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Plenty Stock and IPO: Can You Invest in Vertical Farming Company?

Jimmy Khan

Jun 23, 2022 17:49

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Despite the fact that vertical farming is still in its early stages, Plenty is swiftly rising to the top. To learn more about your options for investing in Plenty stock or other comparable companies, keep reading.

How much is Plenty?

Produce is grown vertically in enormous warehouses with controlled climates. Greens and vegetables consume a fraction of the acreage required in outdoor farms since they are cultivated in vertical stacks.


One such vertical farming business that offers consumers fresh, pesticide-free vegetables is Plenty, which was co-founded in 2014 by Nate Storey and Matt Barnard. It provides a variety of leafy greens and herbs, such as spring mix, kale, and lettuce.


There are several environmental benefits to vertical farming. Pesticides and GMOs are absent from Plenty's products. Only around 5% of the water generally used on outdoor farms is needed by Plenty to cultivate its crops since water is recycled and filtered.


According to the business, it may boost agricultural yields by more than 350 times compared to conventional farming. Additionally, Plenty may cultivate crops 365 days a year while minimizing the hazards associated with adverse weather. It doesn't matter if it's too hot, cold, wet, or dry outside.


Additionally, vegetables can be planted close to metropolitan areas where customers are found. Leafy greens don't need to be loaded onto trucks and driven hundreds of miles while wilting.

Where are the farms of Plenty located?

Around 400 individuals work at Plenty, its headquarters in San Francisco, California. In 2018, San Francisco welcomed the opening of the first Plenty farm, shown above. Laramie, Wyoming has a second center for agricultural and plant science research. The third, 95,000-square-foot facility in Compton, California, was supposed to open in 2020, but the COVID outbreak caused it to be postponed. In early 2022, this plant plans to yield its first harvest.


The California markets that Plenty serves are close to the company's warehouses. Plenty can harvest, package, and distribute its products in as little as a day, unlike traditional farming, which may necessitate transporting goods over considerable distances. This enhances product freshness and lowers expensive spoilage.


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Is Plenty unique compared to other firms in vertical farming?

Walmart and Plenty have a particular relationship, although Whole Foods and Albertsons carry Plenty's vegetables.


A lot of people use AI and robotics to raise their crops.


Clean energy is used to power farms.


While most vertical farms provide advantages for the environment (less land, less water, fewer pesticides), Plenty offers a few special perks.


Its dispersion comes first. Walmart will stock Plenty's vegetables in its shops as part of its investment in the fruit company. The company's current objective is to supply Walmart shops with its leafy greens later this year.


All California Walmart sites will ultimately receive their supplies from the Compton facility once fully operates. New Walmart shops will be supplied when Plenty constructs more farms—long-term intends to have 500 farms globally.


Plenty will appear at other retailers besides Walmart. It came to a deal in 2020 to sell its veggies at a few Whole Foods stores. It extended its partnership with Albertsons in 2021 to provide 430 sites across northern California, including Safeway. Additionally, Driscoll's, a major producer of strawberries, has a contract with Plenty to cultivate its fruit on Plenty's fields.


The cutting edge of technical innovation is also abundant. The business grows and harvest crops using robots and artificial intelligence (AI). Robots do planting, and AI keeps track of how much water and light the plants receive. The main objective of Plenty is to fully automate the procedure. In addition, wind and solar energy are used to power Plenty's facilities.

The public release of Plenty?

Plenty is a privately held company, and its shares do not trade on a public market. Additionally, it is one of the most financially stable vertical farming businesses. The firm hasn't yet revealed its intentions to go public.


The most recent Series E round of venture funding was raised by Plenty in 2022, and the startup raised around $1 billion in total. Several well-known investors include Walmart, Jeff Bezos's investment management company Bezos Expeditions, and Softbank's Vision Fund.

Can you purchase Plenty stock?

