As populations grow and climates change, finding sustainable farming methods will prove increasingly important. Boston-based ag tech company Freight Farms is working to make farming more planet-friendly, and it's doing so by adding an extra dimension.
Founded in 2010, Freight Farms allows farmers to grow crops on vertical hydroponic rigs indoors. The company has also developed its Greenery system, which puts this technology in a climate controlled IoT shipping container to maximize the amount of crops that can be grown in a small footprint.
This futuristic farming method has allowed the company to get extra support from investors. On Wednesday, the startup announced the closing of its $15 million Series B funding round. The funding was led by Ospraie Ag Science, an investment firm focused on supporting sustainable farming practices.
The company has received over $28 million in total funding to date.
“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,’” Jason Mraz, president of Ospraie Ag Science, said in a statement.
“Full traceability, high nutrition without herbicides and pesticides, year-round availability – these are elements that should be inherent to food sourcing," Mraz continued. "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.”
Freight Farms plans to use this new funding to accelerate its expansion into new markets and to develop new technologies and services for its partners and farmers.
The company has collaborated in research with some major institutions, like NASA — where it sought to develop self-sustaining crop production — and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory — using CRISPR to explore seed genetics and vertical farming.