The state-backed agency has participated in a $28.5m round for Agricool, which grows strawberries in containers, and which plans to now hire 200 more staff members.

France-based urban farm operator Agricool has secured €25m ($28.5m) in a funding round backed by French state-owned investment bank Bpifrance’s Large Venture fund, Les Echos reported this week.

The round also featured Manifesto Ventures, the corporate venturing subsidiary of food producer Danone, venture capital firms Daphni, XAnge, Kima Ventures and Marbeuf Capital, and angel investors Henri Seydoux and Solomon Hykes.

Founded in 2015, Agricool has developed environmental technology to grow fresh fruit and vegetables in containers without the use of pesticides. The containers can be stacked and boast a yield 60 times higher per square metre than traditional farming methods.

The company has so far focused on strawberries and only installed containers in Paris, where it sells the fruit through supermarket chain Monoprix. It expects to expand its produce range in future but has not revealed a timeline.

The cash will enable Agricool to add five containers in Parisian suburbs next year, the company having recently begun its international expansion drive with the installation of a first container in Dubai.

Agricool also plans to hire 200 additional staff by 2021, by which time it aims to have deployed hundreds of containers.

The company had previously raised $9.1m in funding from Daphni and assorted angel investors in July 2017, after Daphni and private investors had supplied $4.3m for the company in 2016.

• A version of this article originally appeared on Global Corporate Venturing.