Agro startup Gotham Greens secures huge funding round to bring the farm to urban centers

By Michael Krumholtz June 25, 2018

In an effort to bring the farm to the city, Gotham Greens has caught the attention of big investors. The urban agriculture startup just secured $29 million in a funding round, according to a report from Fortune. That round of Series C funding brings the total to $45 million total in funding given to Gotham Greens.

The New York-based startup aims to grow healthy produce in urban centers by using large greenhouses. The hydroponic gardens are meant to combat areas deemed as “food deserts,” or the urban zones in the U.S. where fresh produce is not readily available and has led to poorer people regularly having to eat unhealthy foods.

The startup already boasts hundreds of thousands of square feet of space in New York and Chicago, as well as other cities like Baltimore. It is expanding to five states in total as part of the increased investment numbers.

“Overall our strategy is to build greenhouses across the U.S,” CEO Viraj Puri told Fortune. “The goal is to be a national company within a couple of years and have a whole network across the country.”

The company is also helping rebuild parts of cities economically by refurbishing old factories that had been abandoned by prior owners. It then sells produce to partners like Whole Foods, making its produce available nearby in the areas where its greenhouses are located.

Puri also told Fortune that the greenhouses in cities allow Gotham Greens to cultivate produce at a much more efficient rate than the average farm. He said their “farms” can yield up to 30 times the amount of produce grown in a traditional agriculture setting. Gotham also has the advantage of not having high overhead costs because it uses natural sunlight in lieu of artificial light that many competitors use.

“We don’t position ourselves as a big data company,” Puri said to Fortune. “We’re saying, we’re farmers. It’s a different approach a little bit.”