New VC cash for indoor vertical farming

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

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.

Axios’ Bryan Walsh explored it earlier this year in a piece that also notes the challenge of curbing energy needed for indoor growing.


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