Vertical Farm Startups Continue Expansion in the U.S.

With increasing urban population across the world that drives food demands in cities, innovative growing techniques are critical for sustaining food supply. Vertical farming that cultivate crops with LED lighting and controlled environment has served as a solution to provide fresh food for areas with high population density with less water and space consumed.

Agritech companies in the U.S. are expanding their vertical farming business across the country. Plenty, a vertical farming company based in California, USA, announced that it will build a new farm in Los Angeles later this year, aiming to offer fresh produce by late 2020. The company launched a new farm in June that enables absolute control to all the variables including climate and light. Compared to conventional outdoor farming, Plenty’s vertical farm only use 1% of land and 5% water for its crops.

(Image: Plenty)

Fifth Season, in indoor farming company, also announced its plan to open its first commercial indoor vertical farm in early 2020 around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Fifth Season was founded originally as RoBotany which was incubated at Carnegie Mellon University's (CMU) Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship. The company has raised over $35 million to date led by Drive Capital and other private investors with close ties to CMU.

(Image: Fifth Season)

Austin Webb, CEO and co-founder of Fifth Season, said, "We have developed fully integrated, proprietary technology to completely control the hydroponic growing process and optimize key factors such as energy, labor usage and crop output. The result is a vertical farm design that has over twice the efficiency and grow capacity of traditional vertical farms. Our unprecedented low costs set a new standard for the future of the industry."

The company indicated the plans to expand its business in similar-sized cities across the U.S.

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