Indoor farming startup Bowery Farming raises US$50m in funding

USA – New York-based indoor farming startup, Bowery Farming Inc has raised US$50 million in funding in an extension of its Series B round.

The funding was led by Singapore state investor Temasek with participation of Henry Kravis, co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co also injected come capital.

The funding comes nearly 11 months after the Google-backed start-up closed a US$90 million funding round led by Google Ventures. Other investors included Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, David Barber’s fund Almanac, First Round Capital, GGV Capital and General Catalyst.

The fresh funding brings the total capital raised by the start-up to US$172.5 million since it launched operation in 2015.

Bowery said it intends to use the capital to scale its operation in new cities in the United States, open multiple farms by the end of 2019 as well as invest in technology to propel its ambitions of creating scalable solutions for an impending climate and food crisis.

In addition to its two farms located in Kearny, New Jersey, the startup has opened a new indoor facility in the Baltimore-DC area. According to the company, the new farm is 3.5 times larger than Bowery’s last facility.

The firm currently produces eight types of leafy greens and is testing dozens more. The company’s products are currently available at select Whole Foods, Sweetgreen, Dig Inn, and Foragers stores in New York City.

The company’s network of farms essentially communicate using its unique proprietary software, called BoweryOS, which uses vision systems, automation technology, and machine learning to continuously monitor plants as they grow.

The start-up claims that through the technology, it is able to control the entire process – from seed to store. Bowery farms use zero pesticides, 95 percent less water, and are more than 100 times more productive on the same footprint of land than traditional agriculture.

Bowery’s co-founder and CEO, Irving Fain, says that the startup is counting on the power of technology to make drastic, necessary improvements to the food system.

Since the last raise, company says it has extended its computer vision system and increased automation.

Bowery Farming farming joins a foray of highly innovative and enterprising vertical farms in New York including Square Roots, Gotham Greens, Farm.One and Aerofarms who are leveraging on technology to produce fresh food in a more efficient and sustainable way.

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