Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

European-based vertical farming company Infarm announced a $200 million Series D this week. The round, led by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), follows last year’s increase of $170 million. It pushes the company’s total funding north of $600 million, while placing the “good” valuation north of $1 billion, earning it its place as Europe’s first vertical farming unicorn.

“Building a global agricultural network of our climate-resilient vertical farms is a core mission of Infarm, which is why we are excited to announce this latest round of funding,” said co-founder and CEO Erez Galonska in a release. “This strategic investment will support our rapid global expansion and strengthen our R&D to grow more types of crops close to consumers in Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East. It is another step towards our ambition to grow the entire fruit and vegetable basket in the near future and offer everyone premium products at affordable prices.”

Much of the funding will go to Infarm’s international expansion plans, targeting the US, Canada, Japan and other parts of Europe. The company will also expand into more Asia-Pacific markets and the Middle East.

QIA’s involvement in this round is undoubtedly a major driver in the latter. As part of the deal, the company announced plans for a breeding center in Qatar, which will grow tomatoes, strawberries and other fruits in the region. Fruit has been a big boost for many vertical farms as they want to go beyond the standard leafy greens and herbs that have long been their bread and butter, because of the relative ease with which they can be grown in controlled indoor environments.

“As a responsible long-term investor, QIA’s goal is to create value for future generations. We see vertical farming as a way to improve food security in every part of the world,” QIA’s Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud said in the same press release. “We look forward to working with Infarm to develop their first growth center in Qatar, which will contribute to Qatar’s own food security and economic diversification.”

Vertical farming certainly makes sense for the region, as it allows growers to grow crops in climate-controlled buildings, using much less water than standard farming. In 2018, Crop One announced a 130,000 square meter agricultural facility to open in the UAE. Of course, such concerns will certainly not be relegated to a single region in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *