Jan 25, 2022Plenty to sell complete farms directly to partners
South San Francisco, California-based Plenty Unlimited Inc., an indoor, vertical farming technology company that can grow clean produce year-round, anywhere in the world, announced Jan. 25 it has secured $400 million in a Series E financing round, what it called the largest investment to date for an indoor farming company.
The round, led by new investors One Madison Group and JS Capital, includes participation from strategic partner Walmart and existing investor SoftBank Vision Fund 1. The funds will support Plenty’s growth strategy, including leveraging its technology platform to sell multi-crop farms directly to partners. At closing of the investment, representatives of both One Madison Group and Walmart will join Plenty’s Board of Directors.
“The indoor farming sector is at an exciting inflection point, poised to reach its full potential as a new asset class that addresses the significant need to provide access to fresh, nutritious food year round, even in geographies where traditional farming is difficult,” said Omar Asali, chairman and CEO of One Madison Group. “Plenty has truly ‘cracked the code’ on the technology and economics of indoor farming. It has developed an innovative and scalable model that can deliver fresh, sustainable produce to retailers, growers and governments anywhere in the world.”
Plenty’s architecture is completely different from greenhouses and other indoor farms. Its vertical towers and intelligent platform make Plenty the only vertical farming company capable of growing multiple crops on one platform with consistently superior flavor and yields. While traditional farms and other indoor farming solutions battle the limits of space, crop variation, nature and yield, Plenty’s innovative, modular system makes it possible to scale farms to meet partner and consumer needs.
Plenty is using its robust IP portfolio to create a more sustainable model for agriculture that helps partners achieve their own environmental goals. Plenty’s vertical farms use just 1% of the land required by traditional farming while improving yields 150-350 times per acre. As more Plenty farms are deployed globally, transportation times will decrease, thereby reducing cost and environmental impact due to transportation, while enabling Plenty’s pesticide-free produce to stay fresher longer on store shelves and in customers’ homes.
“We are pleased to work with a strong group of investors who recognize how Plenty’s proprietary approach to building and selling farms delivers a scalable, cost-efficient pathway to bringing fresh, clean produce to market 365 days a year, anywhere in the world,” Arama Kukutai, Plenty CEO, said in a news release. “Having Walmart, as one of the world’s largest retailers, partner with us demonstrates the rising importance of indoor agriculture to the future of fresh and their belief in Plenty’s unique technology solution.”
In addition to this commitment, Plenty has also entered into a strategic commercial agreement with Walmart to lead a new category of fresh products and bring Plenty farms closer to Walmart customers to offer pesticide-free, sustainable produce year round. The partnership will begin by sourcing Plenty’s leafy greens from its Compton farm for all of Walmart’s California stores in 2022.
“As the global demand for clean and sustainable food continues to increase, indoor growing is an opportunity to provide fresh and nutritious produce that is good for the people and planet,” said Andrew Zloto, Director at SoftBank Investment Advisers and Plenty board member. “With support from leading retailers and growers and a new focus on selling farms directly to partners, we believe that Plenty is at a critical inflection point that will have a lasting impact on the entire
industry. We’ve been a long-term partner to Plenty and are delighted to continue to support them as they continue to innovate and rewrite the playbook for indoor growing.”
Citi served as the strategic advisor to Plenty for this transaction.
One Madison Group LLC is a permanent capital investment firm founded by Omar Asali, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Ranpak Holdings Corp. One Madison Group partners with management teams to invest in a very limited set of opportunities poised for exceptional growth. One Madison’s strategic partners include JS Capital (the family office of Jonathan Soros), Schusterman Family Investments, and Soros Capital.
Plenty’s headquarters are in South San Francisco, and the company operates what it described as the largest of its kind indoor plant science research facility in Laramie, Wyoming. Plenty is currently building what it described as the world’s highest-output, vertical, indoor farm in Compton, California.
For more information, visit www.plenty.ag.