Infarm - Supermarket farms
Infarm has become Europe's first vertical farming unicorn
You might have seen one of the 19 Infarms in London stores such as Selfridges, Wholefoods and M&S - each growing fresh produce on site for customers.
We love the Infarm concept so we were excited to see Infarm has become Europe's first vertical farming unicorn after its recent $200 million Series D funding round pushed its valuation over $1 billion.
The Qatar Investment Authority led this latest funding round and as part of the deal, Infarm is planning a Qatar grow centre focussing on tomatoes, strawberries and other fruit, not just leafy greens and herbs which are traditionally grown in controlled indoor farms.
Infarm was founded in 2013. Its 3 founders moved from Tel Aviv to Berlin to take advantage of the thriving startup community. They have installed over 500 hydroponic vertical farms into supermarkets and distribution centers around the world. They grow 200,000 plants every month and analyse the data from the farms to ensure they can control the farm environments to maximise growing conditions.
According to the Infarm website, their vertical farms use 95% less water than soil based farming, take up 0.5% of the space, use zero chemical pesticides, need 90% less transportation and 75% less fertiliser. "Our farms are "climate machines” They each have their own unique climate perfected for whichever crop it’s hosting. This means we can grow anything, anywhere… which we think is pretty cool. We’re able to watch over all our plant babies with our ‘farmer in the cloud’, which picks up-to-the-minute data about how they respond to the slightest changes in their environment. By using this data, we constantly improve our growing recipes and grow better, tastier plants while drastically reducing our natural resource use, too.
Infarm are in many supermarkets around the world, like M&S in Clapham Junction and Metro stores in Germany, and they are preparing to roll out their farms to supermarkets across Japan and US.
Their business model is built on technology and software sales, not just growing greens and now fruit. “Building a global farming network of our climate-resilient vertical farms is a core mission at Infarm” co-founder and CEO Erez Galonska said in a release. “ It’s another step towards meeting our ambition of growing the entire fruit and vegetable basket in the near future, providing premium products at affordable prices to everyone.”