Image credit: Plenty

Plenty raises $400m from Walmart, others in vertical farming’s largest funding to date

January 25, 2022

  • US-based Plenty has secured $400 million in Series E funding in what is the largest investment round to date for a vertical farming company.
  • New investors One Madison Group and JS Capital led the round. Existing investor Softbank Vision Fund 1 and new strategic partner Walmart also participated. 
  • Walmart’s investment into Plenty is part of a larger partnership that will see the retail giant sell Plenty’s greens in its California stores later this year, according to an announcement.

Why it matters

Plenty has now raised just shy of $1 billion but has been pretty quiet since its Series D round in October 2020 when berry grower Driscoll’s invested alongside SoftBank with the intention of expanding its product line into strawberries.

While Plenty still sells only leafy greens, its newly-appointed CEO Arama Kukutai told CNBC he expects the company to offer strawberries and tomatoes next year. He also said Plenty intends to expand operations to the US East Coast from its current two farms in California and research center in Wyoming. Previous efforts to expand to other states were shelved in 2019, around the same time former employees suggested leadership had sometimes exaggerated the company’s capabilities. Plans to expand overseas, prioritizing Japan given SoftBank’s investment in 2017, also did not materialize.

Besides the new deal with Walmart, the company has partnerships with supermarket chain Albertsons and e-grocer Good Eggs.

With Kukutai at the helm, and a new strategic partner in Walmart, perhaps Plenty is turning a corner and transforming some of its claims into realities.

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