11 Jun 2019

Our Investment in Infarm: making cities self-sustainable in producing food

Erez Galonska grew up in a village in Israel, where he watched buildings slowly displace farms. When he was older, he searched for a way to reconnect with nature and learned about different farming techniques around the world, including the Canary Islands where he experienced how hard it was to be completely self-sufficient. When he did move back to a city, he was shocked at the lack of taste and freshness in store-bought produce. He wanted to find a way to offer cities scalable solutions to achieve fresh, high-quality, self-sustaining food production.

The consumption of fresh produce — which is rarely native to most end markets — is a huge environmental burden on our planet. Seasonless appetites, lengthy transportation routes, and overused soil take a heavy toll not just on the environment but also on taste and nutrition.

Production of fresh produce is centralised in only few climate zones with an average distance of 2,500km between farm and retailer. As a result, the CO2 footprint of food equals 17% of total global emissions and 45% of plants’ nutrients are lost by the time they arrive in the supermarket.

That’s why Erez, along with co-founders Osnat and Guy, founded Infarm. The Berlin-based team’s mission is to make cities self-sufficient in their food production with the world’s most advanced, easily scalable and rapidly deployable modular farms that can transform any retail space and fulfill any market demand.

Atomico is proud to announce its partnership with Infarm. At Atomico, we believe that entrepreneurs are solving some of our society’s most pressing challenges, a significant one of which is how we will continue to feed ourselves in a sustainable way. As part of this investment round, Atomico Partner Hiro Tamura will join the company’s board.

Infarm’s vertical farming units are unique because they are distributed not centralized, more efficient than soil-based agriculture, data-driven and biodiverse.

They have partnered with 25 major food retailers including Edeka, Metro, Migros, Casino, Intermarche, Auchan, Selgros, and Amazon fresh in Germany, Switzerland, and France and deployed nearly 300 farms in 150 stores, producing approximately 500,000 plants. They aim to be in 10,000 supermarkets by 2022, serving 350 million people, and by 2050, to be the leading provider of fresh produce for the 7B people living in urban centers.

We are happy to join Infarm on their journey.