DEVENS, MASS. — Little Leaf Farms, a brand of packaged lettuce grown through controlled environment agriculture, has raised $300 million in new capital, with equity financing led by The Rise Funds and debt funding from Bank of America.
Founded in 2015, Little Leaf Farms uses advanced greenhouse technologies, including data analytics and hands-free automated grow systems to produce baby greens that are never treated with chemical pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. The funding will support Little Leaf Farms’ expansion of farms and distribution to increase access of its local lettuces to more than half of the nation’s population by 2026. In July, the company plans to open a new hydroponic greenhouse on 180 acres in McAdoo, Pa., expanding the brand’s retail presence by 50%, with products sold in more than 3,500 grocery stores. Little Leaf Farms said it plans to open additional greenhouses in Pennsylvania and North Carolina to serve its growing customer base.
“This funding from our partners at The Rise Funds and Bank of America marks a pivotal moment in Little Leaf Farms’ growth story,” said Paul Sellew, founder and chief executive officer of Little Leaf Farms. “We’ve seen, especially in recent years, how important locally grown food is to communities, and we’re proud to bring customers the freshest leafy greens that are harvested with 90% less water than conventional lettuces and shipped in less than 24 hours. With this funding, we’re transforming the way millions of Americans eat and enjoy leafy greens, no longer relying on choices that have traveled thousands of miles across the country to reach them.”
The Rise Funds are part of the global impact investing platform of investment firm TPG, formerly Texas Pacific Group, supporting growth-stage mission-driven companies focused on achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Maya Chorengel, co-managing partner of The Rise Funds, will join Little Leaf Farms’ board of directors.“Little Leaf Farms is driving significant efficiency improvements in the growing process for leafy greens by meaningfully reducing water usage and greenhouse gas emissions at scale,” Ms. Chorengel said. “The company’s mission to deliver local and sustainably grown lettuce year-round is well-aligned with The Rise Funds’ goal to accelerate the growth of companies that are meeting large-scale environmental and social problems with innovative solutions. With this investment, we’re proud to extend Little Leaf Farms’ leadership in the market as it scales its business and continues to offer the best quality, reliability, and consistency to a growing customer base.”