Dec 17, 2021 - Energy & Environment

New venture capital cash for indoor vertical farming

Illustration of a dinner set with a money sign made of lettuce leaves.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The Europe-based vertical farming startup Infarm has reeled in $200 million to fuel its expansion and entry into new markets.

Driving the news: The Series D round includes investment from Qatar's sovereign wealth fund. The company plans to enter Middle East markets, in addition to expanding in Asia, the U.S., Japan and Europe.

  • Plans include a "growing center" in Qatar in 2023 for tomatoes, strawberries, herbs and more.

Why it matters: Indoor, stacked farming holds the promise of more climate-friendly agriculture, avoiding land clearance and enabling food to travel shorter distances.

  • "Because crops are grown directly in cities, they ... require 90% fewer food miles to get to consumers’ plates," Infarm said.

The intrigue: Infarm says it's now valued at over $1 billion, which per TechCrunch makes it "Europe’s first vertical farming unicorn."

  • It provides 75 types of herbs, salads and leafy greens, and is expanding into dozens more products like peas and cherry tomatoes, the company said.

The big picture: Infarm's growth is part of a wider vertical farming expansion.

Go deeper: Indoor vertical farming grows up

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