Israeli-founded urban farming platform Infarm, the startup that combines vertical farms with IoT technologies and machine learning, announced last week that the company has raised funding from JR East, the East Japan Railway Company, to expand into the Japanese market, Japanese and English tech news website Bridge reported.
Erez Galonska, one of the three founders of the Berlin-based startup, announced the news at the TOA World Tour Tokyo meet-up in Tokyo last Thursday. Infarm will establish a local subsidiary called Infarm Japan to enable to the expansion. Galonska also said Infarm is expected to launch its service this summer at Kinokuniya premium supermarket, a subsidiary of JR East. Sales at the Kinokuniya supermarket will be the company’s first in the Asia region.
Japanese cold supply chain company Muroo will partner with Infarm to help roll out their facilities across Japan, Bridge reported.
Founded in 2013 by Osnat Michaeli and brothers Erez and Guy Galonska to cultivate greens in the dead of German winter, Infarm has grown into a multinational brand that has raised over $134 million, including $100 million in a Series B round led by London-based VC firm Atomico last year. They also partnered with Kroger, the highest-grossing American supermarket chain and are poised to rapidly expand in the American market.
Infarm has also expanded into France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the UK, Denmark, and Canada with supermarkets such as Irma (Denmark), Marks and Spencer (UK), Metro (Europe) and Edeka (Germany) to sell locally-grown vegetable products.
The company has more than 600 farming units in stores and distribution centers around the world and ships more than 250,000 plants a month.