Little Leaf Farms raises $300m funding round

The greenhouse grower uses hydroponic technology to grow leafy greens and wants to make its produce accessible to more than half the US population by 2026.

Indoor farming company Little Leaf Farms has raised a $300 million funding round led by TPG’s impact vehicle The Rise Fund.

The Rise Fund was joined by repeat investor Bank of America, which had committed $20 million to Little Leaf Farms by the time of its February 2021 $90 million round, and was planning a further $20 million investment at the time.

The February 2021 round was led by controlled environment agriculture specialist Equilibrium Capital, which partnered with PSP and Temasek earlier this year to acquire a stake in Australian CEA company Perfection Fresh.

Little Leaf Farms uses hydroponic technology to grow lettuce in greenhouses and has three farms on the US East Coast. The company was co-founded by CEO Paul Sellew in 2016 to disrupt the West Coast-dominated lettuce market – California and Arizona produced 98 percent of the country’s lettuce at the time.

The greenhouse grower intends to use the capital to support its business growth and the financing of new greenhouses, as it expects to open its fourth farm – a 180 acre facility in Pennsylvania – in July.

“The new greenhouse will integrate Little Leaf Farms’ technology, including energy efficiencies across heating, cooling, lighting, advanced data analytics and hands-free automated grow systems,” the company said in a statement.

Little Leaf’s Pennsylvania greenhouse farm will increase the company’s retail presence by 50 percent, according to the company, with its products set to become available in more than 3,500 stores.

The company plans to open “several more greenhouses” in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, but did not provide a timeline for these plans. Another of its long-term goals involves making its lettuces accessible to more than half of the country’s population by 2026.