Plenty Inc. is a company that builds vertical growing farms. Vertical farming is not something entirely new, but the way Plenty is doing it is. Using the founder’s own custom design, a single grow system is able to produce 350 times the amount of crops as a traditional farm in the same space. It also only uses 1% of the water. Their closest competitor only boasts 130 times the yield compared to traditional farms. Plenty Inc. and co-founders, Matt Bernard and Nate Story, are onto something that could change the world.
The plan is to open a vertical grow farm outside of all major metro areas (with more than 1 million residents) across the planet to help quell the shortage of fresh vegetables and fruits we currently have. Each grow farm will be outfitted with around 7,500 infrared cameras and 35,000 sensors that continuously monitor the plants and growing conditions. All of the sensor and camera data is fed into a computer outfitted with an ever-learning artificial intelligence system that is compiling the data in order to run the operation self-sufficiently in the future.
The food grown in Plenty’s farms is also very delicious from a taste perspective. Anthony Secviar, a professional chef from a Michelin-starred French restaurant, was sent a box of produce from a farm and was instantly amazed at the quality and taste. He is now on the company’s culinary council which helps keep the quality high across all their operations.
Many companies have attempted this previously, but Plenty Inc. is the first to gain significant funding for their operation. Japanese company, SoftBank, recently invested $200 million into the operation. Initially, the SoftBank CEO gave them 10 minutes to pitch their idea. The meeting went on for 45 minutes and within the next week, Matt and Nate were flying out to Japan to do a formal pitch. Despite the huge cash infusion, the job ahead of them is far from done. There is still tons of work left to be done in order to get quality, delicious, beautiful produce at Wal-mart prices to the masses, but hopefully it won’t take too much longer.
Senior Front-end Developer