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Busy week for Vertical Farming funding

Busy week for Vertical Farming funding (agfundernews.com)

  • Berlin based portable vertical farm start up InFarm, disclosed earlier in the week that they raised $100m in a B Series fund raising round.
  • The InFarm concept is a bit different from other vertical farms, its based around small modular units that can be placed in supermarkets, restaurants & distribution centres. A picture is worth a thousand words – an InFarm module
  • InFarm has already partnered with 25 leading food retailers including Metro, Casino & Auchan. So far they have deployed c. 300 “farms” in 150 stores.
  • The aim is to hit 1000 supermarkets by 2022. They are working toward a UK launch later this year.  
  • The debt & equity raise was led by London based Atomico.

Analysis & Comments

  • Vertical farming is moving closer to becoming mainstream. Recent analysis suggests that the primary motivations are still reducing waste, increasing freshness and reducing air miles.
  • The fund raiser for InFarm followed closly behind news that Ocado had purchased a majority stake in Scunthorpe UK based vertical farm company Jones Farm Company  Ocado invests in Jones
  • Additionally Ocado also invested in Infinite Acres – a three way tie up with Dutch climate control expert Priva and US based 80 Acre Farms.
  • Interestingly the article also quotes 80 Acres CEO, Mike Zelkind, who talks about the challenges of “managing a highly complex, multi faceted business, comprising plant & data science, with narrow profit margins, logistics challenges plus water, light, heat & air difficulties”- so not all straightforward then !

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