Even if many stocks are not traded openly, there are still ways to invest. On pre-IPO platforms like Forge, which target high net worth, accredited investors, Plenty, and other privately held firms could occasionally become available.


A qualified investor is. There are various requirements for eligibility, but in general, you must have a net worth of at least $1 million, excluding your principal house, or earn at least $200,000 annually for the past two years and anticipate doing so this year.


Private company investing carries additional risk. Private companies are not required to publish financial information unlike publicly listed corporations. Their stock is hard to trade, and you might not be able to sell your investment for several years. Additionally, the staff members or early investors selling your stock may know more about the business than you do. Minimum investment requirements, like the $100,000 needed through Forge, might also be unappealing.


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several stock options

First, you may invest in private indoor farms starting with $5,000 through platforms for agriculture investing like Harvest Returns.


Second, investing in publicly listed vertical agricultural businesses could be good. There are vertical farming businesses out there that are publicly listed even though Plenty isn't yet.


For instance, AppHarvest (APPH), a vertical farming business emphasizing strawberries and leafy greens, is situated in Kentucky. By the end of 2025, it hopes to run 12 farms, having opened three already and announced plans for a fourth and fifth.


Kalera, situated in Orlando, Florida, is an additional choice (KSLLF). The business runs vertical farms where a wide variety of leafy greens are grown. The firm in the US is already serving over 1,200 stores.

Purchasing Other Vertical Farms Stocks

Over the next three decades, the world's food supply will need to quadruple to keep up with the growing population. That's a challenging undertaking, especially given the reduction in the agricultural area owing to soil erosion, urban development, and climate change. Farmable land might decrease by 50% by 2050 if present trends continue, posing an already difficult issue.


Farmers are beginning to go vertical because it is getting harder to acquire new farmland to fulfill our expanding food demands. Here is a deeper look at a few agricultural businesses that specialize in vertical farming.

top stocks for vertical farming

The practice of vertical farming is not new; for investors, it is a developing market. The number of publicly-traded vertical farming businesses on major stock markets is expanding, offering investors several intriguing alternatives.


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Acquisition of Spring Valley (AeroFarms)

A SPAC established to concentrate on sustainability is Spring Valley Acquisition. It consented to merge with renowned indoor farming business AeroFarms in March 2021. It obtained a patent for a method of vertical farming that is 390 times more productive per square foot than conventional field farming, using 95% less water and no chemicals. With this technology, producing crops all year long and addressing issues like population increase, water shortage, and dwindling agricultural land is feasible.


The firm has cultivated more than 550 different produce kinds, including leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. Leafy greens are a product that AeroFarms offers to retailers in the Northeast, including Whole Foods, an affiliate of Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN). Compared to other locally grown leafy greens, the company's goods often have better quality and taste.


Spring Valley and AeroFarms' corporate merger will provide the vertical farming firm with the money it needs to grow. It will provide funding for the development of more farms that produce leafy greens and other products susceptible to interruption, including strawberries. The business thinks that by increasing its agricultural capacity, it will become more productive, which will lower expenses and boost profitability.

AppHarvest

When AppHarvest successfully concluded its business combination with a SPAC in early 2021, it became the first publicly listed agriculture technology firm. Some of the biggest high-tech indoor farms in the nation are built and run by the firm. It emphasizes producing fruits and vegetables that are pesticide-free, inexpensive, nutritional, and non-GMO. The company's vertical farming method uses 100% recycled rainwater and 90 percent less water than conventional open-field farming.


The inaugural Kentucky indoor vertical farm owned by the agtech stock began harvesting its first crops in October 2020. It's one of the biggest high-tech greenhouses in the world, covering 60 acres at the facility, which can produce 45 million pounds of tomatoes annually, AppHarvest plants and harvests beefsteak tomatoes.


