An indoor farming startup is valued at $2.3 billion after a historic fundraising round as climate change concerns become more urgent

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Yesterday, Bowery Farming announced a $300 million fundraising round that included A-list investors like Natalie Portman, José Andrés, and Lewis Hamilton. Justin Timberlake also chipped in.

The startup, now valued at $2.3 billion, grows produce using indoor vertical farming setups. Its 13 varieties of greens are sold in 850 stores, and with its new funds it’ll build additional farms and expand into new crops including tomatoes, strawberries, and carrots.

Sci-fi farming is catching on

Climate change concerns and a renewed focus on the food supply chain have contributed to increased investor appetite for indoor farming. Last year, global VC investment in indoor farms tripled to almost $1.9 billion. 

Bowery’s deal is the biggest on record for the industry, but competitors have scored plenty of dough in recent months, including BrightFarms ($100 million last October), “Omakase” strawberry grower Oishii ($50 million in March), and AppHarvest, which SPAC‘d in February and is now worth $1.5 billion. 

Zoom out: The indoor farming sector is growing but is still just a wee seedling. In 2019, California grew nearly 4x more pounds of lettuce than all indoor-grown veggies across the country combined. 

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