A Belfast man who established a platform dubbed ‘Airbnb for gardens’ is planning to expand his business after securing £250,000 in investment. Conor Gallagher (32), an alumnus of St Malachy’s College in North Belfast, set up AllotMe to match potential gardeners, without their own outdoor space, with garden plots to rent. The online marketplace launched in May last year and more than 100 hosts across the UK are now listing underused spaces so others, who the site calls ‘green fingers’, can rent space to grow fruits and vegetables.
The company has confirmed that although it already has plenty of “green fingers” in Belfast, it does not yet have any gardens in the city listed on the site. Conor, an architect by profession, started the business in response to the growing demand for space in urban environments during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Green space is particularly scarce in London, where some areas have 40-year waiting lists for housing estates.
He said: “The first year of AllotMe has shown the enormous potential of the platform, both hosts and greenfingers, and now is the time to invest in scaling the technology and of the company’s scope to meet demand.
“People across the UK tell us it’s a service they want. And I’m extremely excited about this next step for AllotMe as we continue our mission to revitalize underutilized space in cities by providing a truly sustainable solution that encourages people to thrive and eat healthier. The investment of a quarter-million includes £120,000 from venture capital firm QVentures, over £50,000 from the HBAN Business Angel Network in Northern Ireland, and additional backing from experienced investors Alastair Bell and Michael Harding.
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