Tech

Vertical farming company valued at over $1 billion by investors

Workers at an indoor vertical farm in Las Vegas, where they grow fresh produce and use 90% less water than a traditional farm, and eventually plan to fully automate the harvesting.

Source: Oasis Biotech

Infarm, an Amsterdam-based startup that specializes in growing food indoors in racks, has been valued at more than $1 billion in a new $200 million funding round.

It is the first vertical farming startup in Europe to surpass the $1 billion “unicorn” milestone.

Erez Galonska, co-founder and CEO of Infarm, said in a statement that the current food system is broken.

“Vertical farming and the Infarm system provide a sustainable solution to feed a growing population in a way that is much better for the planet, while also being far more resilient and resilient,” said Galonska. in the face of climate uncertainty and supply chain disruptions.”

He added that Infarm is on a mission to build a global farming network of vertical farms that are climate resilient and close to the consumer.

Currently, the company grows 75 different types of herbs, salads and greens, but ultimately the company wants to grow an entire basket of vegetables and sell premium foods at affordable prices to everyone.

Next year, the company plans to expand its portfolio with 40 new crops including mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, peas and strawberries.

Despite their many advantages, critics of vertical farms say they struggle to be profitable, they use too much energy and they can be expensive to operate. They can also create light pollution and other forms of pollution.

Center is developing

Infarm’s vertical farms are located in “cultivation centers,” which cover approximately 110,000 square feet of crop space. The company also builds smaller in-store farming units for groceries. It currently operates more than 17 growing centers and more than 1,400 in-store farms for 30 retailers worldwide.

The company claims it can turn a living room-sized space into an urban vertical farm that produces more than 500,000 trees a year, the equivalent of a football field.

Unlike conventional farming, Infarm vertical farms do not use pesticides. They also recycle water and nutrients and use the plant’s evaporated water. As a result, they use 95% less land and 95% less water than land-based agriculture, Infarm claims.

All are highly technical. Indoor farms are equipped with a plethora of sensors that are used to collect vast amounts of data on everything from temperature and humidity to soil nutrient levels and crop growth rates.

Infarm said it will use the funding to expand its rollout of vertical farms in the US, Canada, Japan and Europe, and tap into new markets in Asia-Pacific and China. Winter.

Investors in the latest funding round include Partners in Equity, Hanaco, Atomico, Lightrock, Bonnier and Qatar Investment Authority, which will support the company’s expansion into countries in the Middle East.

Infarm is planning to open a farming hub in Qatar, which has to import most of its food due to its climate, by 2023.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/16/infarm-vertical-farming-firm-valued-at-over-1-billion-by-investors.html Vertical farming company valued at over $1 billion by investors

Sarah Ridley

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