Bowery ready to introduce indoor farming to cities
NEW YORK — An indoor farming company plans to expand into cities throughout the United States, according to a company spokesperson.
Bowery Farm in December announced a Series B funding round of $90 million led by GV, a venture capital investment arm of Alphabet, Inc., that helps technology companies to launch and grow.
Investors also include venture capital and investment firms First Round Capital, GGV Capital, General Catalyst, Temesak, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and a food and hospitality technology investment fund known as Almanac Investments.
Bowery introduced its automated hydroponics growing system to the public inside of a Kearny, N.J., warehouse. The New York City-headquartered company grows spring lettuce from non-GMO seeds without pesticides.
The produce is grown vertically or in racks that save the horizontal agricultural space of traditional farming and under LED lighting.
Bowery’s proprietary BoweryOS software monitors plants and the variables that drive their growth, according to company spokesman Emily Drago.
The hydroponics system uses 95 percent less water than traditional agriculture, and growers monitor the process from seed to delivery and focuses on serving local customers.
Bowery Farm co-founder and CEO Irving Fain described Bowery produce as “post-organic” and “the next evolution,” according to a February 2018 Fortune Magazine report.
Existing customers include Whole Foods and Foragers Markets in Manhattan and Brooklyn and Craft and Temple Court restaurants affiliated with Bowery advisor Tom Colicchio, chef and owner of Crafted Hospitality.
Bowery intends to use its newly secured money to continue grow its team, invest in technology and innovation and focus on food safety, Drago noted in an e-mail.
“Now more than ever we need scalable solutions for an impending climate and food crisis, and we deeply believe in the power of technology to make drastic, necessary improvements to the food system,” Fain said in a prepared statement. “We’re thrilled that. … the entire GV team continue to be huge champions for Bowery’s expansion and recognize the opportunity to grow food for a better future.”
The Series B bonds bring Bowery’s venture capital raising efforts to $117.5 million, Drago said.
Bowery prior to this most recent round of bonds raised $27.5 million from the same venture capital and capital and investment firms as well as from similar entities such as BoxGroup, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, SV Angel, Flybridge, Homebrew, Red Swan, RRE Ventures and Urban Us.
Bowery investors also include Colicchio, Sweetgreen healthy salads and grain bowls co-founders Jonathan Neiman and Nicholas Jammet, Thrive Market online wholesale buying company co-founder and CEO Nick Green and Eos Energy Storage Chairman Jim Hughes, Drago said.
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