©Victor Llorente for Bowery Farming
US vertical farming business, Bowery Farming, has raised $300 million in a funding round that values the company at $2.3 billion.
Founded in 2015, Bowery Farming builds smart indoor farms near cities, in order to provide consumers with local, pesticide-free and sustainable produce, grown in precisely controlled environments.
Each farm uses the company’s proprietary BoweryOS system, which integrates software, hardware, sensors, artificial intelligence, computer vision systems, machine learning models and robotics, to orchestrate and automate operations.
Bowery’s latest funding round was led by Fidelity Management & Research Company, with participation from existing investors such as GV, General Catalyst and Temasek.
The round also attracted the backing of Gaingels, a fund representing the LGBTQ community and allies, as well as Amplo and individual investors, including Lewis Hamilton, Chris Paul, Natalie Portman, José Andrés and Justin Timberlake.
Bowery will use the funds to continue to expand its network of smart indoor farms across the US, recruit ‘top talent’ and accelerate advancements in farm design and BoweryOS.
The new capital will also support Bowery’s ongoing research and product innovation efforts as it looks to bring crops beyond leafy greens to market, and the funding news follows the recent opening of the company’s new Farm X innovation hub.
Bowery – which has now secured more than $472 million in funding – supplies its produce to over 850 grocery stores, and says that it has seen more than 750% growth since January last year at brick-and-mortar retailers, while also having quadrupled e-commerce sales.
“At Bowery, we’re reinventing a new supply chain that’s simpler, safer, more sustainable and ultimately provides vibrantly flavourful produce unlike what’s available today,” said Irving Fain, CEO and founder of Bowery Farming.
“This infusion of new capital from Fidelity, other new investors, and the additional support of our long-term investor partners is acknowledgement of the critical need for new solutions to our current agricultural system, and the enormous economic opportunity that comes with supporting our mission.
“This funding not only fuels our continued expansion but the ongoing development of our proprietary technology, which sits at the core of our business and our ability to rapidly and efficiently scale towards an increasingly important opportunity in front of us.”
Andy Wheeler, general partner at GV, added: “Bowery’s approach to indoor farming represents a meaningful disruption to the traditional produce supply chain, and its systems-based approach to engineering and farm design is unparalleled.
“I look forward to continuing to partner with the Bowery team as they build and scale the largest indoor farming network in the US and bring more sustainable produce to consumers.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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