Revol Greens announced today it has closed a $68 million funding round for its network of high-tech greenhouses the company says will eventually supply 33 million pounds of greens annually to the U.S. The round was led by Equilibrium Capital. According to a press release sent to The Spoon, this brings Revol’s total funding to $215 million.
The Minnesota-based company says it will use the new investment to launch its third facility, which is a 20-acre farm in Texas that could expand to 80 acres in the future.
Revol is part of a new wave of companies marrying greenhouse growing with technology systems that allow food producers to grow crops year-round, in totally controlled environments. Its system uses closed-loop hydroponics and, when necessary, supplements natural sunlight with LEDs. It also collects data on plant growth to ensure crops have the correct levels of water and nutrients they need to grow.
As they’re based in Minnesota, the folks behind Revol are no strangers to the kind of extreme weather that makes growing crops outdoors impossible for parts of the year. But extreme weather is also a consequence of climate change, whether it’s fire, drought, or insect outbreaks, and it is becoming more widespread. In traditional agriculture, that could mean an increase in pests, flooding or heavy downpours that threaten crop yields, and increases in carbon dioxide that decrease the quality of products.
Revol is not alone in merging the greenhouse with high tech to provide an alternative to traditional agriculture. AppHarvest is currently building out a massive greenhouse facility in Appalachia. The company recently raised $28 million. Iron Ox, which raised $20 million earlier this month, is bringing robotics to the greenhouse, and a company called Lufa has taken the greenhouse concept to rooftops in cities.
Getting greens closer to cities is also one of Revol’s goals. “High-tech greenhouses give us the ability to return to regional food systems with farms that produce our food near our communities,” David Chen, CEO of Equilibrium, said in today’s press release. “Regionalism gives us resiliency, food security, and addresses the threat of climate change to our food system. Greenhouses are the tech disruptor in a 10,000year-old agriculture sector.”
Revol CEO Mark Schulze added that by the end of 2021, the company will be “the world’s largest indoor lettuce producer.”
The company’s first greenhouse launched in 2018 in its hometown of Owatonna, Minn., followed by a second facility in Tehachapi, Calif., which Revol is in the midst of building out.