Soli Organic™ Announces $120 Million Financing Arrangement; Matt Ryan and Scott Goodman Comment
ROCKINGHAM, VA - A major change has taken place in the leafy greens sector as controlled environment agriculture (CEA) company Shenandoah Growers takes the spotlight with a new name and new funding. Now operating as Soli Organic™, the company is delivering 100 percent USDA-certified organic produce to more than 20,000 retail stores nationwide with a $120 million financing arrangement backed by leading real estate development firm Decennial Group.
“Through our proprietary soil-based, organic, indoor production system, Soli Organic is the first company to unlock the full value of controlled environment agriculture, including considerable cost savings and environmental benefits. Support from Decennial Group and equity partners enables Soli Organic to further scale and share those benefits with more retail customers and more consumers in more geographies,” said Matt Ryan, Chief Executive Officer of Soli Organic. “As a result, Soli Organic is well-positioned to continue to build on our strong legacy of financial and market performance, execute against our growth plan, and deliver differentiated organic products that meet existing and future customer demand.”
Launching with a new corporate name and brand, product branding will begin to convert to Soli Organic on select product lines in Spring 2022. Soli Organic derives its name from the Latin word for soil and reflects the pivotal role of soil in enabling the company’s mission to make low-cost, high-quality, organic produce grown nearby available to everyone. The arrangement with Decennial Group is one of the largest of its kind for a controlled environment agriculture company to date.
The company’s proprietary, soil-based controlled environment system enables it to deliver on the full promise of indoor agriculture. Its use of soil has enabled Soli Organic to achieve very low unit costs for organic produce, rivaling most outdoor field production and considerably lower than any other indoor and non-organic agriculture company, noted the release. Its organic production system, water- and energy-efficient technologies, and strategic farm locations support a best-in-class sustainability profile.
“Working with Soli Organic aligns perfectly with the Decennial Group core mission to add value for best-in-class operating companies seeking an optimized real estate investment and development solution,” said Scott Goodman, Decennial Group Managing Partner. “We could not be prouder of this arrangement with Soli Organic, which we believe will support the company’s mission-critical real estate needs in a way that is effective, efficient, and highly scalable while maximizing social impact.”
According to the release, the arrangement with Decennial Group is a key component of the company’s strategy to further expand production capacity to meet growing demand. The company intends to build eight new farms, in addition to its seven farms in operation today. Additionally, the financing will support the construction of three of the eight planned facilities. Each 100,000-square-foot facility will have an annual production capacity of five million pounds. Soli Organic recently broke ground on the first facility financed through Decennial Group, which is located in Anderson County, South Carolina, and is anticipated to be operational by Q2 2022.
As part of its growth strategy, the company has made a series of recent strategic hires to its Executive Leadership Team (ELT), including former Starbucks executive Matt Ryan as Chief Executive Officer; former Postmates Senior Vice President Mike Buckley as Chief Financial Officer; former Walmart executive Cameron Geiger as Chief Operating Officer; and leading plant biology and lighting expert Dr. Tessa Pocock as Chief Science Officer. They join longstanding ELT members President Philip Karp, Chief Customer Officer Steven Wright, and Chief Technology Officer Ulf Jönsson.
The company’s success for over more than three decades has attracted a total of $125 million from a growing coalition of strategic food and ag tech- and environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-focused investors. Recently added equity partners include Cascade Investment and Alexandria Venture Investments. Existing investors also include Advantage Capital Partners, Arborview Capital, DNS Capital, Middleland Capital, S2G Ventures, Skyline Global Partners, and XPV Water Partners.
Exciting times are ahead for this ag innovator, so stay up to date with ANUK.