As indoor farming goes from fantasy to reality, Bowery Farming raised $20 million for its “post-organic” vertical farm from a group of investors, including General Catalyst, GGV Capital and GV (formerly Google Ventures), better known for betting on technology than on agriculture.
The new financing, announced this morning, brings Bowery’s total take to $27.5 million. The company declined to disclose valuation, but it’s clearly a big bet on something that for many years had been little more than a dream. “We are a tech company that is thinking about the future of food,” says Bowery’s co-founder and CEO Irving Fain.
Bowery’s indoor farming – its first farm is in a Kearny, N.J., warehouse – relies on proprietary computer software, LED lighting and robotics to grow leafy greens without pesticides and with 95 percent less water than traditional agriculture. By locating near cities, indoor farms, like Bowery’s, can also cut the transportation costs and environmental impact of getting food to an increasingly urban population. And by controlling its indoor environment, Bowery can produce its greens 365 days a year. The result: Bowery can produce 100 times more greens than a traditional outdoor farm occupying the same-sized footprint.