NYC indoor farming startup raises $300M from high-profile investors

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A New York City-based startup is growing leafy salad greens indoors — and it just raised a bunch of cabbage from investors including Natalie Portman and Justin Timberlake.

Bowery Farming said Tuesday it had raised $300 million in a funding round that values its business at $2.3 billion. Alongside traditional venture capital backers, other notable investors include celebrity chef José Andrés, basketball player Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton. 

The Manhattan-based company converts industrial buildings like warehouses into “vertical farms” tended by automated equipment, a technique it says allows all its crops to be grown year-round regardless of weather conditions, outdoor pests and pollution. 

Named after 17th-century Dutch farmers who cultivated crops in lower Manhattan, Bowery Farming currently sells 13 types of greens at 850 stores including Whole Foods, Safeway and Walmart. The firm operates three farms in New Jersey and Maryland, stocking stores in the New York City and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas, with plans to expand. 

The series C funding round was led by Fidelity Management & Research and included follow-on investments from Google owner Alphabet’s venture capital arm, General Catalyst, GGV Capital and the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek. 

Founded in 2014, the company has now raised a total of $472 million. 

“This funding not only fuels our continued expansion but the ongoing development of our proprietary technology, which sits at the core of our business,” said the company’s founder and CEO Irving Fain. “We’re reinventing a new supply chain that’s simpler, safer, more sustainable and ultimately provides vibrantly flavorful produce unlike what’s available today.” 

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