U.S. indoor farming startup Plenty eyes rollout in China, Japan: CEO

Dominique Patton for Reuters:   Ambitious U.S. indoor farming startup Plenty Inc is seeking urban sites for new farms in Chinese cities as part of a global drive to set up high-tech facilities growing organic vegetables in warehouses under banks of LED lights.

Matt Barnard, chief executive of the San Francisco-based firm which counts Amazon Inc. (AMZN.O) founder Jeff Bezos and Japanese tech player SoftBank Corp (9984.T) among its backers, told Reuters on Wednesday that China could potentially host at least 300 of Plenty’s farms.

Plenty is currently hiring in China and scouting for locations and distributors in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, Barnard said in an interview in Beijing. The company has already hired a team in Japan and has “locked down” a few farm sites there, according to Barnard, also a co-founder.

He did not disclose financial or investment targets for the expansion of the firm which currently operates just one farm, in San Francisco, with another due to open in Seattle in the first-half of 2018.  Full Article:

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