Friday, February 14, 2020

Four of The FoodTech 500’s Top 10 Are Vertical Farms

correction: had to change the headline when it was pointed out that there are four vertical farm co.'s in the top ten. Four.

Original post:
As noted in July 2019's "U.S. vertical farms are racing against the sun": These are not scrappy little startups, it's big, big money. 
From AgFunder, February 4:

Meet the FoodTech 500’s top 10 startups powering the food revolution
....The FoodTech 500’s Top 10

AeroFarms – the vertical farming group based out on New Jersey, US
TIPA Corp – the Israeli compostable packaging startup
Bowery Farming – the vertical farming startup out of New York
Agrivi – the Croatian farm management software startup
JIMINI’s – the edible insects company from Paris, France
Notpla – the UK-based seaweed and plant-based packaging startup
Agrilution – consumer-targeted vertical farming technology from Germany
Growing Underground – the London-based vertical farming startup
PicoBrew – at-home, automated coffee brewing from Seattle, US
Naio Technologies – the French ag-robotics startup


April 2019
"The Economics of Local Vertical and Greenhouse Farming Are Getting Competitive"
March 2019
Former Twitter CFO Joins SoftBank-Backed Farming Startup Plenty
March 8
K@W: "Why Venture Capital Likes Modular Farming"
December 2018
Citi: "How Innovation and Shifting Consumer Preferences Can Help Feed a Growing Planet"
A few notes up front.
1) You have to read past the buzzwords and buzz concepts. There is a lot of good information here but also a lot of hand-waving.

2) The situation is not yet dire. On the other hand, should the world experience two consecutive years of crop failures in any combination of the breadbaskets: northern China, American Midwest, Ukraine/western Russia then there is serious risk of famine.

3) This topic seems to bring out everyone's inner totalitarian and getting past that will be required if there is going to be agreement rather than insurrection.

4) Keep in mind this report was put together by a bank with something to sell. It might be loans, it might be green cred, it might be consulting services, it might be anticipating regulatory actions, it might be propaganda.
Take from it the ideas and data that support your priors and be open to the ideas which which don't.
December 2018
GV, Google’s Venture Capital Arm, Leads $90 Million Round For Indoor Farming Startup, Bowery
July 2018
Is Vertical Farming Really the Future of Agriculture?
January 2018
Bezos/SoftBank-Backed Indoor Farming Powerhouse Plenty Planning for 300 Farms in China
October 2017
Tesla's Former Battery Director Joins Farming Startup—UPDATED
December 2017
"This Is Why Jeff Bezos Is Spending Millions on an Indoor Farming Startup"
December 2017
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Europe’s Huge New Vertical Farm
December 2015
AeroFarms Raises $20 Million for High-Tech Urban Agriculture

The Other Musk: Overthrow Big Agriculture?
Mad Scientist Blog: "Three Futurist Urban Scenarios"
"This wearable vest grows a self-sustaining garden watered by your own urine"