The SoftBank Group is leading a $200 million investment into an indoor vertical farm venture in California. The SoftBank Vision Fund is investing in Plenty, a San Francisco startup that claims it has cracked the code on growing crops indoors efficiently. Plenty uses a vertical growing plane to grow leafy greens in a 52,000-square foot South San Francisco facility. The funding, according to organizers, will fuel further expansion and more farms. AgFunder, a portal connecting ag innovators with investors, says the investment is a “testament to the strength of the founders” of the startup. Plenty has successfully grown strawberries, but would not confirm any other crops, and the company has yet to demonstrate is the ability to operate at scale. Plenty claims to use one percent of the water and land of a conventional farm with no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Like other large soilless, hi-tech farms growing today, Plenty says it uses custom sensors feeding data-enabled systems resulting in finely-tuned environmental controls to produce greens with superior flavor.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.