Berlin, Germany-based vertical farming company InFarm announced today it has raised $170 million in the first close of its Series C round, bringing its total funding so far to $304.5 million.
The investment round, a mix of equity and debt financing, was led by LGT Lightstone with participation from Hanaco, Bonnier, Haniel, and Latitude, as well as existing investors Atomico, TriplePoint Capital, Mons Capital and Astanor Ventures. InFarm said in today’s press release that it expects the Series C round to eventually reach $200 million.
InFarm has built its reputation, not to mention its coffers, on the idea of getting fresh, local greens to more cities around the world via its network of high-tech vertical farms. The farms are smallish, pod-like devices that can live in grocery stores, restaurants, and food distribution centers. The farms use hydroponics and cloud-based software to grow leafy greens in completely controlled environments. A big benefit with InFarms’ approach is that, since farms are placed inside grocery stores, greens can be harvested onsite and sold without having to travel.
Sourcing greens close to the store is becoming more commonplace as companies develop smaller vertical farms. While InFarm might be the most high-profile player in this area of vertical farming, it isn’t the only company bringing greens literally to market. Farm.One just installed its own mini-vertical farm at a Whole Foods in Manhattan and has plans to expand to other stores soon. Vertical Field launched a geoponic vertical farm at New York’s famed Evergreen market in August. Brooklyn-based Square Roots puts a slightly different twist on the concept by placing its shipping container farms next to food distribution centers. The company currently has a partnership with North American distributor Gordon Food Service.
All of which is to say, InFarm may be leading the farm-in-a-grocery-store movement, but it won’t be the only company grabbing major investment dollars for long.
InFarm raised $100 million in June of 2019. Since then, it has struck deals with major grocery retailers around the world, including Aldi Süd in Germany, Kroger in the U.S., Empire in Canada, and Kinokuniya in Japan, among other places. The company said today it expects its farming network to total more than 5 million square feet by 2025, making it the largest distributed farming network in the world.
To do that, the company will expand to new cities in future. The new investment capital will go towards that goal. InFarm will also use some of it to complete development on a next-gen version of its farm.