PodPonics, an Atlanta-based hydroponic grower of produce, closed a $3.4 million Series A. The lead investor was New Ground Ventures, and the raise brings the company’s total fundraising $7.3 million.
“We’ve changed our market strategy significantly and aggressively entered the retail grocery space with our ready-to-eat salad mixes,” spokesman John Davidson said. The company previously was focused on smaller buyers, such as local restaurants and smaller retailers. But now, they’re changing their game. “Our “Lettuce Buy Local” branded products are now sold in hundreds of grocery stores around the Southeast (Whole Foods, Kroger, The Fresh Market), and this Series A is to expand our capabilities and push towards other markets in the East Coast.”
PodPonics uses uses recycled water, doesn’t require pesticides and grows more food per acre than the traditional farm by using proprietary lighting, proper irrigation and nutrient technology. The company is currently running an 11-acre farm in Atlanta, and just in April, opened a farm in Dubai. BizJournals reported they will announce international customer deals by the end of 2014.
Not only are they expanding where they’ll be, but also, what they’ll be growing. For now, PodPonics’ main green is lettuce, but VP Connor Seabrook said they’ll soon be expanding to other produce.
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They also have said they’re seeking other energy sources to grow the goods. According to PodPonics’ website, they’re currently using electricity from the grid, but are looking for alternative energy sources like solar and biomass, and will start using these once they’re “available and economically viable.” They’re hoping to be green, and clean.
“From the start, we also wanted to grow produce in a more sustainable, responsible way,” the site says. “By growing locally at or near the point of consumption, we are able to virtually eliminate the need for transport and the associated consumption of oil and emissions. This is huge, since most lettuce sold in our country comes from California and travels an average of 2,000 miles by truck to get to the consumer…. So, while traditional agriculture is heavily dependent on oil – most of it coming from foreign sources – and will continue this reliance for the foreseeable future, PodPonics is ready to support a domestic clean-energy future today.”
FEATURED PHOTO: PodPonics.com