Vertical farming company Bowery has closed a $90 million fundraising round, allowing it to grow even more produce in the middle of New York City and beyond.
Google Ventures led the round, which was also participated in by Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. First Round Capital, General Catalyst, GGV Capital, and Temasek also participated in the round, which follows the $27.5 million the business raised in June; the total amount raised by Bowery now stands at $117.5 million.
Founded in 2017, Bowery intends to revolutionize the agriculture industry. The company currently has two vertical farms in New York, but thanks to the new funding, in 2019, it plans to open two more, in cities that are currently unnamed. It also hopes to advance the existing company tech and innovation with the funding.
According to Bowery, indoor vertical farms provide a solution to impending water scarcity and don’t require the use of harmful pesticides. The vertical farms are unaffected by the weather or season changes, and they allow scientists to closely monitor the crop-growing process, enabling them to give the plants no more than exactly what they need. Bowery currently grows crops such as baby kale, arugula, and butterhead lettuce and supplies them to vegan-friendly restaurant chain Sweetgreen and Whole Foods stores.
Bowery’s CEO Irving Fain said, “We’re growing post-organic produce, it’s the next evolution. It’s a better product for us and better way of growing and less destructive to the earth, we’re using technology to grow the purest food possible.” He continued, “At Bowery, we’re re-thinking what agriculture looks like in a world where water is scarce, people live in cities, and we’re waking up to the dangers of pesticides and other chemicals.”
As populations rise around the world and climate change looms, the need for indoor vertical farming facilities is growing. Companies are striving to minimize their carbon footprint by purchasing sustainable produce from farms that are close by.
Bowery isn’t alone in satisfying this demand, indoor farming company Farm.One based underneath a New York Michelin-starred restaurant delivers its produce to the best eateries in the city via bike or subway.
In Las Vegas, Oasis Biotech recently set up its first indoor vertical farm, and in August, Plenty attended its first-ever event, Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco, selling its vertically grown kale and arugula.