Newark, N.J.-based AeroFarms, Inc., is looking to build more aeroponic vertical farms. To do so, they set out on a Series B round of venture funding and raised $20 million in the process, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports in its “Venture Capital Dispatch” blog. The farms are indoor, high-tech and require 95 percent less water than conventional farms.
Currently, AeroFarms grows its own arugula, kale and watercress, along with other leafy greens that it then sells. And a lot of it is technology-based. According to WSJ, equipment takes fertilizer to the roots of the plants, there are software-controlled LED lights for growth and the “company’s engineers and horticultural scientists also use cameras, sensors and algorithms to collect and analyze data about their crops. They know what tweaks can cause different seeds to grow into plants with certain attributes, like a more peppery flavor, for example, or a level of tenderness in a leaf.” Customers receive custom leafy greens without fungicides, herbicides, pesticides or even soil.
Additional aeroponic vertical farms will allow the company to provide even more produce to its customers. The top investors in the project include Wheatsheaf Group, GSR Ventures, MissionPoint Capital and Middleland Capital, WSJ reports.