Urban agriculture giant Infarm plots $250m financing

Business

Infarm, one of the world’s fastest-growing vertical farming companies, has picked bankers to line up a mammoth fundraising that will underline burgeoning investor interest in the sector.

Sky News has learnt that Infarm has hired Goldman Sachs to oversee its biggest funding round to date, just five months after raising $170m from a syndicate of blue-chip backers.

Sources said the latest financing was likely to kick off in the coming weeks and would be completed later this year.

A shopper wearing a facemask as a precaution against the spread of the novel coronavirus walks past a store of the clothing and food retailer Marks and Spencer in central London on August 18, 2020 with social distancing advice displayed on the high street
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Infarm has a partnership with M&S

It is expected to crystallise so-called ‘unicorn’ status for Infarm – meaning it would join the crop of European technology companies worth at least $1bn.

Infarm, which is based in Germany, is targeting a vertical farming network of 5m square feet by 2025, it said in a statement last year.

The company is one of a breed of start-ups attempting to address food supply problems, some of which have become particularly intense during the coronavirus pandemic.

Unlike its rivals, Infarm installs modular ‘mini-farms’ which are located within supermarkets and restaurants.

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In the UK, it has a partnership with Marks & Spencer, while it also operates in countries including Germany and Japan.

The speed at which Infarm is commencing plans for its next fundraising underscores the rate of cash-burn within the vertical farming sector, according to one investor.

An Infarm spokesman declined to comment on the fundraising or to provide any details about the company’s recent performance.

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