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US (NJ): IKEA & top chef David Chang round out financing for AeroFarms

AeroFarms closed $40 million in Series D financing led by an international line up of financing all-stars including Dubai-based Meraas Holdings, London-based ADM Capital, NYC-based AB (AllianceBernstein), and Netherlands-based Ikea Group with continuing support from existing investors including London-based Wheatsheaf Group and Beijing-based GSR Ventures. A number of individual investors also participated highlighting the breadth and depth of strategic partners interested in helping AeroFarms identify and capitalize on additional growth opportunities such as General David Petraeus and top chef David Chang of the Momofuku Group.

AeroFarms just built its ninth farm to date in Newark, New Jersey that is the world’s largest indoor vertical farm based on annual output. Having raised in total over $100 million in corporate and project financing, AeroFarms will use the latest round of funds for continued investment in leading R&D and technology and additional farm expansion around the world.

AeroFarms Co-Founder and CEO David Rosenberg stated, “We are happy to have been able to make room for Ikea and David Chang to close out our May financing. Strategically partnering with additional major international investors and leaders with a shared vision and values demonstrates the maturity of our business and our ability to expand and have a global impact. We have built a world-class organization that has expertise in all aspects of horticulture, biology, engineering, automation, machine vision, building systems, food safety, and nutrition to manage the growing process from seed to package for a truly differentiated product. We are as much a capabilities organization as we are farmers, vertically integrated to give us the tools and insights to optimize for taste, texture, color, nutrition, and yield. We are at a major inflection point globally as we think about the challenges of increasing population and urbanization, loss of fresh water and arable land, worker welfare, food safety, and food security, and AeroFarms is uniquely positioned to address each of these areas with proprietary growing technology and unmatched growing history and expertise. We are proud to have these investors join our core round of investors and partners like MissionPoint Capital, Middleland Capital, Prudential, and Goldman Sachs who continue to help us build our company.”

Commented Alastair Cooper, Head of Early Stage Investments at ADM Capital Europe LLP: “We are delighted with the Cibus Fund’s investment in AeroFarms. In our opinion, AeroFarms is at the vanguard of the necessary integration of big data analytics and food production, enabling the production of more food with less; and provides part of the solution to feeding the World’s growing urban population.” 

Said Rosenberg, “As a Certified B Corporation, we have had an incredible change-the-world company story that has been mission-driven from day one. We have had an innovative, ground-breaking technology story as we have built a world class team developing all of our own proprietary growing systems. We have an even more amazing product story attracting major interest from global retailers and top chefs like David Chang who in addition to investing will also be joining our Board of Advisors to help us with further culinary developments.”

Stated David Chang from Momofuku Group, “As a chef, I’m always seeking new sources of deliciousness. Momofuku has always championed local farmers and is continuously looking for innovative solutions to improve our quality and sustainability practices. AeroFarms’ incredible technology allows them to grow consistent, high-quality ingredients all year round. At the end of the day, the goal is always to find delicious ingredients from local purveyors we admire, and I am excited to partner with AeroFarms.”

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