US "Bowery hit with layoffs, steep valuation markdown"

Vertical farming startup Bowery Farming has conducted multiple rounds of layoffs and has slowed its growth mode as its valuation plummets, making it the latest unicorn to show financial stress as funding for the sector dries up.

In the face of sector-wide fundraising challenges, Bowery held a first close of $85 million in late October for its Series D, aiming to raise a total of $220 million, according to a regulatory filing released on Friday. That's substantially less cash than the company raised in its $320 million Series C1 in 2021, according to PitchBook data, which was led by Fidelity Management & Research. Several of Bowery’s existing investors participated in the Series D, a company spokesperson said.

In October, Bowery went through another round of layoffs, the spokesperson said, its second in less than five months. Bowery has also put off opening two new farming facilities, one in Georgia and one in Texas, which were previously scheduled to open in the first quarter, according to public statements and a person familiar with the company's operations.

Fidelity has written down the value of the company's shares by more than 85% less than two years after leading the Series C1 round, which valued Bowery at $2.32 billion, according to PitchBook data and regulatory filings. Bowery is one of several agtech companies whose valuations have taken a hit during the fundraising slowdown, as investors substantially pulled back from emerging industries like vertical farming.


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