BrightFarms has raised a $100 million Series E round of funding for its indoor farms, Food Navigator reported yesterday. The round was led by Cox Enterprises, with participation from Catalyst Investors, and brings the total amount raised by BrightFarms to nearly $213 million.
BrightFarms grows leafy greens in its network of indoor farms across Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illiniois, and Virginia with new facilities opening up in North Carolina and Texas. According to the company’s website, the BrightFarms’ pitch is that its greens are more tender because they are grown hydroponically and don’t need to “struggle” in harsh outdoor conditions. Additionally, after harvest and prep, they are shipped to stores just hours away, rather than cross-country.
According to Food Navigator, BrightFarms’ greens are sold in more than 2,000 locations and through stores from Ahold Delhaize, Walmart and Kroger. BrightFarms expects to be in more than 15,000 stores by 2025.
Indoor farming has certainly seen a lot of green for its greens, as players in the space have raised a lot of money. AppHarvest, which is building a mega-greenhouse in Kentucky, has raised $120 million. Plenty has raised $541 million, which includes investment and a partnership with berry producer, Driscoll’s. And InFarm, which puts indoor farms in grocery stores, has raised $304 million.
BrightFarms says its approach to growing greens is pesticide free, uses 80 percent less water than land-based farming, 90 percent less land, 95 percent less shipping fuel, all while yielding 10x more leafy greens than conventional farming.
We are definitely in the early stages of indoor farming and we still need to see how all this plays out, but judging just from the frothy market, the future for indoor farms looks bright.