Containerized Vertical Farming Company Freight Farms Secures $15 Million

By Noah Long ● February 15, 2020
  • Freight Farms — a global innovation leader of containerized vertical farming — announced that it has raised $15 million in Series B funding

Freight Farms — a global innovation leader of containerized vertical farming — announced that it has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Ospraie Ag Science. Spark Capital also participated in the round. Including this funding round, the company has raised over $28 million.

“It’s a big step forward for the industry when financial markets recognize and champion the value of creating a distributed food system,” said Freight Farms CEO Brad McNamara. “Aligned on mission-driven growth as a team, there is a massive opportunity before us to scale across global markets, propelling meaningful technology that’s already doing good.”

Freight Farms’ Greenery is able to produce over 500 varieties of crops like calendula at commercial scale year-round using 99.8% less water than traditional agriculture. Four rows of the company’s panels on a flexible moving rack system are able to house more than 8,000 living plants at once thus creating a dense canopy of fresh crops.

This round of funding will be used for advancing the Freight Farms’ platform through continued innovation with new services designed to benefit its growing global network of farmers and corporate partners. And this investment follows the announcement of Freight Farms’ strategic national partnership with Sodexo to grow food onsite at educational and corporate campuses nationwide and will support ongoing contributions to collaborative research projects and partnerships.

“Freight Farms has redefined vertical farming and made decentralizing the food system something that’s possible and meaningful right now, not in the ‘future of food,'” added Jason Mraz, President of Ospraie Ag Science. “Full traceability, high nutrition without herbicides and pesticides, year-round availability – these are elements that should be inherent to food sourcing. Freight Farms’ Greenery makes it possible to meet this burgeoning global demand from campuses, hospitals, municipal institutions and corporate businesses, while also enabling small business farmers to meet these needs for their customers.”

Launched in 2010 by McNamara and COO Jon Friedman, Freight Farms debuted the first vertical hydroponic farm built inside an intermodal shipping container called the Leafy Green Machine with the mission of democratizing and decentralizing the local production of fresh, healthy food. And this innovation, with integral IoT data platform farmhand, launched a new category of indoor farming and propelled Freight Farms into the largest network of IoT-connected farms in the world.

Freight Farm’s 2019 launch of the Greenery raised the industry bar, advancing the limits of containerized vertical farming to put the most progressive, accessible, and scalable vertical farming technology into the hands of people of diverse industry, age, and mission.

“With the Greenery and farmhand, we’ve created an infrastructure that lowers the barrier of entry into food production, an industry that’s historically been difficult to get into,” explained Friedman. “With this platform, we’re also able to harness and build upon a wider set of technologies including cloud IoT, automation, and machine learning, while enabling new developments in plant science for future generations.”

Freight Farms has been an integral part of scientific and academic research studies in collaboration with industry-leading organizations, including NASA (exploring self-sustaining crop production) and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (exploring the integration of CRISPR seed genetics and vertical farming to create commercial opportunity). 

The company’s customers hail from education, hospitality, retail, corporate, and nonprofit sectors across 44 states and 25 countries, and include independent small business farmers — who distribute to restaurants, farmers’ markets, and businesses such as Central Market, Meijer, and Wendy’s.