Forbes List of Innovative Ag-Tech Companies Includes Greenhouse Producers
Forbes magazine recently posted a list of the 25 most innovative ag-tech startups in 2018, which includes a few companies involved in greenhouse plant production.
To compile the list, Forbes editors surveyed the agricultural technology landscape by speaking with experts, venture capitalists, and accelerators. Then they examined financials and each company’s agricultural credentials, with help from Seana Day at the Mixing Bowl, who did comprehensive research on the ag-tech environment.
“In 2017, ag-tech funding through investment or acquisition increased 32% to $2.6 billion, and half of the top 20 deals in the space exceeded $50 million,” the Forbes article states. “The bad news? There is now so much money flowing into the space, and so many entrepreneurial solutions coming to the market, that it’s harder than ever to cut through the noise.”
This year’s Forbes list features 12 alumni and 13 newcomers. The high degree of turnover is due in part to mergers and acquisitions, and to a number of companies making big gains in both technology and dollars.
The complete list is available here. Keep reading for a brief look at a few greenhouse-related companies that made the list.
• BrightFarms: This indoor farming outfit aims to help consumers buy local produce by building greenhouses in the communities it serves. So far, this strategy has resulted in leafy greens that take 80% less water, 90% less land, and 95% less shipping fuel than lettuce that is grown out west and shipped east. BrightFarms supplies some of America’s largest grocers, including Walmart, ACME, ShopRite, and Giant.
• Plenty: Plenty is an indoor farming company using machine learning, artificial intelligence, and crop science to optimize yields and give produce exactly what it needs to achieve optimal freshness and taste. Bezos Expeditions, SoftBank Vision Fund, and the Data Collective are among investors that have given Plenty and its vision $226 million in venture funding.
• Produce Pay: This supply chain startup with $12.5 million in funding connects wholesale buyers with produce sellers. The platform fixes cash-flow problems by paying for product the day after it is shipped, rather than the typical 30- to 45-day waiting period. ProducePay has provided liquidity to more than 200 growers and 50 distributors, financing more than $500 million of produce in its three years of operation.