BrightFarms Secures $100 Million Series E Round of Funding to Expand High-Tech Indoor Farming Across the U.S.
IRVINGTON, NY - A hefty investment is coming down the pipeline for indoor grower BrightFarms as the company has secured more than $100 million in debt and new equity capital to support its robust expansion plans. The Series E round of funding was led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and includes a follow-on investment from growth equity firm Catalyst Investors. BrightFarms will use the funds to invest in its current farms and retail programs and expand its network of regional indoor farms across the U.S.
“Our goal over the next five years is to make quality, locally-grown greens a staple on grocery shelves and in refrigerators nationwide,” said Steve Platt, CEO of BrightFarms. “We are thrilled to have the strong financial backing of Cox Enterprises, an organization that closely aligns with our mission to build a healthier and more sustainable future, and to have the additional support of our long-term partners at Catalyst Investors. Together, we are ready to scale our model for local indoor farming in every major market in the U.S.”
BrightFarms has raised more than $200 million in funding to date to build one of the nation’s first brands of locally grown produce and has established close partnerships with leading retailers such as Ahold Delhaize, Kroger, and Walmart. According to a press release, BrightFarms currently distributes its products to more than 2,000 stores in the U.S. and expects to expand its distribution to more than 15,000 stores by 2025. The company has indoor farming operations in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, with three new farms currently under development in North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Texas.
BrightFarms is a leader in the rapidly growing indoor farming industry, a movement that seeks to disrupt the conventional produce industry by replacing the complex long-distance West Coast supply chain. Its growing methods use 80 percent less water, 90 percent less land, and 95 percent less shipping fuel than traditional agriculture. A BrightFarms indoor farm yields 10 times more leafy greens per acre when compared to growing in a field, the press release stated. By growing its produce closer to consumers, BrightFarms delivers fresh, pesticide-free, packaged greens to supermarkets in as little as 24 hours after harvest.
BrightFarms’ vision for next-generation agriculture—a sustainable, scalable, and disruptive model—closely aligns with the Cox Cleantech objectives and ethos.
“Cox Cleantech’s goal is to build meaningful businesses that solve fundamental problems facing society and our environment,” said Steve Bradley, Vice President of Cleantech for Cox Enterprises. “BrightFarms provides this opportunity through its sustainable model of growing food in the same communities where it’s consumed, resulting in food that’s fresher, safer, better tasting, and better for the environment.”
Curious to see how these expansion plans play out? Stay tuned as we at ANUK report.