Plenty, a San Francisco, CA-based agtech company, raised $200m in Series B financing.
The round was led by the SoftBank Vision Fund with participation from affiliates of Moore Capital Management founder Louis M. Bacon as well as existing investors Innovation Endeavors, Bezos Expeditions, DCM, Data Collective and Finistere. In connection with the investment in Plenty, the SoftBank Vision Fund’s Managing Director, Jeffrey Housenbold, will join the Plenty Board of Directors.
The company intends to use the funds to build out and scale operations.
Led by Matt Barnard, Plenty aims to bring local produce to people and communities by growing fresh fruits and vegetables using less water, land, and none of the pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or GMOs of conventional agriculture in field-scale indoor farms that combine agriculture and crop science with machine learning, IoT, big data, climate creation technology and flavor and nutritional profiles of heirloom seed stock.
THE PRESS RELEASE
Plenty Attracts Largest-Ever Agriculture Technology Investment Led by the SoftBank Vision Fund to Solve Global Fresh Produce Shortages
Investment will drive deployment of global, large-scale indoor farm network to deliver radically fresher, affordable food to local communities everywhere
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 19, 2017 — Plenty, the leading field-scale indoor farming company remaking the global food system, announced today a $200 million Series B funding round led by the SoftBank Vision Fund, making it the largest agriculture technology investment in history. In connection with the investment in Plenty, the SoftBank Vision Fund’s Managing Director, Jeffrey Housenbold, will join the Plenty Board of Directors.
Plenty is using proven plant science and patented technologies to build a new kind of indoor farm that uses cutting-edge LED lighting, micro-sensor technology, and big data processing to deliver higher-quality produce for pricing as good or better than what consumers pay today. The world has run out of economically viable, arable land for many fresh fruit and vegetable crops. This investment will support building out Plenty’s global, hyper-yield farm network and support its mission of solving the increasingly critical need to make fresh produce available and affordable for people everywhere.
“Fruits and vegetables grown conventionally spend days, weeks, and thousands of miles on freeways and in storage, keeping us all from what we crave and deserve — food as irresistible and nutritious as what we used to eat out of our grandparents’ gardens,” said Matt Barnard, CEO and co-founder of Plenty. “The world is out of land in the places it’s most economical to grow these crops. After a decade of development driven by one of our founders, our technology is uniquely capable of growing super clean food with no pesticides nor GMOs while cutting water consumption by 99 percent, making locally-grown produce possible anywhere. We’re now ready to build out our farm network and serve communities around the globe.”
“By combining technology with optimal agriculture methods, Plenty is working to make ultra-fresh, nutrient-rich food accessible to everyone in an always-local way that minimizes wastage from transport,” said Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group Corp. “We believe that Plenty’s team will remake the current food system to improve people’s quality of life.”
Plenty’s farms, which the Company plans to build near the world’s major population centers, will deliver industry-leading yields of the freshest, best-tasting local produce that’s completely GMO- and pesticide-free, all while transitioning agriculture to a predictable and perpetual model. Plenty farms maintain a perfect growing environment, use one percent of the water and a tiny fraction of the land of conventional agriculture, while delivering produce to local grocery shelves within hours of harvest.
The Series B funding round was led by the SoftBank Vision Fund, with participation from affiliates of Louis M. Bacon, the founder of Moore Capital Management, LP, and existing investors including, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Bezos Expeditions, DCM, Data Collective, and Finistere.
Plenty is a new kind of farm for a new kind of world. We’re on a mission to bring local produce to people and communities everywhere by growing the freshest, best-tasting fruits and vegetables while using one percent of the water, less than one percent of the land, and none of the pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or GMOs of conventional agriculture. Our field-scale indoor farms combine the best in American agriculture and crop science with machine learning, IoT, big data, climate creation technology and the extraordinary flavor and nutritional profiles of heirloom seed stock, enabling us to grow the food nature intended — while minimizing our water and energy footprint. Based in San Francisco, Plenty is currently building out and scaling its operations to serve people around the world.