Archive for the ‘Plenty’ Category

Walmart and Plenty Partner To Lead the Future of Fresh Produce

Posted on: January 28th, 2022 by Kirenaga Partners

Retail leader and indoor farming company enter into a long-term strategic partnership with an equity investment to bring fresh, peak-flavor produce to shoppers year-round

BENTONVILLE, Ark. & SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Walmart andPlenty Unlimited Inc. today announced Walmart signed an agreement to invest in Plenty, an indoor vertical farming company, as part of their $400M Series E funding round subject to a regulatory approval. Walmart’s equity investment is part of a broader strategic partnership to utilize Plenty’s indoor vertical farming technology platform to deliver fresh produce to Walmart retail stores. As part of the investment, at closing, Walmart will also join Plenty’s Board of Directors.

Together, Walmart and Plenty will work collaboratively to create a new, market leading product category in vertical farming by delivering the freshness and quality that Walmart customers expect, year-round. The long-term commercial agreement allows Walmart to source Plenty’s leafy greens for all its California stores from Plenty’s Compton farm beginning later this year. Walmart is the first large U.S. retailer to significantly invest in vertical farming.

“At Walmart, we are focused on identifying and investing in innovative food solutions to bring our customers the freshest, highest-quality foods at the best prices,” said Charles Redfield, chief merchandising officer, Walmart U.S. “We believe Plenty is a proven leader in a new era of agriculture, one that offers pesticide-free, peak-flavor produce to shoppers every day of the year. This partnership not only accelerates agricultural innovation, but reinforces our commitment to sustainability, by delivering a new category of fresh that is good for people and the planet.”

To read the full article click here.

Amid pandemic, robotic food companies have fresh selling point

Posted on: June 15th, 2020 by Kirenaga Partners

Vertical agriculture company Plenty Inc. has an unusual selling point: Its crops of arugula, kale and microgreens are grown in an indoor farm run by robots. That hasn’t always been a winning proposition. Two years ago, the company had to scale back an ambitious international expansion plan, realizing it wasn’t ready to bear the cost of pricey new markets despite having taken more than $200 million in funding.

But now, with coronavirus heightening food safety concerns, Plenty has a fresh angle. From planting through harvest, its vegetables don’t encounter human hands, meaning fewer chances for virus contamination. “What people seem to be wanting is they want to know their food is safe,” said Chief Executive Officer Matt Barnard. Plenty, which is backed by SoftBank Group Corp, sells packaged greens indoors and on automated vertical planters. “Our goal is for the person eating the food to be the first one who has touched it,” he said.

Before the pandemic, robot-prepared food companies were a hit with investors, but ambitious sales goals didn’t materialize. Last year, robot coffee maker Cafe X shuttered locations, and pseudo-robot café Eatsa and robotic pizza-chef Zume pivoted to different businesses. Zume, formerly Zume Pizza Inc., raised $375 million from SoftBank in 2018 for its vision of having machines assemble pizzas in the back of moving vehicles. By this year, the company had cut 360 employees, put its double-decker pizza making party bus named “Martha” up for sale at a discount, and refocused on sustainable packaging.

To read the full article click here

Trio of Distinguished California Chefs Join Plenty’s Culinary Advisory Board

Posted on: July 25th, 2019 by Kirenaga Partners

Plenty has added three notable Californian chefs to its newly formed culinary advisory board. Dominique Crenn, Nancy Silverton, and Traci Des Jardins will be adding their expertise to Plenty’s mission to bring affordable, high-quality produce to urban centers around the world through cutting-edge vertical farming technology.

To learn more about this development, you can find a San Francisco Eater article at the link below.

Full Article Reviews Plenty’s San Francisco Facility

Posted on: June 21st, 2019 by Kirenaga Partners

Plenty is once again in the news, getting recognition for the development of its San Francisco facility over the last couple of years., who last got to explore the facility in 2017, has gotten the opportunity to take a sneak peak at the progress demonstrated by the current site. 

Plenty has been one of our most exciting investments to date, and we love to see them continuing to get media recognition.

To read the article yourself, you can find it at the link below.

Full Article

Former Twitter CFO Joins Plenty Team

Posted on: March 15th, 2019 by Kirenaga Partners

Mike Gupta, who helped Twitter go public in 2013 as CFO, has joined the Plenty executive team in that role. His previous experience also includes stints at Yahoo, Docker Inc., and Zynga (where he also contributed to IPO efforts.)

Mike has substantial experience guiding young companies through periods of hyper growth. We are excited to see him join the team.

If you would like to read more about Mike and Plenty, then you can find more information in the Bloomberg article linked below.

Full Article

Matt Barnard of Plenty Presents at Davos

Posted on: January 24th, 2019 by Kirenaga Partners

Our friend Matt Barnard, CEO of Plenty, recently got to present his firm’s revolutionary approach to agriculture at the Davos World Economic Forum. Following the successful opening of Plenty’s first two farms, and a third on the way, Matt is working on paving the way for global expansion. Overall, we’re excited to see what comes next for Plenty after getting access to such an influential group of experts.

Finally, you can read a BBC article on the presentation at the link below.

Full Article

Stanford GSB Takes Note of Plenty

Posted on: May 9th, 2018 by Kirenaga Partners

The Stanford Graduate School of Business has published a story covering Plenty and its revolutionary approach to agriculture. It appears the school is proud of past graduate and Plenty CEO Matt Barnard!

If you would like to read the article yourself, then you can find the publication at the link below.

Full Article

WSJ Runs Article Exploring How Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Makes Its Investments

Posted on: February 27th, 2018 by Kirenaga Partners

SoftBank is arguably the largest tech investor in the world, and the Wall Street Journal has run an article giving a peek at how the fund and its founder, Masayoshi Son, go about choosing its headline-making investments.

As the article describes, and we’ve noted previously, SoftBank made a $200mn investment in Plenty in October 2017. At Kirenaga, we believed in Plenty’s potential back when we became the first institutional investor in the business in 2016, and despite our conviction having only increased, it’s still incredible to see how much the firm has grown over such a short period. We’re delighted to see the Plenty team continuing to get the attention they deserve from other investors and the press alike.

To see the whole story, you can find the full article at the link below.

Full Article

Bloomberg Announces Plenty’s Plan to Build 300 Indoor Farms in China

Posted on: January 22nd, 2018 by Kirenaga Partners

Bloomberg posted an article announcing that our partners at Plenty Inc. plan to use their disruptive Agri-Tech to build 300 indoor farms near major Chinese population hubs to bring produce of unprecedented quality to those metropolitan areas. While Plenty has already experienced explosive growth, we at Kirenaga remain true believers that Plenty has only begun to tap the worldwide opportunity set available to them, and are thrilled to see them taking their first steps into the international market.

You can find the full article at the link below.


Plenty Plans First Full-Scale Operating Farm With Help From $200mn SoftBank Investment

Posted on: October 17th, 2017 by Kirenaga Partners

The New York Times recently published an article covering the direction Masayoshi Son is taking SoftBank’s $100bn Vision Fund. We at Kirenaga were excited to see that SoftBank’s investment in our portfolio company Plenty, Inc. was mentioned. We believe Plenty represents the future of modern agriculture, and are thrilled to see them getting the attention they deserve.

You can find the full New York Times piece at the link below.