Walmart partners with indoor farming company
Walmart has signed an agreement to invest in Plenty, an indoor vertical farming company, as part of their $400M Series E funding round subject to a regulatory approval.
Walmart’s equity investment is part of a broader strategic partnership to utilize the company's indoor vertical farming technology platform to deliver fresh produce to Walmart retail stores.
As part of the investment, at closing, Walmart will also join Plenty’s Board of Directors.
The companies will work collaboratively to create a "new, market leading product category in vertical farming by delivering the freshness and quality that Walmart customers expect, year-round".
The long-term commercial agreement allows Walmart to source Plenty’s leafy greens for all its California stores from Plenty’s Compton farm beginning later this year.
Walmart is the first large U.S. retailer to significantly invest in vertical farming.
“At Walmart, we are focused on identifying and investing in innovative food solutions to bring our customers the freshest, highest-quality foods at the best prices,” said Charles Redfield, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S.
“We believe Plenty is a proven leader in a new era of agriculture, one that offers pesticide-free, peak-flavor produce to shoppers every day of the year."
Plenty’s indoor farming architecture differs from greenhouses and other indoor farms, "combining engineering, software and sustainable crop science to grow multiple crops on one platform, at unprecedented speed".
Walmart said the investment is the latest step in its commitment to increase access to high-quality, fresh produce for its customers.
"Plenty’s unique farming system unlocks industry-leading crop versatility and unit economics by enabling indoor growing year round,” said Arama Kukutai, Plenty CEO.
"Our farms can be sited anywhere allowing us to put fresh fruits, greens and vegetables on shelf at all times, at speed, for maximum freshness."
"As a long-time market leader in retail innovation, Walmart is an ideal partner to test and scale access to our quality produce for their customers. This is a game-changer for the agritech industry.”