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Berlin-based AgTech startup Infarm raises $200M to bring efficient vertical farming to cities and urban centers; reaches unicorn status at over $1 billion valuation | Tech News | Startups News

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Infarm, a Berlin, Germany-based AgTech startup that grows food indoors in racks, announced today it has raised $200 million in Series D funding led by the Qatar Investment Authority, with participation from new and existing investors including Partners in Equity, Hanaco, Atomico, Lightrock, and Bonnier.

The latest investment brings the company’s total funding to $604.5M  at a valuation of over $1 billion, making it a member of the highly coveted unicorn club and the first vertical farming startup in Europe to pass the $1 billion “unicorn” milestone. We covered Infarm a little over a year ago after the startup raised 170 million to build out its infrastructure, R&D, and hire more staff.

Today, Infarm is best known for its efficient vertical farms housed in “growing centers,” which have around 110,000 square foot of growing space. The company also builds smaller in-store farming units for grocery stores. The company says it currently operates more than 17 growing centers and over 1,400 in-store farms for 30 retailers across 10 countries and 30 cities worldwide,  and a target to deploy 100 of them by 2030 across 20 countries.

Founded in 2013 by CEO Erez Galonska, his brother  Guy Galonska, and Osnat Michaeli, Infarm builds and distributes highly efficient vertical farms throughout cities to grow fresh produce right in their neighborhoods. The farms are placed in various locations in the city, like supermarkets, restaurants, and distribution centers, so that vegetables grow and are harvested close to the moment of purchase or consumption.

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In a statement, Erez Galonska said that the current food system is broken. “Vertical farming and the Infarm system provide a sustainable solution to feed a growing population in a way that’s much better for the planet and is far more resilient and flexible in the face of climate uncertainty and supply chain disruption,” Galonska said.

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The company’s massive funding underscores consumer and retailer appetite for Infarm’s innovative approach to fresh, sustainable, and local food production in the wake of this year’s pandemic. By 2025, Infarm’s farming network is expected to reach more than 5,000,000 square feet to become the largest distributed farming network in the world as it builds towards helping cities become self-sufficient in their food production.

Infarm combines highly efficient vertical farms with IoT technologies and Machine Learning, to offer an alternative food system that is resilient, transparent, and affordable. The company distributes its smart modular farms throughout the urban environment to grow fresh produce for the city’s inhabitants. With cutting-edge R&D, patented technologies, and a leading multi-disciplinary team, Infarm was founded on a visionary mission: helping cities become self-sufficient in their food production while significantly improving the safety, quality, and environmental footprint of our food.

Infarm said it will also use the fresh capital infusion to deepen the regional and local penetration of Infarm’s global farming network and complete the development of Infarm’s new generation of vertical cloud-connected farms.

Infarm harvests 500,000+ plants monthly and grows while using 99.5% less space than soil-based agriculture, 95% less water, 90% less transport, and zero chemical pesticides. Today, 90% of electricity use throughout the Infarm network is from renewable energy and the company has set a target to reach zero emission food production next year.

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