It’s been a decade since Freight Farms debuted the first vertical hydronic farm, built inside an intermodal shipping container. Today, ten years on, and now the world’s leading manufacturer of container farms, the firm announced a US$17.5M Series B3 funding round.
Freight Farms develops vertical hydroponic farms in shipping containers, with the goal of creating resilient and self-sufficient communities that can grow fresh, local, and healthy food 365 days a year. As a provider of farms for independent purchase and ownership, with containers currently operated by customers across 39 countries, the company has created the largest connected network of farms in the world. Freight Farms’ global customers range from small business owner-operators to the corporate, hospitality, retail, education, and non-profit sectors – some in challenging locations and climates.
The round was co-led by Aliaxis SA, a world leader enabling access to water and energy through inventive fluid management solutions; and Ospraie Ag Science, a leading investor in cutting-edge AgTech companies providing smarter, more sustainable agriculture solutions. It was also supported by Spark Capital, Stage 1 Ventures, and Alkaline Partners.
“By investing in Freight Farms, we are delivering on our Growth with Purpose strategy to help produce affordable, fresh, and locally produced food with much less water,” said Eric Olsen, CEO of Aliaxis. “Freight Farms is at the forefront of innovation of vertical farming. This market is growing at more than 25% of compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and is expected to be superior to a $10bn market by 2026.”
Freight Farms opened its new headquarters in Boston last year (August 2021) to allow for future growth, more in-house training for customers, and a higher level of research and development, all of which will be supported through this funding. This will include a focus on both hardware and software innovation, with expanded product offerings already in development for a variety of farming needs. From new modular farm styles based on customer demand to software enhancements for higher crop quality and simpler control, more custom options are on the horizon.
In addition, Freight Farms says these funds will drive personnel growth in key departments to ensure Freight Farms’ ongoing success. Priorities will be placed on a stronger Customer Experience team to ensure long-term success of farmers, an expanded Engineering team to drive product development, and a more robust Sales and Marketing team to deepen presence in high-need sectors such as non-profits and education.
“These investments from leading AgTech investors further reinforce the importance of Freight Farms’ mission to use container farming technology to address systemic challenges within our food and agriculture systems and their repercussions on our environment,” said Rick Vanzura, CEO of Freight Farms. “We are honoured to have the continued financial support of Ospraie and a new strategic partner in Aliaxis, both exceptional leaders in sustainable solutions.”
Since its last funding round, Freight Farms’ revenue has increased thirteen times as a result of container farm sales and other recurring revenue channels, including its farm automation software, farmhand®. This award-winning, proprietary IoT software allows indoor farm operators to control temperature, lighting, and other environmental variables and is flexibly architected so that many different indoor grow setups (beyond Freight Farms’ containers) can use it. Advancements in this technology will further benefit vertical farmers around the world.