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Planet Farms: Pioneering the Future of Vertical Farming with a $40 Million Boost



Milan-based Planet Farms, a leader in vertical farming technology, has recently secured a significant $40 million funding round, elevating the company's valuation to an impressive $500 million. This latest financial milestone brings the company's total raised funds to over $140 million. Planet Farms, established in 2017 by visionaries Daniele Benatoff and Luca Travaglini, has made notable strides in the sector of sustainable agriculture, specifically in vertical farming.


Strategic Expansion in Italy and the UK


The fresh capital will primarily fuel Planet Farms' ambitious expansion plans in Italy and the UK. In Italy, the company is poised to complete a new facility in Cirimido by the end of summer 2024. This facility, boasting a 20,000-square-meter growth area, is set to become one of the largest vertical farms globally. This expansion not only reinforces Planet Farms' market presence in Italy but also opens doors to new ventures in consumer goods, perfumery, and cosmetics sectors.


In the UK, Planet Farms is marking its entry by initiating the commercialization of its products through major retail chains. This move lays the groundwork for a new facility north of London, anticipated to be operational in the second half of 2025. This UK facility will mirror the company's commitment to technological innovation and energy efficiency, featuring fully automated processes in a controlled growing environment.


The Technology and Impact of Planet Farms


Planet Farms' approach to vertical farming centers around enhancing the flavor of vegetables through the selection of the right seeds. Employing advanced technology, the company focuses on pure varieties that struggle in traditional open-field environments, thereby reintroducing authentic flavors and contributing to biodiversity. The company's vertical farm and research facility near Milan is a testament to this approach, producing arugula, baby leaf lettuce, salad mixes, and basil over approximately 10,000 square meters of cultivation area.


A Vision for the Future


With an eye on the future, Planet Farms aims to reach a turnover of 50 million by 2025. The two new facilities, in Cirimido and the UK, are crucial to achieving this goal. Moreover, Planet Farms is venturing into high-impact crops like cotton and coffee, already in production at their R&D lab in Cinisello Balsamo, near Milan.


Funding and Investors


While specific investors in this round were not disclosed, Planet Farms has historically been backed by notable entities such as Milan’s SACE, UniCredit Group, and Red Circle Investment. These partnerships reflect the growing investor confidence in sustainable and innovative agricultural practices championed by Planet Farms.


Conclusion


Planet Farms' $40 million fundraise is not just a financial achievement but a stepping stone towards revolutionizing agriculture through vertical farming. As the company expands its footprint in Italy and ventures into the UK market, it remains committed to sustainable practices, technological innovation, and the redefinition of traditional agriculture for a better future.

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