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Fieldless Farms Completes $17.5 Million Series A For Facility Expansion
Discover this week's top 10 indoor vertical farming news.
Good morning readers, impressive funding rounds, new partnerships for developments, completion of facilities, and much more!
Here is this week’s Top 10 indoor vertical farming news:
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1- Fieldless Farms announced a $17.5 million Series Funding Round to expand their Cornwall (Ontario) Facility.
In a funding round led by Forage Capital Partners and including Farm Credit Canada (FCC) and BDC, the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs, Fieldless Farms, a controlled environment agriculture company launched in 2019, successfully raised $17.5 million in equity and debt to expand operations at its Cornwall facility by 10 times.
“Since launching across the Farm Boy chain in 2019 we’ve been propelled by the enthusiasm for our products. Canadians are hungry for better options and we can’t keep shelves stocked,” said Fieldless CEO, Jon Lomow in a press release. “Fieldless is directly addressing long, complicated and mostly foreign supply chains by offering products that are local and more sustainable, but most of all, that people fall in love with.”
“We really like Fieldless’ approach and what the company has been quietly and cost effectively building here in Canada,” said Jim Taylor, CEO of Forage Capital Partners. “We think the company is well positioned in the current economic climate for steady and significant growth.”
2- Eclo Raises €4.7M For High-Tech Circular Organic Mushroom Substrate Factory
Belgium-based Indoor Farming company, Eclo announced a successful raise of 4.7 million euros to build a high-tech 4,200 sqm factory in Villers-le-Bouillet in the province of Liège at the beginning of 2023. This will position Eclo as a key player in the exotic mushroom industry in Europe, with an annual production of 7,000 tons of mushroom substrate from recycled organic waste by 2026. Noshaq, Investsud Bois, GoGreen Capital, and private investors took part in this funding round. Operational support for this funding was provided by Ubiz.
Eclo has been working since 2016 to develop recipes that replace grains in exotic mushroom substrates – generally made from a wood base, grains, water, and mycelium – with organic waste from breweries and industrial bakeries. Located in the Cureghem Cellars in Brussels, the first professional facilities produced significant and encouraging results. The company’s operation is based on a short supply-chain strategy for raw materials, through partnerships with local businesses: Cantillon Brewery for spent beer grain, the Colruyt Group, and Bon Pain for organic bread.
Last year, the facilities in Anderlecht enabled Eclo to produce 330 tons of substrate while recycling 23 tons of brewery and bread waste. This production will increase with the closing of a Series A financing round of 4.7 million euros as announced by a recent press release. in which Noshaq, Investsud Bois, GoGreen Capital, and private investors participated in the installation of a high-tech 4,200 sqm factory in Villers-le-Bouillet in the province of Liège in early 2023.
3- Local Bounti Completes Georgia Facility
Local Bounti Corporation (NYSE: LOCL, LOCL WS), today announced the start of operations in its new innovative controlled environment agriculture (CEA) facility in Byron, Georgia.
“We are cementing our presence in the East Coast market with our new Georgia facility, providing Local Bounti with a bi-coastal presence that is able to service the growing demand for our products,” said Craig Hurlbert, Co-CEO of Local Bounti. “Local Bounti is quickly becoming one of the largest CEA companies in America. We have seen strong demand for our superior produce varieties that are grown sustainability with sunlight, use 90% less water and land, and last 3 to 5 times longer in your fridge than traditionally-grown leafy greens.”
According to the company’s statement, the addition of the new facility in central Georgia fortifies Local Bounti’s distribution with the ability to directly service 19 retail distribution centers within an approximate 400 mile radius of the facility. The East Coast presence enhances service to the Company’s customers and the approximately 10,000 retail locations that they operate across 35 U.S. states and Canadian provinces. Further, the facility will provide additional capacity to meet existing demand from the Company’s direct relationships with blue-chip retail customers, including Albertsons, Kroger, Target, and Walmart, as well as Whole Foods and AmazonFresh.
4- Urban Crop Solutions Expands in KSA
Urban Crop Solutions have sold its first ModuleX plant factory project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in an exciting new move into the Middle-east, a region with a particular climatic and strategic interest in indoor vertical farming. The agreement comes after Urban Crop Solutions successfully carried the customer through the primary phase of their well-defined customer journey. Having initially assessed the feasibility of the customer’s project, Urban Crop Solutions developed a plan that was given the seal of approval by all stakeholders, thus leading to the sale of the project.
