Indoor farming startup Bowery raises $7.5 million from investors including ‘Top Chef’ Tom Colicchio

As pollution, extreme weather, and over-population threaten the viability of large, outdoor farms, a startup called Bowery Farming Inc. has raised $7.5 million in total venture funding to grow food indoors, even in the middle of a city. The startups high-tech approach uses robotics, LED lighting, computer vision, sensors and data analytics to grow leafy greens with no pesticides and very little water indoors. Bowery generates revenue from selling its greens, including different kinds of lettuce, kale, spinach, basil and others, wholesale to restaurants and groceries. The company claims that its technologies let it grow 365 days a year, producing 100 times more leafy greens than a traditional outdoor farm occupying the same-sized footprint, all using 95% less water. Bowery cofounder and CEO Irving Fain said, With all the technological advances weve seen in the last decade, it is now possible to have reliable, consistent production in agriculture. We started working on this technology two years ago, thinking about what it will take to feed a global population that will soon reach nine billion people, and 35 years down the line when its expected that 70% of the worlds population will be living in cities. Leafy greens growing at a Bowery indoor farm. The modern indoor farm that Bowery has built can provide fresh food grown in urban environments to local populations, Fain said. People have been growing using LED lights or other artificial lighting indoors for years.The economics in lighting changed, however, which made it possible to do indoor farming as a real commercial operation.

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