Concept: American startup Gardyn has rolled out a fully automated AI-based vertical indoor growing system. The new system is a ‘hybriponic’ indoor gardening system that recirculates water in a closed-loop, thereby reducing water usage considerably. The system incorporates the features of aeroponic and hydroponic technology and leverages AI technology to analyze and optimize plant growth.

Nature of Disruption: Gardyn’s kit comprises a base and three columns into which the seed pods are placed. These seed pods are called yCubes and each kit consists of 30 yCubes with seeds. The startup offers a wide variety of seeds for users to choose from. The base comprises a six-gallon water reservoir and a pump that brings water to the seeds in the yCubes. Two poles sticking out of the base with LED grow lights simulate sunlight to aid the plant’s growth. The startup also provides a virtual assistant which can send out notifications to the users’ phones about the watering and harvest schedule. Its Gardyn app automates the water and lights for optimal growth of the plants. The app leverages cameras, temperature, and humidity sensors to analyze and optimize plant growth. The startup claims that the indoor growing system yields the same amount of produce as a 1,300 sq ft outdoor vegetable garden.

Outlook: Gardyn’s system helps users to grow home food with negligent use of water. The popularity of homegrown food is increasing globally. The startup is raising funds to expand its operation. It was able to raise a $5M investment from JAB Ventures. Gardyn is also receiving awards for its indoor growing system. It was awarded Best Smart Home Device of the Year by Good Housekeeping, an editorial lifestyle publication in the US.

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