The corporate merger between AppHarvest and a SPAC gave it the capital it needed to grow its vertical farming activities. It has already begun building four more agricultural facilities with controlled environments where tomatoes, leafy greens, and berries will be grown. In 2022, the four facilities ought to be ready for use. Up to 12 significant indoor farm projects will be in the pipeline by 2025.


While this is going on, AppHarvest is attempting to form a partnership with a significant produce firm that would enable it to establish a network of controlled environment agricultural facilities in the United States to grow fresh fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens.

Group Kalera

A vertical farming business called Kalera utilizes technology to provide access to healthy, fresh fruit.


The American business formerly traded on a European market. Still, in 2021 it announced plans to combine with its fully owned Luxembourg affiliate, allowing its shares to float on the Nasdaq market.


The firm runs three vertical farming facilities in the United States, and numerous more are being built here and abroad. Kalera focuses on growing leafy greens in an economical and environmentally friendly way.


By purchasing & ever, a German vertical farming business with operations in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, Kalera began its global growth in 2020. The agreement became Kalera, the world's leading vertical farming company. It expanded its product range to include cut leaf baby greens such as bok choy, spinach, kale, endive, and arugula.

Hydrofarm Holdings

Vertical farming is a part of the controlled environment agricultural business, which Hydrofarm Holdings develops and sells equipment and supplies. High-intensity growth lights, solutions for temperature management, and growth medium are among the company's offerings. It concentrates on the wholesale market and ships its goods to retailers from six US and two Canadian distribution hubs.


The business has been actively adding businesses that produce related goods to its portfolio. In 2021, it entered into several agreements and added new growth media and nutrients for hydroponic and vertical farming.


Hydrofarm Holdings seeks to streamline the highly fragmented controlled environment agriculture equipment and supply market by leveraging its expanding scale and sound financial position. This puts it in a position to increase market share while supplying the rapidly developing vertical farming business with the resources it needs to keep increasing food output.

GrowGeneration Corp. (GRWG)

GrowGeneration (NASDAQ: GRWG) offers supplies and services for hydroponic farming. It has been operating in the market since 2008. The use of artificial lighting, hydroponic farming, and the introduction of organic fertilizers and soils have helped the company grow its business.


The development of artificial lighting technologies has considerably increased GrowGeneration's business. Because it enables plants to develop more quickly and effectively, artificial lighting is an essential part of hydroponics.


The fourth-quarter results of GRWG demonstrate how well the company is doing as a consequence of its creative product line. Due to an increasing growth pattern, revenue climbed by 119 percent to $422.5 million, and net income for the entire year was $12.8 million. The business has 63 sites throughout 13 states. It has a long-term objective of being available in all 50 states and intends to open between 15 and 20 outlets this year.


The business is simplifying its supply chain in preparation for this expansion. In this sense, the purchase of Horticulture Rep Group will be beneficial. The firm is thus included in our list of top vertical farming stocks.

urban groovy (UGRO)

An urban agricultural revolution has begun with Urban-gro (NASDAQ: UGRO). Without soil or sunshine, it offers seasonal fresh, organic vegetables.


Thanks to the company's urban farming technology, fresh vegetables can be grown inside without soil or sunshine. Urban-gro cultivates plants using hydroponics and LED illumination to provide food. The system has built-in sensors to monitor the environment and change as necessary to provide ideal growth conditions while reducing the chance of disease and insect infestation.


In the fourth quarter of 2021, Urban-gro recorded a significant sales increase. With an increase in adjusted EBITDA of $2.9 million over the prior year, the firm achieved a growth rate of 140% and generated exceptional returns on its investment.

These kinds of vertical farms are expanding quickly

Given the difficulties of decreasing farmable acres, vertical farming may be essential to meet the world's rising food needs. This positions investors for significant gain when farming operations are expanded by businesses like AeroFarms, AppHarvest, and Kalera. Equipment and supply manufacturers like Hydrofarm Holdings will profit from the anticipated expansion. These stocks represent compelling alternatives for investors wishing to invest in this quickly expanding industry.