Israeli-founded urban farming network Infarm raised USD 170 million in a Series C funding round. This investment represents the “first close” of a USD 200 million round, according to Crunchbase.
The round was led by impact investing firm LGT Lightstone. Hanaco, Bonnier, Haniel, and Latitude also joined the round, as did existing Infarm backers Atomico, TriplePoint Capital, Mons Capital, and Astanor Ventures.
This brings Infarm’s total equity and debt financing to USD 300 million to date.
Infarm was founded in 2013 by Israelis Osnat Michaeli, Erez Galonska, and Guy Galonska. (The Galonskas are brothers.) The company is based in Berlin, Germany.
The startup combines vertical farms with IoT technologies and machine learning. These vertical farms are located in urban facilities like supermarkets, distribution centers, and restaurants. Many of these facilities are already hooked up with smart devices connected to the cloud that monitor plant health and resource consumption. They integrate engineering, software, and agritech to reduce labor, land, water, and energy costs, while also creating a more sustainable food system.
Infarm has indicated that it wants to build the largest urban vertical farming network in the world, scaling to five million square feet in farming facilities in Europe, North America, and Asia by 2025.
“The coronavirus pandemic has put a global spotlight on the urgent agricultural and ecological challenges of our time,” Infarm CEO Erez Galonska said in a statement. “At Infarm, we believe there’s a better, healthier way to feed our cities: increasing access to fresh, pure, sustainable produce, grown as close as possible to people.”
Infarm currently operates in ten countries and across 30 cities around the world, including in France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the UK, Denmark, and Canada. The company works with supermarkets such as Irma (Denmark), Marks and Spencer (UK), Metro (Europe), and Edeka (Germany) to sell locally grown vegetable products.
In the US, Infarm is partnered with Kroger, the highest grossing American supermarket chain. The company recently announced a partnership with Kinokuniya in Japan.
This article first appeared in NoCamels, which covers innovations from Israel for a global audience.