AppHarvest Secures Large Funding From USDA & Reports Q2 Earnings, Beating GAAP EPS But Missing On Revenue Estimates

Discover 10 things to know regarding the indoor, vertical and urban farming sector this week!

closeup photography of plant on ground

Good morning readers, publicly-listed companies reporting their quarterly results, new funding from governmental organizations, new partnerships inked by companies, and much more!

Here is this week’s 10 things to know regarding the indoor, vertical, and urban farming sector!

AppHarvest, Inc. (NASDAQ:APPH, APPHW) said it secured a $50 million across two loans guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through Greater Commercial Lending (GCL), a subsidiary of Greater Nevada Credit Union. The financing supports AppHarvest’s high-tech indoor berry farm in Somerset, Kentucky, which is about 84% complete and expected to be operational by year-end.

“Securing non-dilutive sources of capital to fund our growth has been a top priority since going public early last year, and I’m pleased with our team’s ability to source lower-cost funding in a higher-cost lending environment,” said AppHarvest President David Lee. “This funding agreement with the USDA allows us to continue to scale operations as we plan to bring the Somerset farm and two additional CEA (controlled environment agriculture) facilities online before the end of the year, which would quadruple our farm network and diversify our product portfolio to include berries and salad greens.”

The company also announced its quarterly results for Q2 2022 outlining the following:

  • The company achieves net sales of $4.4 million on 6.0 million pounds of tomatoes sold in Q2 2022, a 39% YoY increase but misses by $1.74 million on estimates

  • During AppHarvest Q2 secures $50 million USDA-backed loan, one of the largest ever supporting controlled environment agriculture (CEA)

  • The company confirms no damage to facilities from recent flooding in Eastern Kentucky

  • The company expects to be closer to the lower end of its guidance range and tightened its full-year 2022 net sales outlook to $20 to $25 million.

  • Since the announcement, the share price has lost $0.37 in pre-market trading (-9.18%)

  • AppHarvest continues to make progress on its plans with Mastronardi Produce Ltd. to explore a FarmCo joint venture under which AppHarvest could benefit from a broader national footprint and additional network scale.

Spread Co., Ltd. has secured approx. $30 million (4 billion yen) in Series A round from multiple business companies and angel investors in what the company considers, the largest-ever single fundraising in the Japanese food tech ecosystem. As per the company’s press release, the funding will serve to finance the research and development of strawberry production, alternative meat, and its worldwide business development.

Currently Spread works towards its 2030 goal of 100 tons of lettuce daily production domestically. To answer the world’s growing needs for food supply, Spread is widening its product range by working on fruits and alternative meat, and is looking to expand globally in the future. The ultimate goal is a “Global Food Infrastructure”, where all people are free from food anxiety.

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Kalera, released its most recent Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, highlighting the company’s sustainability framework, past year achievements, and its vision for 2030.

“Kalera’s first-ever ESG Report illustrates our foundation rooted in sustainability and equity,” said Jim Leighton, President and CEO of Kalera. “We strive to operate at the cutting-edge of sustainable agriculture and contribute to the mitigation of global issues surrounding food security.”

Kalera’s eyes are set on several targets for 2030, including becoming carbon neutral. The company additionally plans to further reduce water usage, transition to biodegradable grow media, use only widely recyclable packaging materials, and eliminate landfilling of organic waste.

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) and Emirates Development Bank (EDB), the key financial engine of the UAE’s economic diversification and industrial transformation agenda, announced in a recent press release the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a scheme and offer financial solutions to state-of-the-art agricultural SMEs and start-ups in the objective to contribute to the country’s economic development and food security program.

The agreement was signed by Mohammed Mousa Alameeri, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Food Diversity Sector at the Ministry, and Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, CEO of EDB. The MoU aligns with the ministry’s endeavors to scale up local agricultural production to increase the sector’s role in strengthening the country’s food security.

