Bowery Farming, a NY company growing fruits and vegetables via indoor farms, has raised $7.5 million in seed funding (no pun intended) from First Round Capital, Box Group, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, SV Angel, Homebrew, Flybridge, Red Swan, RRE, and Urban.us.
Angel investors in the company include some of the best known names in the food industry: Matt Salzberg (founder and CEO of Blue Apron), Tom Colicchio (co-founder of Gramercy Tavern, founder of Craft and Colicchio & Sons, author and Top Chef judge), Sally Robling (Chairman of Plated and former President of Birds Eye Foods), and Adam Eskin (founder and CEO of DigInn).
Irving Fain, co-founder and CEO, said in a post that Bowery uses LED lights and its own operating system software to control growth of their organic produce indoors.
These are the advantages Fain listed about Bowery Farming’s methods:
- 0 pesticides – Our controlled indoor environment allows us to grow the purest produce imaginable, with absolutely no pesticides or chemicals. Bowery produce is so clean, you don’t even have to wash it.
- 95% less water – We give our crops exactly what they need and nothing more. Nutrients get precisely delivered via purified water — not a single drop is wasted along the way.
- 100x+ more productive – By planting in vertical rows and growing twice as fast as traditional agriculture, our farms can be more more productive on the same footprint of land compared with traditional farms.
- 365 days a year – Growing indoors with LED lights that mimic the full spectrum of the sun means we can grow independent of seasonality or weather conditions. In the future, this will mean perfect, local produce available in New York and other cities in the dead of winter.
- Same day harvest to store – Because our farms are located close to the communities they serve, Bowery produce reaches stores and restaurants within one day — unlike traditional produce, which can take weeks or even months.
The company says the name Bowery comes from the Dutch word “bouwerij,” which means “farm.” In the 17th century, Dutch farmers settled in lower Manhattan — the neighborhood we now know as “The Bowery.” — and grew the food that fed the city.
Right now, Bowery’s first farm is up and running in Kearny, NJ — growing leafy greens less than 10 miles from New York City. Bowery’s first six varieties of vegetables (Bowery Blend, Baby Kale, Kale Mix, Arugula, Butterhead, and Basil) can be found in New York at select Foragers stores, and at Tom Colicchio’s restaurants Craft and Fowler & Wells. Bowery vegetables will also go on sale this week
at select tristate Whole Foods Markets.