top of page

The latest news, trends, analysis, interviews and podcasts from the global food and beverage industry

FoodBev Media Logo
Access more as a FoodBev subscriber

Sign up to FoodBev and unlock more insights from the international food and beverage industry. Subscribers have access to webinars, newsletters, publications and more...

Hippo Harvest raises $21m for advanced greenhouse tech
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

15 February 2024

Hippo Harvest raises $21m for advanced greenhouse tech

Controlled environment agriculture start-up Hippo Harvest has completed a $21 million Series B funding round to develop its advanced greenhouse systems. The round was led by Standard Investments, with Congruent Ventures, Amazon's Climate Pledge Fund, Hawthorne Food Ventures and Energy Impact Partners also participating. The company – which makes advanced greenhouse systems that grow sustainable produce – plans to use the funding to scale-up and expand its greenhouse operations as well as its product offerings in the leafy greens category. The start-up has also signed The Climate Pledge, a commitment co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism for businesses to reach net-zero carbon by 2040. Hippo Harvest operates a unique greenhouse facility in Pescadero, California, US, which the company says is significantly better in scalability and unit economics when compared to traditional greenhouses. It offers prices similar to outdoor-grown produce. Hippo Harvest employs a closed-loop, non-recirculating fertiliser system that directly targets roots, along with machine learning and autonomous mobile robots. These technologies calculate and distribute water, fertiliser, light and heating based on micro-climate conditions throughout its greenhouses, resulting in significantly more cost and resource-efficient production of fresh produce. Eitan Marder-Eppstein, CEO of Hippo Harvest, said: "We're excited by the opportunity to scale our production and reach more consumers with high-quality, sustainable produce. Our team's work over the past twelve months demonstrates our ability to create modular, cost-effective growing systems that can be deployed across the country. We look forward to working with our investors to make it a reality." The company's farming methods are said to increase food safety and extend shelf life by up to 30% compared to outdoor-grown produce, due to several factors. Firstly, the plants are irrigated from below with a custom nutrient blend combined with purified water, reducing the risk of pathogen and fungus formation from water and nutrients contacting the leaves. The start-up also utilises commercially available robots with customised attachments to tend to and harvest the plants, allowing for precise levels of water and nutrition for healthier plants. All production is carried out in a clean, controlled greenhouse, reducing damage and quality variations that occur in conventional outdoor farming. Additionally, products are packed on-site immediately after harvesting using 100% recycled plastic. The company opts for non-pesticide practices such as beneficial insects and natural oils instead of conventional pesticides. By growing produce in greenhouses, Hippo Harvest aims to reduce the impact of climate change-related volatility in the sector. Moreover, it offers ecological benefits by notably decreasing water and fertiliser usage, even in regions with low water availability or limited agricultural space. This approach reduces methane-producing agricultural waste while maintaining accessibility and affordability at a commercial scale. It also enhances the availability of locally grown, fresh food and provides communities with increased access to water, a cleaner environment and safer, more stable agricultural jobs.

Related posts
DSM-Firmenich offloads yeast business to Lesaffre
Mergers & Acquisitions

DSM-Firmenich offloads yeast business to Lesaffre

EIT Food RisingFoodStars unveils start-up cohort for agri-food-tech initiative
Business

EIT Food RisingFoodStars unveils start-up cohort for agri-food-tech initiative

TDR Capital becomes majority owner of Asda
Retail

TDR Capital becomes majority owner of Asda

Smithfield Foods to acquire dry sausage facility from Cargill
Mergers & Acquisitions

Smithfield Foods to acquire dry sausage facility from Cargill

Campbell explores strategic alternatives for Noosa yogurt brand
Mergers & Acquisitions

Campbell explores strategic alternatives for Noosa yogurt brand

Soli Organic opens new soil-based vertical farm in Texas
Agriculture

Soli Organic opens new soil-based vertical farm in Texas

bottom of page