Vertical Farming Trailblazer Seeks to Expand Regional Presence to Yield up to Three Million Pounds of Produce Per Year in Effort to Enhance Sustainable Farming, Curb Food Waste and Meet Mounting Consumer Demand
HOUSTON, December 07, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dream Harvest Farming Company, a Houston-based vertical farming pioneer founded in 2015 to combat the increasing problem of food and resource waste through enhanced sustainable farming, announced it has secured a $50 million capital raise from Orion Energy Partners. The funds will be used to scale production and meet significant demand with the construction of a new 100,000-square foot indoor growing facility, enabling it to serve additional retailers and scale its current operations.
Utilizing a state-of-the art, wind energy-powered, indoor, vertical farm, Dream Harvest produces 400 times the yield of an outdoor farm, using 95 percent less water and no pesticides. With a year-round farming season, local distribution and shorter transportation times, its produce stays fresh on the shelf more than two weeks longer than traditionally sourced products. Because the vast majority of America’s produce is grown in California and has to be shipped over long distances, most of the country receives produce that is old, has a poor flavor profile and a short shelf life – a major contributing factor to the more than 30 percent of fresh vegetables being discarded in the U.S. each year.
"Our fundamental mission is to sustainably produce farmed foods that are consumed – not wasted – through centralized production, local distribution and a creative approach that resonates with today’s health-conscious consumers," said Zain Shauk, co-founder and CEO of Dream Harvest. "Demand for our produce has far out-paced supply, an encouraging validation of our approach as well as positive news for our planet, which is facing the rising problem of food and resource waste. While we have the yields today to support our business, we are pleased to partner with Orion on this financing, which will enable us to greatly expand our production and increase access to our produce for many more consumers."
With a presence in a number of grocery stores and restaurants in the South, including in every Whole Foods store across four states, as well as the restaurant chain Sweetgreen, Dream Harvest has long-standing relationships with its customers and is a well-recognized brand, having been on the market for nearly five years. Dream Harvest specializes in a variety of herbs, baby greens, kale and other lettuce varieties, all sold under its Dream Harvest Farming Company brand. Dream Harvest is a "science first" farming company with a successful business model and attractive unit economics supported by its multi-year record of impressive and consistent growing yields. It is currently pursuing ongoing experimentation with roughly 20 additional produce varieties and expects to expand distribution to more than 250 retail locations in 2022.
"We are very excited for our capital partnership with Dream Harvest to fund the next phase of their infrastructure buildout in support of the company’s well-established and innovative approach to vertical farming," said Nazar Massouh, CEO and Co-Managing Partner of Orion. "Orion’s focus on sustainable infrastructure and deep experience in building large industrial facilities will be complementary to Dream Harvest’s impressive track record of being a reliable supplier to high caliber customers by achieving consistent yields, food safety and operational efficiencies over the last five years. On behalf of the entire Orion team, I would like to thank Zain and his colleagues for selecting Orion to be their capital partner."
Dream Harvest was advised by Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and Blaney Law who served as legal counsel and Ducera Partners who served as financial advisor in connection with the capital raise. Orion was advised by Greenberg Traurig and Latham & Watkins as legal counsel.
About Dream Harvest
Founded in 2015, Dream Harvest Farming Company has grown rapidly, responding to consumer demand and leveraging an innovative approach to vertical farming as well as deep expertise in plant science, hydroponics and bioengineering. Its sustainable, indoor farm generates 400 times the yield of an outdoor farm, uses just 5 percent of the water, consumes far less land and allows absolutely no pesticides, not even the organic kinds. Dream Harvest now has proprietary formulas for managing more than 100 produce varieties throughout the growth cycle, as well as extensive controls and procedures to ensure food safety and consistency of quality. For more information, please visit www.dreamharvestfarms.com.
About Orion Energy Partners
With over $2.6 billion in assets under management, Orion invests in North America and select international markets, leveraging a unique partnership approach – for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – offering creative credit, equity and growth capital solutions to help middle market businesses scale and deploy sustainable infrastructure. Orion’s target investment sectors include energy efficiency, digital infrastructure, social infrastructure, sustainable power generation, renewable fuels, waste & recycling, water, transportation and agriculture. Orion was founded in 2015 by a team of energy and sustainability veterans, successful infrastructure investors, and former asset owners and industry operators. Across Orion’s platform, we have a team of 30 professionals with offices in New York, and Houston. For more information, please visit www.OrionEnergyPartners.com.
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