Vertical farming start-up Infarm has raised $200 million (€177 million) in a Series D funding round.
The capital will be used to expand the installation of vertical farms in the US, Canada, Japan, and Europe.
The latest funding round saw participation from existing and new investors, including the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Partners in Equity, Hanaco, Atomico, Lightrock, and Bonnier.
Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE and UBS acted as financial advisors to Infarm on this transaction.
'Climate-Resilient Vertical Farms'
Erez Galonska, co-founder and CEO of Infarm, said, “Building a global farming network of our climate-resilient vertical farms is a core mission at Infarm, which is why we’re excited to announce this latest funding round.
“This strategic investment will support our rapid global expansion and bolster our R&D so that we can grow more varieties of crops close to consumers across Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East. It’s another step towards meeting our ambition of growing the entire fruit and vegetable basket in the near future, providing premium products at affordable prices to everyone.”
The company also aims to enter new markets in the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, with both in-store farming units and Infarm Growing Centres.
In 2023, Infarm plans to open its first Growing Centre in Qatar, for tomatoes, strawberries, and other crops in addition to herbs, salads, and leafy greens.
'Enhance Food Security'
Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud, CEO of QIA, added, “As a responsible, long-term investor, QIA’s purpose is to create value for future generations. We see vertical farming as a way to enhance food security in every part of the world.
“We look forward to working with Infarm to develop their first Growing Centre in Qatar, which will contribute to Qatar’s own food security and economic diversification.”
Infarm’s chemical pesticides free farming methods can be as much as around 400 times more efficient than soil-based agriculture, the company noted.
It requires 95% less land and uses 95% less water by recycling water and nutrients and using the evaporated water from plants.
The produce also contributes to reducing food miles by around 90% as they are grown in cities.
In October, the Berlin-based company Infarm launched operations in the Czech Republic, a move that marked its entry into the eastern European market.