Urban farming startup Infarm reaps $170 million in funding

FILE PHOTO: An indoor growing system of the urban farming start-up Infarm is seen at the company's showroom in Berlin, Germany, February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Urban farming startup Infarm said on Thursday that it had raised $170 million from investors that it will plough into expanding its network under cultivation in Europe, North America and Asia by 10 times over the next five years.

Berlin-based Infarm is a proponent of indoor ‘farming as a service’, which uses cloud-computing to managed the cultivation of produce that is grown close to consumers, minimising its environmental impact.

“This investment will help us make a truly global impact ... and ultimately change the way people grow, eat and think about food,” said Erez Galonska, Infarm’s co-founder and CEO of the seven-year-old business.

Infarm said its Series C investment round was led by LGT Lightstone and should reach $200 million by the time it closes. It brings total funding raised so far to $300 million.

Other investors in the first round included Hanaco, Bonnier, Haniel, and Latitude, along with existing backers Atomico, TriplePoint Capital, Mons Capital and Good Harvest.

Infarm has struck a total of $400 million in supply deals with major food retailers including Germany's Aldi Sued, Marks and Spencer MKS.L in Britain and Kroger KR.N in the United States.

It plans to expand its area under cultivation to 5 million square feet (465,000 square metres) by 2025, up from the 500,000 square feet it now runs in 10 countries, and add mushrooms, tomatoes and strawberries to the salad and herbs it now sells.

Galonska said Infarm aimed to turn a profit by 2023.

Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Kirsten Donovan