Launched in 2002 by the Mulliez family, Creadev has invested over $1.1bn in companies in stages ranging from venture to growth equity and buyout.
“Indoor farming is one of the most exciting and promising sectors in the world of food and ag-tech. Gotham Greens is a clear market leader and is positioned for significant growth,” Delphine Descamps, managing director, Creadev USA, said about the investment.
Descamps added that Gotham Greens’ proven business model of achieving “greenhouse profitability, exceptional product quality, and human-driven values” is what prompted the private equity firm to invest.
“The oversubscribed financing is strong validation of our proven farm unit economics, efficient utilization of capital, growth rate, and best in class brand” Eric Haley, co-founder and CFO of Gotham Greens said.
“We are excited to welcome Creadev to the Gotham Greens family and for this next phase of growth to bring local produce nationwide.”
Nationwide urban greenhouse local produce availability
Gotham Greens began its urban greenhouse operations in 2011 with a hydroponic facility in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and now provides local produce including lettuce, tomatoes, and basil to 238 retailers in New York City area.
The company currently owns and operates four production-scale facilities in New York City and Chicago totaling 170,000 square feet and has another 500,000 square feet under development in five states.
"We’re seeing a significant increase across the board [in urban agriculture] as people are increasingly interested in food issues ranging from ‘locally-grown’ preferences, food insecurity, urban greening, and transparency in supply chains," Puri said.
"The additional funding is helping to fuel our expansion to a number of new cities," Gotham Greens CEO Viraj Puri told FoodNavigator-USA.
Last month, the Gotham Greens announced that it would create a hydroponic growing facility in Baltimore, Maryland.
In Chicago, the urban greenhouse developer has another 105,000 square-foot growing facility in the works. Gotham Greens’ local produce is available in 257 locations in the Chicagoland area as well as a few Whole Foods locations sprinkled across the Midwest.
The recent investment which will bring the company’s total funding to $45m to date that will be put towards advancing Gotham Greens mission of promoting sustainable agriculture and access to local fresh produce.
The funding will also be put towards exploring new food production techniques in the realm of data science and machine learning. "Areas of interest include automation, LED lighting, fertigation, and data science all with the goal of increasing crop yields and production efficiencies," Puri added.
"We have several crop types under research and development but the commercial focus will remain on leafy greens and herbs."
Currently, Gotham Greens’ climate-controlled urban greenhouses are powered entirely by renewable electricity and yield up to 30 times more crop per acre than conventional agriculture while using 90% less water, according to the company.
In addition to its expansion trajectory of greenhouses and distribution, the new round of funding will be towards enhancing research and development into controlled environment food production techniques, data science, and machine learning.
- Read more about hydroponics: Can water give soil a run for its money? Hydroponics is on the up, says Suncrest, 'but it's all about scale'