Financing farms

Financing farms

US agritech start-up Bowery, which operates a vertical farming facility in New Jersey that produces the likes of baby kale, basil, arugula and butterhead lettuce, has just picked up some decent funding. The company has announced a successful $20 million financing round to add to its previous $7.5 million as it builds its second farm in the Tri-State area.

Bowery’s current NJ warehouse operation leans on machine learning, LED lighting and robotics to grow greens without pesticides and using 95% less water than traditional agricultural methods. Its produce features on shelves at a number of regional Whole Foods stores as well as on the menus of New York restaurants Craft and Fowler & Wells operated by celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, who is a Bowery investor.

The company faces strong local competition from AeroFarms. It has picked up close to $100 million to transform a huge 70,000-square-foot steel mill in Newark into what would be the world's largest indoor vertical farm to date. The company, which has nine farms up and running, has ambitious plans to hit 25 locations in five years.

Update: US-based Newbean Capital last week launched an alternative finance arm, Contain, with a focus on providing funding for vertical farmers.

Image: AeroFarms

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