The project is set to be developed in several phases. The initial phase of the project will consist of several ModuleX plant factories, airlock space, cold storage, an operations room, and a distribution area. With plans for expansion at later stages, the scalability of Urban Crop Solutions’ growth chambers and modules was a rather important consideration for the customer when selecting their supplier. With this sale, Urban Crop Solutions have therefore entered into a large-scale project which looks set to develop into a longer-term commercial partnership.
5- Food Index Increased by 1.0% in June
Driven by exponential energy prices, The Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers increased by 1.3% in June, after rising by 1.0% in May as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The energy index rose by 7.5 % over the month of June, representing half of all the items increase (The gasoline index rose by 11.2%).
The food index rose by 1.0% in June, as did the food at home index. The all items less food and energy index rose 5.9 percent over the last 12 months. The energy index rose 41.6 percent over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending April 1980. The food index increased 10.4 percent for the 12 months ending June, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending February 1981.
6- ONO Exponential Farming Expands To Americas With Cultivatd
ONO EXPONENTIAL FARMING Ltd. develops ground-breaking technologies to transform the farming and agritech industry. Becoming the first company to develop a “Seed-To-Pack” platform based on patented hydroponic cultivation systems. Using AI algorithms in their process, enables, according to the company, a secured system. Driven by the desire, to create a fully traceable “better than organic” farming opportunity worldwide, applying circular economy principles to eliminate waste, pollution, and decrease water usage, the company represents the convergence of IT, AI, Engineering & Biotech.
7- Light Science Technologies (LON:LST) strengthens its UoN partnership
Light Science Technologies (LST) has further strengthened its academic ties with the addition of further expertise and new equipment from the University of Nottingham (UoN) to develop its AgTech capabilities. Kellie Smith, a PhD student from the university, has joined the team on a three-month placement at its purpose-built, state-of-the-art lab facilities to help shape the perfect plant recipe for indoor farmers and growers.
Touching upon her current experience with duckweed, Kellie explained: “By controlling nutrients, lighting and temperature, we can see how these affect plants and which elements we can alter to maximise growth. These experiments also help us determine which varieties would make for a good food source.”
8- Agrify (NASDAQ:AGFY) Strengthens Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team
Agrify Corporation (Nasdaq:AGFY), announced a number of leadership changes to further support the Company’s growth initiatives.
Max Holtzman, who currently serves as Operations Director at Ocean 14 Capital, and who previously served as the Senior Advisor to the United States Secretary of Agriculture, has been appointed to Agrify’s Board of Directors as an Independent Director.
Stuart Wilcox, who is the former Chief Operating Officer of Curaleaf, a leading medical and wellness cannabis operator in the United States, and who, prior to this announcement, served as an Independent Director on Agrify’s Board of Directors and Chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, has been named the Company’s Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Wilcox stepped down from the Agrify Board as a Director concurrently with his appointment as Chief Operating Officer.
Chris Benyo, who joined Agrify in January 2022 and most recently served as Senior Vice President and General Manager for Agrify’s Extraction Division, has been promoted to the newly created role of Chief Revenue Officer in which he will oversee all of the Company’s revenue streams and growth efforts.
Thomas Massie, the Company’s former President and Chief Operating Officer, has departed Agrify and resigned from the Agrify Board of Directors in order to pursue other business opportunities.
9- Hort Americas Donates to AppHarvest Foundation To expand AgTech Education
Leading commercial horticultural supplier, Hort Americas, has donated $10,000 to the AppHarvest Foundation to support its AgTech education program that introduces high school students to controlled environment agriculture (CEA) to help grow the next generation of Farmers + Futurists by teaching entrepreneurship and high-tech agriculture in hydroponic farm classrooms.
“We’re thankful to Hort Americas for supporting the development of a regional ecosystem with this AgTech Education Program investment for our communities, neighbors, and youth in Central Appalachia,” said AppHarvest Foundation Director and AppHarvest Vice President of Community Amy Samples. “Hort Americas was an early supporter of the AgTech Education Program first by donating horticultural lights for the high-tech mobile greenhouse and now with a contribution to the AppHarvest Foundation. Their support of education and workforce development in this rapidly expanding sector benefits both youth and their local communities.”