Startup’s Technology Makes it Possible to Grow Food Anywhere

Wall Street Journal writer Tomio Geron reported this week that, “Technology is transforming the ancient industry of growing food.

Freight Farms Inc. makes it possible to grow food anywhere—in urban centers or the desert.

The startup’s technology turns shipping containers into what it calls an indoor ‘vertical farm’ using LED lights, hydroponic gardens planted without soil, and software-powered management.”

The Journal article explained that, “Freight Farms said it has just raised $7.3 million in Series B financing led by Spark Capital. Existing investors participated including Launch Capital, along with new investor Stage 1 Ventures. It has raised $12 million in total.

More than 100 of its machines are in use in 30 different states and nine countries, according to the Boston-based company. They’re used by food distributors, small farms, colleges, large food producers and even on corporate campuses, including at Compass GroupSodexo, and Google. Kimbal Musk’s urban farming accelerator Square Roots has 10 units.”

The Journal article added that, “The sector has drawn increasing investor interest. Newark, N.J.-based AeroFarms, which has raised capital from Goldman Sachs and others, also has vertical farms, but unlike Freight Farms, grows its own produce for sale.

“‘What we found is the quickest, early sales are from entrepreneurial-minded people who want to get back to farming,’ said Chief Executive Brad McNamara.

“Agriculture is a significant contributor to climate change, which is linked to greenhouse gas emissions. Freight Farms says its technology helps producers use less water, energy, land and transportation. Many farms focus on commodity crops but some farms now use Freights Farms to grow a smaller amount of food to be eaten or sold locally. Its farms are also less susceptible to crop damage or loss from extreme weather.”

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