Oishii raises $50 million in Series A funding

Oishii raises $50 million in Series A funding

The vertical farm currently focuses on strawberries, but has plans to expand into other crops.

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OPer a press release, Oishii announced the closing of $50 million in Series A funding led by SPARX Group’s Mirai Creation Fund II. The fund was established by Toyota Motor Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and SPARX. Existing Oishii investors include Sony Innovation Fund, PKSHA Technology, Social Starts, and several prominent angel investors.

Oishii operates what it says is the world’s largest vertical strawberry farm. The farm, located in Manhattan, is built using Japanese vertical farming methods and the berries themselves are grown using Japanese production methods.

Per the release, it plans to expand into other crops in the future and add more farms. Its berries are currently used in several high-end restaurants and sold at retailers such as Eli’s Market. Oishii’s most notable variety is the Omakase berry, “an artisanal Japanese varietal, unique for its sweetness, aroma, and creamy texture.”

“Our mission is to change the way we grow food. We set out to deliver exceptionally delicious and sustainable produce,” said Oishii CEO Hiroki Koga. “We started with the strawberry -- a fruit that routinely tops the dirty dozen of most pesticide-riddled crops -- as it has long been considered the ‘holy grail’ of vertical farming. We aim to be the largest strawberry producer in the world, and this capital allows us to bring the best-tasting, healthiest berry to everyone. From there, we’ll quickly expand into new fruits and produce.”

The company has raised a total of $55 million since its founding in 2016.