Inside Hippo Harvest's $21M Boost, FreezeM's Agri-tech Breakthrough, and NatureSweet's Expansion in Arizona

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This Week in Indoor Farming: Inside Hippo Harvest's $21M Boost, FreezeM's Agri-tech Breakthrough, and NatureSweet's Expansion in Arizona

Hippo Harvest has successfully secured a $21M Series B funding round led by Standard Investments, with contributions from notable entities such as Congruent Ventures, Amazon's Climate Pledge Fund, Hawthorne Food Ventures, and Energy Impact Partners. This substantial financial injection is earmarked for scaling up Hippo Harvest's greenhouse operations and broadening its product range, especially in the domain of leafy greens. By leveraging state-of-the-art controlled environment agriculture technologies, including machine learning and autonomous robotics, the company aims to revolutionize greenhouse productivity, making it more efficient and sustainable than traditional farming methods.

Hippo Harvest, established in 2019 and based in Pescadero, CA, is committed to redefining agricultural practices through technological innovation and sustainability. Its operational strategy involves a blend of closed-loop, non-recirculating direct-to-root fertilizer systems, advanced data analytics, and robotic automation to fine-tune production environments. This approach not only enhances the quality and safety of the produce but also significantly reduces the environmental footprint of farming, aligning with Hippo Harvest's goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 as part of its commitment to The Climate Pledge. With its products already available in select markets and online platforms, the latest funding round sets the stage for Hippo Harvest to expand its reach and influence in creating a more sustainable and efficient food system.

FreezeM has successfully secured a $14.2 million Series A funding round, spearheaded by the European Innovation Council Fund (EIC Fund) and supported by existing partners. This significant financial backing underscores the market's confidence in FreezeM's innovative breeding solution, PauseM®, designed to revolutionize Black Soldier Fly (BSF) breeding. PauseM® promises to substantially increase protein yield and production efficiency, crucial for the livestock and pet food industries. With ambitions to expand its breeding hubs and commercialize its solutions, FreezeM aims to tap into a burgeoning market estimated to reach $3.96 billion by 2033, focusing on growth in Europe and Israel. This venture not only highlights FreezeM's pivotal role in promoting a circular economy but also its commitment to reducing operational costs and conserving environmental resources through sustainable food production methods.

FreezeM's PauseM® product emerges as a game-changing solution, offering 'paused' BSF neonates that significantly streamline the breeding phase from rearing and processing, marking an industry first in decoupling BSF protein production. This innovation not only enhances the efficiency and scalability of insect protein production but also aims to make sustainable food sources more widely available, driving the global shift towards more sustainable and efficient food systems. With the Series A funding, FreezeM is set to expand its technological and market footprint globally, reinforcing its commitment to leading a sustainable transformation in the insect protein industry.

NatureSweet's launch of a new greenhouse facility in Bonita, Arizona, marks a significant expansion for the leading snacking tomato brand, promising a notable boost to the local economy and agricultural sector. This strategic move is expected to create around 250 jobs within three years and involves an investment exceeding $5 million, reflecting the company's commitment to innovation, collaboration, and growth in the state. The facility, covering over 44 acres, will start with D’Vines cherry tomatoes, planning to broaden its product range to include various conventional and organic vegetables. The project has garnered support from Arizona's officials, including Governor Katie Hobbs and Congressman Juan Ciscomani, who acknowledge its potential to enhance the state's agricultural industry and contribute positively to the local economy and job market. NatureSweet's decision to expand in Arizona aligns with its vision of leveraging the state's dynamic environment for sustainable growth and success in the agricultural domain.

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