Local produce grower BrightFarms nabs $13.65 mln


New York City-based local produce grower BrightFarms Inc has secured $13.65 million in Series B-1 funding. The investors included WP Global Partners, NGEN Partners and
Emil Capital Partners.

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK, NY, November 2, 2015—BrightFarms, Inc., a start-up revolutionizing the U.S. produce supply chain by creating the first national brand of local produce, today announced that it has closed a $13.65 million Series B-1 financing, led by WP Global Partners, NGEN Partners, Emil Capital Partners, and several other prominent investors. This financing bolsters BrightFarms’ leadership position in the local produce industry, with more than $40 million in capital raised to date, $100 million in contracted commitments from supermarket clients, and three commercial-scale greenhouse facilities in operation or development across the Midwest and East Coast.

BrightFarms CEO Paul Lightfoot stated, “We are thrilled to have the backing of world-class institutional investors such as WP Global Partners, NGEN Partners, and Emil Capital Partners. Their successful investment track record in the food, agriculture, health and wellness sectors validates BrightFarms’ innovative business model and success to date.”

BrightFarms is pioneering the future of local, low-impact farming by building greenhouse farms that create permanent green collar jobs, significantly reduce food miles, and improve the environmental impact of the food supply chain. All of its greenhouses use around 80 percent less water, 90 percent less land and 95 percent less shipping fuel than conventional produce companies and significantly less energy to grow its products than the items it replaces on supermarket shelves. All produce is pesticide-free.

The new capital enables BrightFarms, in response to strong demand from leading supermarkets, to build commercial-scale greenhouses that meet the increasing demand for locally grown, tastier, fresher and long-lasting produce. In addition, BrightFarms will further invest in its capacity to provide clients with a fanatical level of customer service.

“BrightFarms offers an innovative commercial solution to meeting increasing consumer demand for fresh, locally-grown produce,” said Gregory S. Oberholtzer, Senior Managing Director at WP Global Partners. “Supermarkets will need to partner with growers who can offer consistent, high-quality produce that is not only local but available year-round. BrightFarms’ technology, operations, and fresh products meet the needs of both the retailer and consumer. We are pleased to be an investment partner in the company’s growth.”

BrightFarms is recognized as a thought leader in the local food movement because of its unique ability to provide sustainable, local produce at a profitable, commercial scale. Its business model, crafting partnerships with supermarket chains for each greenhouse, allows it to give retailers steady supply and pricing and to provide consumers with year-round access to the freshest produce. BrightFarms is improving the landscape of modern farming and supply.

“BrightFarms is a model for the future of local and a leader in the local food moment,” said Peter Grubstein, Managing Director of NGEN Partners. “It has already demonstrated to supermarket partners that growing local at scale can help lower the three major costs associated with food production: transportation, agriculture and water. Now, with several greenhouses built in major metropolitan cities, more under development, and a strong capital base, more consumers across the Midwest and East Coast will have immediate access to better tasting, fresher, healthier produce — no matter the season.”

ABOUT BRIGHTFARMS: BrightFarms grows local produce, nationwide. BrightFarms finances, builds, and operates local greenhouse farms in partnership with supermarkets, cities, capital sources, and vendors, enabling it to quickly and efficiently eliminate time, distance, and costs from the food supply chain. BrightFarms’ growing methods, a model for the future of scalable, sustainable local farming, uses far less energy, land, and water than conventional agriculture. Fast Company recognizes BrightFarms as “One of World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” and one of the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Food” in the world. For more information, please visit www.brightfarms.com.

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