AN online marketplace for allotments has unveiled plans for rapid expansion after securing more than £250,000 investment to grow the business.

AllotMe’s online platform pairs anybody with available outdoor space with people seeking somewhere to grow, allowing them to rent plots.

Since launch in May last year, the urban garden marketplace – described as "Airbnb for gardens" – has attracted more than 100 hosts listing underutilised space to grow fruit and vegetables across the UK.

Some have been successfully renting space from hosts for more than a year.

AllotMe is now preparing to launch AllotMents 2.0 – a summer campaign to recruit hosts to the site and ramp up the available space for rent.

The campaign will coincide with a range of improvements to the platform, the firm said.

The business, which claims to be the first of its kind, aims to increase the number of plots listed by more than 2,000% over the next 18 months.

The £250,000 investment – which included £120,000 from venture capital outfit QVentures and more than £50,000 from the HBAN Angel Network in Northern Ireland – will be used to "significantly enhance the platform".

AllotMe has appointed in-house software engineer Nandan Grover, a former software lead at French tech firm Dassault Systèmes, to drive the project.

The Herald: AllotMe was founded as interest in allotment and garden space in cities surged during the Covid-19 pandemic, but with highly limited supplyAllotMe was founded as interest in allotment and garden space in cities surged during the Covid-19 pandemic, but with highly limited supply (Image: AllotMe) 

AllotMe was founded by entrepreneur Conor Gallagher in response to rising demand for space in the face of diminishing availability in urban environments – particularly in London – where some areas have waiting lists of up to 40 years for allotments.

Glasgow School of Art-trained Mr Gallagher gave up a successful career as an architect and urban designer – during which he worked on £30 million plus construction projects in New York and London, as well as involvement at startup Farmacy NYC – to focus full time on AllotMe, "fuelled by a passion for promoting sustainability and urban regeneration". 

READ MORE: Soil-free home fruit and veg GrowPod launched

Mr Gallagher said: “This backing from QVentures, HBAN Angel Network and other angel investors shows the faith people have in what we’re out to achieve at AllotMe, and the investment will play a massive part in driving the next chapter for the platform.

“The first year of AllotMe has shown the massive potential of the platform, from both hosts and greenfingers, and the time is right to invest in scaling up the technology and reach of the business to meet the demand.

“People across the UK are telling us this is a service they want, and I’m massively excited by this next stage for AllotMe as we continue on our mission to revitalise underutilised space in cities by providing a truly sustainable solution that encourages people to grow their own and eat more healthily too.

“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.”

Robert Walsh, managing artner at QVentures said: "QVentures is proud to support AllotMe on its journey to creating the future of cities and a more sustainable future for the next generation. We’re also very happy to be working alongside Conor Gallagher, an innovative founder and architect disrupting this industry.”

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