NEW YORK — BrightFarms, Inc., an operator of greenhouse farms in three cities, has completed a $30.1 million Series C equity financing, led by growth equity firm Catalyst Investors and joined by existing investors WP Global Partners and NGEN Partners.
With this financing, the largest equity investment to date in the controlled environment local produce industry, BrightFarms is looking to transform America’s food system to include more commercial-scale fresh, healthy, local and sustainable produce.
BrightFarms Chief Executive Officer Paul Lightfoot said, “Having the backing of Catalyst Investors further validates BrightFarms’ innovative solution for providing consumers with fresh, local, sustainable produce at a commercial scale. This investment will enable us to dramatically expand our markets and provide more Americans with fresh, delicious, locally grown produce on a year-round basis.”
With produce that is generally a week fresher than the long-distance products it replaces on supermarket shelves, BrightFarms is now satisfying consumers with fresher, more nutritious and more delicious baby greens and tomatoes at leading retailers such as Mariano’s (Kroger), Giant Food (Ahold USA), Wegmans and ShopRite, from local greenhouses near Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. The company has headquarters in New York.
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. BrightFarms’ greenhouses use 80 percent less water, 90 percent less land and 95 percent less shipping fuel than traditional suppliers. BrightFarms produce is grown with significantly less overall energy than the products it replaces on supermarket shelves. All BrightFarms produce is pesticide-free and non-GMO.
(Photo above: Tomatoes growing at BrightFarms Chicago greenhouse.)