Germany’s Infarm seeks investment into unique in-store horticulture

July 6, 2020
Potential new investment in German horticultural technology may bring produce even closer to the consumer - right in store.

The variety of concepts in terms of approaches to indoor and vertical farming is as broad as the number of cultivars one might grow in such applications. LED-based horticultural lighting remains the constant as farms vary in size, topology, structure, location, and more. Infarm based in Berlin, Germany is pursuing grow chambers that are placed directly in grocery stores in full view of the customers. The company had raised $100M (million) a year ago and is in the process of conducting a C-round of venture funding totaling $200M, according to the Financial Times. And the company has added a new outlook as to what locally grown might mean.

Super fresh produce with no transportation cost and no carbon emissions attributable to transportation seems like a sure bet. But the cost of operating horticultural lighting remains a financial challenge. We covered that ground in detail after our HortiCann Light + Tech Conference last year. Still, customers will pay a premium for better produce.

Previously, the narrowest geographical-based definition of locally grown that we had written about was at the Central Market in Dallas, TX. That premium grocer has a vertical farm housed in a shipping container located in the parking lot behind the store growing lettuces, other leafy greens, and herbs.

Infarm sees it business model as extending its fresh produce brand through expansion of the farms or chambers right in the public eye on the grocery aisle. The small farms can also be deployed in public view within restaurants. The company has deployed the AgTech products in hundreds of locations already in Europe and the US.

And there has been investment interest aplenty in horticulture. Early this year I wrote about the greenrush of money into cannabis growing, although that market seems to be saturated at this point. But we continue to write about investments in vegetable farming and into manufacturers of equipment for vertical farms. I’d expect that Infarm will get the investment they seek.

Investment is an exciting topic that is sure to be covered during this year's virtual HortiCann Light + Tech conference, which will take place over two days from Oct. 2021, 2020.

For up-to-the-minute LED and SSL updates, why not follow us on Twitter? You’ll find curated content and commentary, as well as information on industry events, webcasts, and surveys on our LinkedIn Company Page and our Facebook page.

About the Author

Maury Wright | Editor in Chief

Maury Wright is an electronics engineer turned technology journalist, who has focused specifically on the LED & Lighting industry for the past decade. Wright first wrote for LEDs Magazine as a contractor in 2010, and took over as Editor-in-Chief in 2012. He has broad experience in technology areas ranging from microprocessors to digital media to wireless networks that he gained over 30 years in the trade press. Wright has experience running global editorial operations, such as during his tenure as worldwide editorial director of EDN Magazine, and has been instrumental in launching publication websites going back to the earliest days of the Internet. Wright has won numerous industry awards, including multiple ASBPE national awards for B2B journalism excellence, and has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards. He received a BS in electrical engineering from Auburn University.