Fusion Farms announced recently the signing of a Letter of Intent with a leading family office, i3 Acquisitions, LLC. Beyond creating tools to help foster food sovereignty on the Island of Puerto Rico, Fusion Farms is innovating with pioneering AgTech Solutions that are helping scale indoor vertical farming beyond Puerto Rico into CDC-designated food deserts like Cumberland City, Tennessee.

Fusion Farms announced that it is celebrating the signing of its first LOI outside of Puerto Rico for a commercial-scale expansion facility of 54,000 square feet within a 10-acre property currently owned by Houston County, Tennessee.

Billa Plus, an Austrian supermarket chain that operates in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe has recently partnered with Vertical Field, an Israeli Ag-Tech designing modular indoor/ vertical farms. Originally established in 2006, the company designed integrated vertical platforms for the indoor and outdoor smart landscaping sector and quickly grew to international success.

The supermarket chain has initiated the growing process using Vertical Field’s landmark containers to sell them in their supermarket after harvest. With the possibility to grow up to 3,000 crops per month, the vertical farming container will initially produce parsley, basil, coriander, oak leaf lettuce, and lotto lettuce.

On Tuesday, July 26, 2022, members of the HSWT met with representatives of the company Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) in the Salettl at the Hofgarten Weihenstephan to cooperate. As one of the world’s leading Agritech companies, IGS supplies cutting-edge technology in the field of vertical farming. The partnership sets strategically important groundwork in order to position the university as the point of contact in Bavaria for this innovative field of research.

Agricultural technology company, Innovation Agri-Tech Group ('IAG'), announced it is further cementing its relationship with the University of Essex, as the university receives a major funding boost from The Wolfson Foundation, to continue its world-leading plant productivity research.

The Wolfson Foundation, an independent grant-making charity, has pledged ÂŁ1 million to support the development of a unique Smart Technology Experimental Plant Suite (STEPS) at Essex's Colchester Campus to future-proof crop production in a changing and challenging world. With one of the longest established whole plant physiology and photosynthesis groups in the UK, Essex has long been at the forefront of plant productivity research.

A 70% drop in river levels. Farmers pumping more than 30% water. This, just before an unprecedented 40C heatwave reduced houses to smouldering ash. It smacks of a future world when in fact, this is 2022 in the UK. As the heatwave is set to return later this month to Britain and Europe, record-breaking hot temperatures look set to become an annual occurrence, causing more drought and wreaking havoc on crops.

Droughts pose one of the biggest threats to sustainable development. Since 2000, the number and duration of droughts has risen 29%, with an estimated 55 million people globally directly affected by droughts each year. All alarming statistics, by any stretch.

And before you think this won’t affect the wetter, cooler isles of the UK, think again. According to the United Nations, no country is immune to drought, as this summer here is proving. By 2050, droughts have the potential to affect over three-quarters of the world’s population. In fact, the UN has warned that drought is a hidden global crisis that risks becoming “the next pandemic”.

The impact of drought has immense power to not just create major disruption to the global food supply chain but accelerate world hunger. So could indoor farming be the saviour?

Sibannac, Inc. (OTC Pink: SNNC) officialized in a press release, its intent in acquiring SPUR Biotech, LLC, an Ohio-based developer of plant-based vaccines. Spur is already an existing marketing client of Sibannac’s Campus, its technology incubator. The Campus was created to attract clients with the aim of providing mentoring and manufacturing services and choosing a select group to pursue merger or acquisition opportunities.

SPUR is a biotechnology company developing plant-based vaccines using Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) to sustainably grow leafy greens and biopharmaceuticals. The vaccine under development is derived from lettuce, which is ideal for bio-reactive products. The companies previously executed an agreement wherein Sibananc, through the Campus platform, would create the market positioning for Spur’s plant-based vaccines, currently in development. The Company has monitored Spur’s progress, consistent with the Campus’ strategy to identify new technology and design a market approach, including funding, to bring new products, like Spur’s proprietary vaccine, to market.

GroGrace's New Urban Vertical Farm Can Produce 33 Tonnes of Leafy Greens Each Year

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