Indoor hydroponic farming start-up BrightFarms has secured $100 million in a Series E funding round led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and a further investment from Catalyst Investors.
BrightFarms builds and operates indoor farms near major metropolitan areas in the US, providing supermarkets and retailers with a consistent supply of locally grown produce. It currently operates indoor farms in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, with three new farms currently under development in North Carolina, Massachusetts and Texas.
The start-up has raised over $200 million in funding to date, and BrightFarms claims that it will use these latest funds to invest in its current farms and retail programmes and expand its network of regional indoor farms across the US.
BrightFarms claims that its growing methods “use 80% less water, 90% less land and 95% less shipping fuel than traditional agriculture”. The company claims that its indoor growing methods can provide pesticide-free packaged greens to supermarkets in as little as 24 hours after harvest.
The start-up has formed partnerships with major retailers including Ahold Delhaize, Kroger and Walmart, distributing produce to over 2,000 stores in the US. The firm anticipates that it will expand its distribution to more than 15,000 stores by 2025.
Steve Platt, CEO of BrightFarms, said: “Our goal over the next five years is to make quality, locally-grown greens a staple on grocery shelves and in refrigerators nationwide.
“We are thrilled to have the strong financial backing of Cox Enterprises, an organisation that closely aligns with our mission to build a healthier and more sustainable future, and to have the additional support of our long-term partners at Catalyst Investors. Together we are ready to scale our model for local indoor farming in every major market in the US”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020