[BERLIN] Urban farming startup Infarm said on Thursday that it had raised US$170 million from investors that it will plough into expanding its network under cultivation in Europe, North America and Asia by 10 times over the next five years.
Berlin-based Infarm is a proponent of indoor "farming as a service", which uses cloud-computing to managed the cultivation of produce that is grown close to consumers, minimising its environmental impact.
"This investment will help us make a truly global impact... and ultimately change the way people grow, eat and think about food," said Erez Galonska, Infarm's co-founder and chief executive officer of the seven-year-old business.
Infarm said its Series C investment round was led by LGT Lightstone and should reach US$200 million by the time it closes.
It brings total funding raised so far to US$300 million.
Other investors in the first round included Hanaco, Bonnier, Haniel and Latitude, along with existing backers Atomico, TriplePoint Capital, Mons Capital and Good Harvest.
Infarm has struck a total of US$400 million in supply deals with major food retailers including Germany's Aldi Sued, Marks and Spencer in Britain and Kroger in the US.
It plans to expand its area under cultivation to five million square feet (465,000 square metres) by 2025, up from the 500,000 sq ft it now runs in 10 countries, and add mushrooms, tomatoes and strawberries to the salad and herbs it now sells.
Mr Galonska said Infarm aimed to turn a profit by 2023.