BrightFarms Completes $30.1 Million Series C Financing
Largest Investment in Category Positions BrightFarms as Leader in Commercial Scale Local Produce
Press release: NEW YORK—BrightFarms, Inc. today announced a $30.1 million Series C equity financing, led by growth equity firm Catalyst Investors and joined by existing investors WP Global Partners and NGEN Partners.
With this financing, the largest equity investment to date in the controlled environment local produce industry, BrightFarms furthers its leadership position in transforming America’s food system to include more commercial-scale fresh, healthy, local and sustainable produce.
With produce that is generally a week fresher than the long-distance products it replaces on supermarket shelves, BrightFarms is now satisfying consumers with fresher, more nutritious and more delicious baby greens and tomatoes at leading retailers such as Mariano’s (Kroger), Giant Food (Ahold USA), Wegmans and ShopRite, from local greenhouses near Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
BrightFarms Chief Executive Officer Paul Lightfoot stated, “Having the backing of Catalyst Investors further validates BrightFarms’ innovative solution for providing consumers with fresh, local, sustainable produce at a commercial scale. This investment will enable us to dramatically expand our markets and provide more Americans with fresh, delicious, locally grown produce on a year-round basis.”
A cutting-edge, scalable solution to Americans’ increasing demand for local and sustainable food, BrightFarms is pioneering the future of local, low-impact farming by building greenhouse farms that create permanent green collar jobs, significantly reduce food miles, and improve the environmental impact of the food supply chain. BrightFarms’ greenhouses use 80 percent less water, 90 percent less land and 95 percent less shipping fuel than traditional suppliers. BrightFarms produce is grown with significantly less overall energy than the products it replaces on supermarket shelves. All BrightFarms produce is pesticide-free and non-GMO.
“Catalyst was attracted to BrightFarms because we believe they are the best in the industry, and because we like their unique business model of signing long-term, fixed-price contracts to guarantee a steady, year-round supply of fresh, local, pesticide-free and GMO-free produce to major metro markets,” said Tyler Newton, Partner and Research Director at Catalyst Investors. “Produce grown in controlled environments will be a key part of the sustainable food chain of the future, requiring less land, water, energy and time for transportation than traditional agriculture. We look forward to helping BrightFarms lead the way.”
Gordon Reid, president of Giant Food of Landover, Maryland, said, “For 80 years, Giant has provided fresh quality products to its customers. Our partnership with BrightFarms and our joint efforts to provide everyone in the local community with access to fresh, healthy, local produce means we are able to provide exceptional quality and value.”
Steve Jarzombek, Vice President of Produce at Roundy’s, said, “The opportunity to provide our consumers with high quality locally grown produce year-round, delivered within 24 hours of harvest, is one of the many things that attracted us to BrightFarms. Our greenhouse in Chicagoland opened in July and demand is growing significantly. Consumers can truly taste the difference, not to mention it’s a huge win for the environment.”
BTIG, LLC acted as Sole Placement Agent on the transaction.
ABOUT BRIGHTFARMS: BrightFarms grows local produce, nationwide. BrightFarms finances, builds, and operates local greenhouse farms in partnership with supermarkets, cities, capital sources, and vendors, enabling it to quickly and efficiently eliminate time, distance, and costs from the food supply chain. BrightFarms’ growing methods, a model for the future of scalable, sustainable local farming, use far less energy, land, and water than conventional agriculture. Fast Company recognizes BrightFarms as “One of World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” and one of the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Food” in the world. For more information, please visit www.brightfarms.com.
ABOUT CATALYST INVESTORS: Catalyst Investors is a growth private equity firm founded in 2000. Catalyst employs a rigorous top-down research focus that seeks to identify investment opportunities in companies and industries that will exhibit strong revenue and margin growth. The firm works in true partnership with talented management teams to build long-term value and is committed to investor transparency. Past and present Catalyst portfolio companies include Ascentis, Catalyst Repository Systems, Clinicient, Conductor, Datavail, Denali Spectrum, InSite Wireless Group, Latisys, MessageLabs, MediaMath, MINDBODY, PresenceLearning and WeddingWire. For more information, visit http://www.catalyst.com.