US (NY): $30.1 million financing deal for BrightFarms

In a move to expand operations for future growth, local greenhouse grower BrightFarms Inc. has secured $30.1 million in financing. The funds will aid BrightFarms with growth plans in production and marketing, enabling the company to respond to rising retail demand for its products. 


BrightFarms' Chicago greenhouse

Over the past 3 years, BrightFarms has established a solid foundation providing local, greenhouse-grown products to a wide variety of key retailers in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Midwest markets including Mariano’s (Kroger), Giant Food (Ahold USA), Wegmans, Acme, McCaffrey’s, King’s and ShopRite. The company operates three local greenhouses near Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, partnering with retailers in these regions.

“The response to our business model and our products has been phenomenal,” reports Paul Lightfoot, BrightFarms Chief Executive Officer. “Over the past 3 years, we experienced dramatic growth expanding our production every year. We now deliver over 2.5MM lbs of fresh produce annually. This financing will enable us to grow our innovative solutions and provide even more consumers with fresh, local, sustainable produce at a commercial scale on a year-round basis.”

The BrightFarms model for local, fresh, year-round produce pairs well with evolving retail sector goals. “For 80 years, Giant has provided fresh quality products to its customers,” notes Gordon Reid, president of Giant Food of Landover, Maryland. “Our partnership with BrightFarms and our joint efforts to provide everyone in the local community with access to fresh, healthy, local produce means we are able to provide exceptional quality and value.”

The opportunity to deliver consumers high quality locally grown produce year-round within 24 hours of harvest is one of the many things that attracted Roundy’s to BrightFarms according to Steve Jarzombek, Vice President of Produce. “Our greenhouse in Chicagoland opened in July and demand is growing significantly,” he states. “Consumers can truly taste the difference, not to mention it’s a huge win for the environment.”



This largest equity investment to date in the controlled environment local produce industry is led by growth equity firm Catalyst Investors and joined by existing investors WP Global Partners and NGEN Partners. “Catalyst was attracted to BrightFarms because we believe they are the best in the industry, and because we like their unique business model of signing long-term, fixed-price contracts to guarantee a steady, year-round supply of fresh, local, pesticide-free and GMO-free produce to major metro markets,” says Tyler Newton, Partner and Research Director at Catalyst Investors. “Produce grown in controlled environments will be a key part of the sustainable food chain of the future and we look forward to helping BrightFarms lead the way.”

Contact:
Lani Free
5A Public Relations
Tel: 760-613-4117

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