Retail leader and indoor farming company enter into a long-term strategic partnership with an equity investment to bring fresh, peak-flavour produce to shoppers year-round.
Walmart and Plenty Unlimited Inc. today announced Walmart 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 Plenty’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.
Plenty is rewriting the rules of agriculture through its technology platform that can grow clean produce anywhere in the world, year round, with unprecedented yield and peak season quality.
The company’s proprietary approach preserves the world’s natural resources, makes nutritious produce available to all communities and creates resilience in our food systems against weather, location, pests and climate.
Plenty’s headquarters are in South San Francisco, and the company operates the largest of its kind indoor plant science research facility in Laramie, Wyoming. Plenty is currently building the world’s highest-output, vertical, indoor farm in Compton, California.
Together, Walmart and Plenty 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.
Charles Redfield, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. said: “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. We believe Plenty is a proven leader in a new era of agriculture, one that offers pesticide-free, peak-flavour produce to shoppers every day of the year.
“This partnership not only accelerates agricultural innovation, but reinforces our commitment to sustainability, by delivering a new category of fresh that is good for people and the planet.”
Plenty’s farming technology platform delivers pesticide-free produce that tastes like it was picked fresh from the garden, all year long. The company’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.
Backed by one of the largest U.S patent portfolios in the industry, Plenty’s proprietary tech meaningfully improves on traditional agriculture’s use of water and land. By building their farms closer to the consumer, Plenty helps reduce transportation and food waste, keeping items fresher for longer in 100% recyclable product packaging.
Vertical farming supplements traditional farming practices to help increase food supply and alleviate current challenges on the food system in a sustainable way. Walmart’s investment is the latest step in the retailer’s 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.”