubic meters) giving the owner maximum capacity to cultivate in a third of the space of traditional farming. Going vertical also reduces the cost per square foot of traditional farming.”

Now, Bolton said the company’s current orders include projects to grow leafy greens, micro-greens, mushrooms, and berries as well as orders to cultivate high quality, repeatable batch, plant-based medicinal/herbal crops.

Located within their 38,000 square foot assembly facility in Panama Pacifico, the company also benefits from intellectual property protections as well as tax-free status including but not limited to corporate tax, value-added tax, or import/export duties. The facility is also ideally located near the Panama Canal where it can ship internationally — which gives the company a leg up on many of its peers, especially during this time of ocean shipping constraints due to COVID-19 related supply chain shipping issues

Backed by a team with exceptional skill sets and a technology that is sure to change the face of vertical farming, Sprout AI will be a company that investors will want to keep their eyes on in 2022 and beyond.

The Sprout AI technological advantage

In a nutshell, Sprout AI’s Habitat technology is unique in that farmers can cultivate indoors using modular habitats on rolling racks. The technology also uses dual plant and root zones that provide a wide range of effectiveness in different kinds of environments. It also uses fogponics that deliver nutrients needed for growth and only uses a fraction of the water compared to aquaponics, hydroponics, and aeroponic irrigation technologies.

Bolton said “this is what makes the company’s technology innovative and different — and for vertical technology to be an advanced option for cultivation — maximizing the cubic square footage is key in order to make it cost-effective.

“[Sprout AI] was designed to grow crops vertically on rolling racks in self-contained habitats,” he said, describing that the self-contained habitats are 10 feet by 5 feet wide by 6 feet tall. Bolton explained there are five habitats per row and 3 rows per rack. Each rack is equipped with a wheel system to allow it to move, thus eliminating unnecessary aisle space.

Bolton said that making maximum use of the space makes them “very competitively priced” in the market. For any indoor vertical farmer to be successful in the city, they have to be able to do multi crops — which Bolton said isn’t always easy. An advantage the technology provides is the capability for multi-crops made possible through its enclosed habitats.

“Any one habitat can have a completely different crop from the habitat next to it or else where on the rack,” he said, exemplifying having basil in one corner or a rack with wasabi in another corner. “Because of this, we are the only company we are aware of, today, that allows the end-producer to be offer full plant- crop flexibility. They can grow whatever they want in what ever quantity they want. This is very different than providers that only offer “a wall of green, or an open rack of green – meaning the same plant for the whole wall or open rack given constraints associated with environmental / nutrient controls.”

Thanks to patents filed by the company in December 2021, the Sprout AI V2 habitats are now available to the public. A unique feature of the V2 habitat is the divided plan and root zones supported by fogponics technology. The dual plant and root zones offer “the maximum effectiveness” of different environmental settings for the pant and root growth.

“Because of this, the crops will come to fruition much faster,” Bolton said, reiterating the technology is plant-agnostic. “We’re not stuck growing only one or two plants based on the technology.”

(Click to enlarge image)

Because the company’s technology is water neutral, this also means it is environmentally friendly. Bolton, whose company is one the of first to incorporate ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance standards) explained that in order for the company’s technology to have minimal impact on the environment, Sprout AI did a few things to make this possible, including:
  • The racks and technology used is designed to accommodate power switching.
  • Having various power switches that are timed on different schedules alternating when the lights come on from other racks can dictate power has to be pulled
  • Using water in a process where the technology produces more than is used from the crops developed.
  • As such, Bolton conveyed that the company is “water-neutral at worst,” but aims to be water-positive. “We’re producing potable water as we plant,” he said, and explained this water can go back into the community and is something that hasn’t been done by other companies.
  • Lastly, the artificial intelligence behind the Sprout AI system learns, over time, how to optimize the growth conditions. A large amount of data collection from habitats all around the world has been taken in order to intensify the machine learning capabilities.
  • The technology allows the modules to learn how to collect data, which includes air temperature and quality, humidity, water temperature, nutrient level, light duration, carbon dioxide duration and intensity, and how to optimize the conditions so the plants can grow. The goal is to have each batch deliver the same quality of product regardless of where it is being grown.
To summarize, the company’s cultivation technology is contained in a sealed habitat, which includes LED lighting to minimize power consumption, advanced air filtration and HVAC. Each habitat is self-contained and allows for staggered growth, resulting in greater labor efficiency. The separated habitats also reduce external cross-contamination, allowing for multi-crop farms.

The Sprout AI business model

As the company marches forward with its innovative technology that will disrupt the market, Sprout AI has a two-pronged sales strategy in place to commercialize its products: selling the units for $20,000 per habitat, through retail agreements and full turn-key managed services agreements selling the units through distributors at a wholesale price of $15,000.

Through TheraCann International — which has offices in Canada in Australia —Sprout AI has a non-exclusive agreement in which TheraCann markets, sells, and supports Sprout AI’s units being delivered to TheraCann’s clients around the world. In the future, the company also aims to add financing to its services with the goal of allowing customers lease-to-own options.

The management team

Chris Bolton, CEO and chairman

Chris Bolton has extensive experience in taking concepts through to final implementation in a host of sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, software development, analytical laboratory, and international consulting operations that include turn-key solutions that plan, design, implement and provide ongoing management of a range of complex systems.

Albert Bangcaya, interim CFO

Effective January 25, 2022, Albert Bangcaya is the company’s interim CFO and has extensive experience in both the public and private markets. He has worked with a variety of publicly traded companies with a focus on auditing, taxation, forecasting and planning.

Kyle Horak, COO and director

Kyle Horak has leadership and extensive business administration and project management experience with a wide range of international operations.

Carlos Zapata, manager of manufacturing and assembly

Carlos Zapata has extensive knowledge and expertise in operating complex industrial and manufacturing facilities.

Tom Andrews, director

Tom Andrews has experience in professional and business development at a global scale, assisting with capital raise, managing large project teams and budgets.

The investment opportunity

With a market capitalization of approximately $10 million and share price around $0.11, Sprout AI is certainly undervalued given its innovation and unique vertical farming technology. At present, the company has 92.50 million shares issues and outstanding.

If you’re not convinced yet, a reminder that the company’s technology only uses a fraction of the water required by hydroponic operations, which effectively reduces the risk of water-born contamination and also allows the roots to develop faster for shorter cultivation — something that, again, is something only Sprout AI has brought to the market.

Its building structure agnostic, artificial intelligence, self-contained habitats and rolling racks are also a cut above the rest and, as time goes on and as vertical farming becomes integral in our every day lives, consumers will be chomping at the bit for Sprout AI’s technology.

Lastly, to date Sprout AI has been the leader in ESG paving the way for other vertical farming providers. As many investors understand, ESG has become an important part of investment analysis as many ESG factors have a material impact on the performance of an investment.

All of this is to say — investors, don’t wait on this one. While Sprout AI’s technology is relatively new, the company is sure to disrupt the vertical farming segment for years to come.

For mor inofrmation, visit

FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by Stockhouse Publishing.

{{labelSign}}  Favorites

Get the latest news and updates from Stockhouse on social media