Indoor farming: AppHarvest targets 12 farms by 2025 following $91m Equilibrium Capital injection

AppHarvest has signed a financing agreement worth $91 million with sustainability-focused fund manager Equilibrium Capital.

The deal comprises a construction loan intended to help AppHarvest complete a tech-enabled indoor tomato farm in Richmond, Kentucky. 

AppHarvest said it plans to have a total of 12 indoor farms in operation by 2025, expanding beyond its flagship facility in Morehead, Kentucky and the four sites — including Richmond — it currently has under construction.

Separately, the company announced the appointment of former Amazon exec Mark Keller as senior vice president, software applications platform.

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Keller — who worked on Amazon‘s Kiva Robotics sortable warehouses and its PrimeNow warehouse management software — will help to ‘train’ AppHarvest’s AI-powered harvesting robot, Virgo.

Why it matters:

Equilibrium CEO, David Chen, said his firm has “institutional expertise in controlled environmental agriculture, which makes AppHarvest a natural partner as they work to drive positive change in agriculture to ensure food security sustainably.

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“[We] look forward to more opportunities to partner as they build out their network of high-tech, climate-resilient farms.”

Earlier this month, the firm closed its second indoor ag fund on just over $1 billion.

“The financing we’re announcing today demonstrates the expected viability of high loan-to-value, non-dilutive capital financing as we remain on track to develop up to 12 high-tech farms by the end 2025,” said AppHarvest president David Lee.

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The indoor farming company went public in February at a valuation of over $1 billion after completing a reverse merger with Novus Capital, a NASDAQ-traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

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