US – Gotham Greens, a US based hydroponic leafy greens produce, has raised an additional US$87 million in equity and debt capital to fund its ambitious expansion plans.

According to a report by Food Dive, the capital raise brings the total amount so far raised by the agri-tech firm to US$10 million and a recent Series D round led by Manna Tree.

Gotham Greens said it plans to use the latest funding to decentralize food production and bring fresh offerings to more people across the U.S., increase output at its current greenhouses and develop new products.

The New York company, which has more than 500,000 square feet of greenhouses in five states, has doubled its revenue in the past year.

Unit sales at retailers have risen 80% year over year and the company has added more than 1,000 new points to sell its products since January.

The indoor greenhouse segment has been among the fastest-growing segments in food this year and has been a popular avenue for investors looking for a return on their money.

Its attractiveness is attached to the plenty of advantages that it offers compared to its outdoor counterparts.

With indoor greenhouses, one can grow and harvest produce all year round, including in areas of the country with a shorter growing season.

They also raise crops with less soil and water and can eschew chemicals.

In addition, the greenhouses can be situated close to where the products will eventually be sold — enabling the food to be fresher when it arrives and curtailing transportation costs and emissions.

According to a statement by Gotham Greens, the sector raised more than US$1 billion in 2020 alone.

Some of the firms that raised huge chunks of funds include  BrightFarms which  raised US$100 million, Revol Greens with US$68 million, and Plenty Unlimited which received US$140 million in funds.

Gotham Greens, which has greenhouses in New York, Rhode Island, Maryland, Colorado and Illinois, plans to use some of the money it is raising to boost its geographic expansion.

This includes adding markets in the West and South, as well as new facilities on the East Coast.

Consumer demand for produce and the sustainability concerns around growing, harvesting, packing, shipping and selling are unlikely to abate anytime soon and this trend makes indoor warehouses even more attractive.

The use of large greenhouses to provide tomatoes, lettuce and other produce is still in its infancy, and they supply only a small fraction of the market.

However, their operators plan to play a bigger role in the food ecosystem in the near future.

It’s a big reason why investors haven’t been shy about giving these upstarts large sums of money or high valuations.

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