Bowery Farming Stock and IPO: Investing in the Vertical Farming Startup
Growing plants requires a lot of land and fertilizer. What if we just grew our crops indoors instead? Read more to find out how Bowery Farming is trying to make that happen and if there are ways for you to invest.
David Dierking Updated April 15th, 2022
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What is Bowery Farming?
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in New York City, Bowery Farming is looking to upend the agriculture industry by growing and raising produce inside industrial warehouses instead of outdoors. This process, known as vertical farming, is an innovative way of addressing the global demand for food. It does so in a way that eliminates some of the environmental challenges that come with traditional farming.
Bowery’s founder, Irving Fain, launched the company to promote sustainable farming practices. Over the past 40 years, the world has lost 30% of its available arable land, and 70% of the global freshwater supply is already used for agriculture. Yet food demand is estimated to increase by 70% by 2050. By recycling and filtering water to reduce consumption and growing plants under controlled conditions, Bowery wants to help solve the emerging food crisis.
Today, Bowery Farms offers green leaf vegetables, herbs, and strawberries. Bowery Farms products are available in 850 stores, including Whole Foods, Walmart, and Albertsons. It also partners with Amazon Fresh for e-commerce and home delivery. The startup operates two large-scale commercial farms in Kearny, NJ and White March, MD as well as an additional R&D facility in Kearny, NJ.
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Why is vertical farming better?
Bowery’s vertical farming business offers several advantages over traditional farming.
Reduced need for space
The phrase “vertical farming” comes from the process of growing crops in stacked layers. Because it can grow crops several layers high, Bowery says it is 100 times more productive per square foot of land than traditional agriculture.
Reduced need for water
One of the top advantages of vertical farming is its ability to conserve water by reusing it repeatedly. Bowery’s technology allows it to use 95% less water than traditional farming methods. Plus, it’s continuing to develop its processes to reduce this number even further.
Reduced need for pesticides
Vertical farming is free of pesticides and herbicides, which are toxic and can impact human health.
Avoids risk of drought and flood
Weather impacts seasonal crop yields. If the weather is too hot, too cold, too rainy, or too dry, the amount of produce or crops grown may be significantly reduced. Bowery’s controlled indoor environment eliminates the possibility that a crop’s yield will be hurt by bad weather.
Year-round growing season
In traditional farming, crops can only be grown during specific seasons. In Bowery’s climate-controlled conditions, the company can grow crops all 12 months of the year.
Farm to table
Once produce gets into a truck, it is often shipped hundreds of miles to its destination. Produce can get spoilt. Transportation costs are high, especially when gasoline prices are rising. Vertical farms are usually located next to big cities, so that produce can be harvested and delivered to the destination as soon as the same day.
Is Bowery Farming publicly traded?
Bowery Farming is currently privately owned, and it is well funded. The company has not disclosed any plans to go public.
In May 2021, Bowery announced the completion of a $300 million Series C capital raise, bringing the total amount raised to $472 million. The funding round valued the company at $2.3 billion. Several venture capital firms participated, along with celebrities like Jose Andres, Natalie Portman, and Justin Timberlake. The company said that it would use the proceeds to build new facilities, hire more people and fund research and development.
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How to buy Bowery Farming stock
Bowery Farming stock isn’t publicly traded, but it may be available to accredited investors on pre-IPO investing platforms, such as Forge. This company provides trading, asset custody, and data services to existing private company shareholders and potential investors.
Investing in pre-IPO stocks may sound exciting, but it comes with many challenges. Privately-held companies don’t have to release their financial statements like publicly traded companies, such as Apple and Microsoft. That means there could be only sparse information available with which to make a decision. The pre-IPO markets are also very illiquid with few buyers and sellers involved.
Besides, only accredited investors can invest in pre-IPO stocks. To qualify, you need an annual income of at least $200,000 a year for two years ($300,000 for couples) or a net worth of at least $1 million, excluding your primary residence. (There are other ways of qualifying, but these are the main ones). Minimum investments on pre-IPO platforms can also put off investors.
Bowery Farming stock alternatives
Even though Bowery isn’t publicly traded, there are vertical farming companies out there that are.
One example is AppHarvest. This vertical farming company specializes in tomatoes but has plans to branch out into other products as it grows. Like Bowery, it reduces water use significantly and is pesticide-free.
Another is Kalera. It has more of a global presence than Bowery or AppHarvest. Kalera is headquartered in Norway but has operations in Orlando, Atlanta, and Houston as well Munich, Germany, and Kuwait City, Kuwait. It also has six more farms under construction and offers more than a dozen leafy greens and herbs.
🔔 Learn more about investing in vertical farming stocks.
NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE. The content is for informational purposes only; you should not construe any such information as investment advice.