Cox Enterprises Invests in BrightFarms
As part of its commitment to investing in sustainability, Cox Enterprises recently invested in BrightFarms. BrightFarms is the No. 1 brand in locally grown, packaged salads and recently raised over $50 million in equity financing to fuel its growth, with Cox Enterprises as the lead investor.
For Cox Enterprises, the investment in BrightFarms supports a joint strategy in social responsibility and diversified growth. Since launching Cox Conserves in 2007, Cox has invested more than $100 million in our environmental goals, including sending Zero Waste to Landfill by 2024 and becoming Carbon and Water Neutral by 2044. More recently through its Cleantech initiative, Cox has expanded its investment strategy to include sustainable technology businesses in water, energy and food and agriculture.
What is BrightFarms?
BrightFarms builds and operates greenhouse farms near major metropolitan areas to provide supermarkets with a consistent, year-round supply of locally grown produce. With a one-week freshness advantage, innovative varieties, a more reliable and safe supply chain, and consistently higher category sales, BrightFarms has achieved success in the market with leading national retailers such as Kroger, Ahold, Albertsons and Walmart. This success led them to be on Forbes list of “The 25 Most Innovative AgTech Startups in 2018.” This financing enables the continued rapid national expansion of BrightFarms’ network of local and sustainable farms.
The company currently operates facilities in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Illinois. A new farm in Ohio will open this summer, followed by a Texas facility in early 2019. BrightFarms’ operations use 80 percent less water, 90 percent less land and 95 percent less shipping fuel than conventional, centralized field-grown suppliers. All BrightFarms produce is pesticide-free and non-GMO.
Cox Enterprises Chief Financial Officer Dallas Clement said, “Since our founding in 1898, Cox has embraced innovative, game-changing businesses in their earliest stages — like radio, television, cable TV and broadband. BrightFarms presents a unique opportunity to reshape agriculture production and drive positive environmental change by growing in local, controlled-environment agriculture farms. We are excited about the opportunity to support BrightFarms’ growth as it scales to a national brand.”
As part of this investment, Cox Enterprises leaders Lacey Lewis, senior vice president, Finance, and David Blau, vice president, Strategy & Corporate Development, have joined the BrightFarms board of directors.
Read more about BrightFarms Series D round of investment and Cox Enterprises at the Wall Street Journal.
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