In the following article, Miriam Partington of Sifted breaks down Infarm's timeline and what we might have missed.
Infarm's startup journey started like many others: as an experiment. Its Israeli cofounders Osnat Michaeli, Erez Galonska, and his brother Guy Galonska, who had settled into a modest apartment in a multicultural, residential area of Berlin in 2012, had the bright idea to grow crops indoors using nutrient-packed water rather than soil. Their vision was to make cities more self-sufficient by bringing urban dwellers fresh produce grown on farms on their doorsteps.
A few trips to a hardware store and hours of tinkering later, the trio had built a contraption. Yes, it was leaky. It was inefficient. But it would form the basis of the company they would later grow to over 1,000 employees across 10 countries — and raise nearly $500m for, scoring a $1bn price tag from investors.
Then, the company went silent.
By 2021, Infarm's farms yielded 75 different species of plants, according to its website, from Thai basil and coriander to cauliflower and strawberries. It had partnered up with over 30 major retailers, including the German supermarkets Aldi Süd and Edeka, French wholesaler Carrefour, and US-based Wholefoods, and it even had units in iconic UK department store Selfridges and IKEA.
It boasted 1,400 farms across Canada, the US, Japan, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the UK and Switzerland. And investors like Atomico and Balderton had valued the business at $1bn. In the startup world, where 90% of companies fail, one.
Read the entire article at Sifted