Soli Organic, the nation's only soil-based, indoor farming company delivering 100% USDA certified organic produce, has announced the close of a Series D funding round totaling nearly $125 million. The round was led by global investment group CDPQ, with leading European investment firm Movendo Capital, B.V. also joining the round, along with follow-on investment from existing investors S2G Ventures, Cascade Asset Management Company and XPV Water Partners. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as exclusive placement agent for Soli Organic.
A proven performer focused on achieving the best possible unit economics, Soli Organic has relied on very little venture funding to date, instead reinvesting profits into technology development in pursuit of price parity with field-grown organic produce. Soli Organic recently unveiled 'Indolce' basil, priced at nearly a dollar less per ounce on average than field-grown organic produce, one of many new comparably priced products the Company will roll out in the near future.
Strategic venture funding through this round will fund the continued build-out of additional large, high-tech, soil-based indoor farms that will transform the Company's nationwide production footprint. The Company plans to have a total of 15 farms in strategic locations nationwide, including high-tech facilities in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Pacific Northwest and other forthcoming locations, as well as several smaller, early generation facilities currently in production. The Company is also in the process of identifying sites for its next farms in the Midwest and Northeast.
"Throughout our 30-year history, first in organic field agriculture and now as a leading indoor organic farming company, Soli Organic's north star has always been what consumers care most about: organic, flavor, quality, freshness and affordability," said Matt Ryan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Soli Organic. "Our unique technology advantage enables us to offer a superior consumer proposition. Growing indoors in soil confers both high quality and better unit economics, breaking the paradigm that organic food must cost more. We're excited to work alongside world-class partners like CDPQ, Movendo Capital and returning investors to bring our products to more consumers across the country."
"Vertical farms like Soli Organic's are a fresh approach to grow food in a sustainable way," said Geneviève Bouthillier, Managing Director, Private Mid-Market Companies at CDPQ. "This investment is in line with the mission of CDPQ's Climate Innovation Fund (CIF), which aims to support initiatives that provide innovative solutions to the challenges posed by climate change, alongside like-minded investors such as existing partner S2G Ventures."
"With our legacy in retail, we were particularly impressed by the superior quality and unique flavor profiles of Soli Organic's products, key differentiators as the company seeks to build a brand in a new frontier: the produce aisle," said Pedro Pereira Gonçalves, CEO of Movendo Capital, B.V. "The company has nailed the consumer proposition with top quality products at mass market prices. Soli Organic also solves for the critical needs of retailers, offering fresher, reliably available products and supporting surety of supply despite the challenges posed by climate change. We are excited to partner with Soli Organic as they continue to scale and bring additional offerings to consumers and retailers."
"We believe that Soli Organic is one of the most promising companies in indoor farming. With transformational soil-based growing technology, the company has solved for the quality, affordability and crop diversity issues that challenge others in this space, all while being organic," said Sanjeev Krishnan, Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director at S2G Ventures and member of the Soli Organic Board of Directors. "For returning investors, Soli Organic offers a track record of strong performance – buoyed by effective and creative leadership and a relentless focus on unit economics as the company continues to scale – all while offering considerable ESG benefits for investors and others seeking to reduce the impact of the food system and boost access to healthy food options."