Plenty, the leading field-scale indoor farming company remaking the global food system, announced today a $200 million Series B funding round led by the SoftBank Vision Fund, making it the largest agriculture technology investment in history. Other participants in the round include existing backers such as DCM Ventures and funds that invest on behalf of Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
In connection with the investment in Plenty, the SoftBank Vision Fund’s Managing Director, Jeffrey Housenbold, will join the Plenty Board of Directors.
This investment marks the start of Masayoshi Son‘s first big bet on a Silicon Valley’s agricultural disruption and the fact how much he was attracted by Plenty’s potential to help boost food production near big cities.
Plenty is using proven plant science and patented technologies to build a new kind of indoor farm that uses cutting-edge LE- lighting, micro-sensor technology, and big data processing to deliver higher-quality produce for pricing as good or better than what consumers pay today.
Ever since the spread of cities, there has always been a lack of economically viable, arable land for many fresh fruit and vegetable crops. Son’s investment would be utilized by the startup to boost its vertical farming, a much-hyped concept that so far has failed to revolutionize crop production.
Plenty was founded by Matt Barnard who grew up on a commercial farm in Wisconsin in 2014 with Nate Storey, a crop scientist who has an experience of starting a indoor farm from the past.
“Fruits and vegetables grown conventionally spend days, weeks, and thousands of miles on freeways and in storage, keeping us all from what we crave and deserve — food as irresistible and nutritious as what we used to eat out of our grandparents’ gardens,” said Matt Barnard, CEO and co-founder of Plenty.
Plenty’s farms, which the Company plans to build near the world’s major population centers, will deliver industry-leading yields of the freshest, best-tasting local produce that’s completely GMO- and pesticide-free, all while transitioning agriculture to a predictable and perpetual model.
“By combining technology with optimal agriculture methods, Plenty is working to make ultra-fresh, nutrient-rich food accessible to everyone in an always-local way that minimizes wastage from transport,” said Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group Corp. “We believe that Plenty’s team will remake the current food system to improve people’s quality of life.”