Ag Tech Investments News

The largest agtech investment: Vertical farm start-up Plenty raises $200m

The firm, founded in 2013, has an indoor growing system that uses less space and water than traditional farms.

It plans to bring its first self-grown food to market this fall.

chief executive and co-founder, Matt Barnard said, "We're now ready to build out our farm network and serve communities around the globe."

Plenty employs 100 people in three facilities in San Francisco and Wyoming. It has raised more than $226m since its start.

Mr Barnard said the firm has already signed up online and bricks-and-mortar distributors for the food, which will initially be dominated by leafy vegetables and herbs.

SoftBank led the financing round through its SoftBank Vision Fund. Mr Schmidt and Mr Bezos invested through their Innovation Endeavors and Bezos Expeditions firms, respectively.

Chief executive of Softbank Group Masayoshi Son said, "We believe that Plenty's team will remake the current food system to improve people's quality of life."

Plenty's growing system - kind of like a living wall - and control over the environment, allows for water to be recycled easily.

It also makes growing crops more efficient. The firm says it can produce up to 350 times more per square foot than traditional farms.

The firm is planning indoor farms on land of two to five acres - roughly the size of Home Depots or Walmarts. Mr Barnard said the food will be competitively priced, thanks in part to a shorter supply chain, and within reach of a range of incomes.


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