Spark Capital has backed a $7.3 million Series-B round in hydroponic indoor farming company Freight Farms.
The firm first backed the company, which converts shipping containers into internet-connected growing spaces to produce green leafy vegetables hydroponically, in a $3.7 million round in 2014.
Boston-based Freight Farms is increasingly focusing its R&D efforts on software, analytics and automation, John Melas-Kyriazi, a vice president at Spark said in a blog post, adding that “value will accrue to those who own the technology layer of this farming stack (hardware + software) as data and automation become increasingly important drivers of low-cost production”.
“What we’re trying to achieve is making farming possible in climates and spaces that can’t support traditional methods, in order to increase access to fresh produce and reduce the many transportation externalities of the current food supply chain,” Caroline Katsiroubas, marketing director at Freight Farms told Agri Investor. She said the farms enable growers to control their fresh produce supply chain “and not be at the mercy of seasons and price fluctuations. The farms are 90 percent more water efficient than outdoor growing because they capture the humidity and filter it back into the water tanks.”
Freight Farms was Boston venture firm Spark Capital’s first ag investment. It is best known for its consumer-facing investments such as Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare.