Image credit: AppHarvest

BRIEF: AppHarvest completes SPAC merger to go public at $1bn+ valuation

February 2, 2021

  • Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) startup AppHarvest has gone public after completing a reverse merger with Novus Capital, a NASDAQ-traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
  • The Kentucky-based indoor farming firm’s shares began trading on New York’s NASDAQ on February 1 under the ‘APPH’ ticker.
  • AppHarvest’s stock price soared 44% on the company’s debut, according to MarketWatch.

Why it matters:

As a result of the merger transaction AppHarvest has raised close to $475 million, including a $375 million injection from new and existing investors such as Fidelity Investments, Inclusive Capital, and Novus that reportedly values the company at more than $1 billion.

Of this amount, $435 million is “unrestricted cash” which AppHarvest will use to fund its operations, support its growth, and build additional tech-enabled indoor farms, a company spokesperson told AFN.

Last month, AppHarvest’s flagship facility in Morehead, Kentucky, began its first shipments of beefsteak tomatoes to retailers including Kroger, Walmart, Meijer, Food City, and Publix. The 60-acre CEA farm reportedly uses 90% less water than traditional open-field farming and is expected to produce 45 million pounds of non-GMO tomatoes each year.

The company plans to establish 12 more CEA farms by 2025, and has already begun constructing two more facilities in Kentucky – one of which will focus on growing leafy greens.

AppHarvest is apparently the first CEA tech company to go public in the US, and is one of just a handful of agrifoodtech startup IPOs to date.


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