Online allotment-rental platform looking to harvest rapid growth after seven-figure funding boost

A tech firm that says it is the first-ever online marketplace for allotments, describing itself as “Airbnb for gardens”, has unveiled plans to bloom rapidly after securing pre-seed funding of £250,000.

AllotMe, which has a major focus on Scottish growth, says its platform pairs anybody with available outdoor space with people seeking somewhere to cultivate, allowing them to rent plots. It added that since its launch in May last year, it has seen demand blossom, with more than 100 hosts listing underused space to grow fruit and vegetables across the UK.

The venture is also now preparing to debut AllotMents 2.0 – a campaign to recruit hosts to the site – as it aims to increase the number of plots listed by more than 2,000 per cent over the next 18 months. It explained that the £250,000 investment – which included £120,000 from venture capital outfit QVentures – will be used to significantly enhance the platform.

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AllotMe was founded by Conor Gallagher in response to rising demand for space in the face of diminishing availability in urban environments, noting that more than 80 per cent of the UK population currently lives in cities, with one in eight homes without any garden space, and as few as one in five in London.

Glasgow School of Art-trained Mr Gallagher says he gave up a career as an architect and urban designer to focus full time on AllotMe.

The entrepreneur, who is also behind the GrowPod, a hydroponic planter designed to allow people to grow vegetables indoors, said the new investment will play a “massive part in driving the next chapter” for AllotMe. “The time is right to invest in scaling up the technology and reach of the business to meet the demand,” he added.

“AllotMents 2.0 will focus on encouraging hosts to think about how the platform can enable their space to work for them, whether that’s earning money to spend on other things; manage outdoor space they can’t; or help the environment through passive sustainability.

The tech firm aims to increase the number of plots listed by more than 2,000 per cent over the next 18 months. Picture: contributed.

“AllotMe was founded as interest in allotment and garden space in cities surged during the Covid-19 pandemic, but with highly limited supply. That interest has risen even more steeply as the cost-of-living crisis escalates.”

Founder Conor Gallagher said the new investment 'will play a massive part in driving the next chapter for the platform'. Picture: contributed.
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