Infarm Is in Talks to Go Public Via Merger with Kernel SPAC

Infarm, a startup focused on indoor and urban farming, is in advanced talks to go public through a merger with Kernel Group Holdings Inc., a blank-check firm, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

A transaction would value the combined entity at more than $1 billion, said one of the people, who requested anonymity because the talks are private. Terms aren’t finalized and negotiations could still collapse.

Representatives for Kernel and Infarm didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

San Francisco-based Kernel, led by Chief Executive Officer Mark Gross, the former CEO of Supervalu, raised about $305 million in a February initial public offering.

Infarm, led by co-founder and CEO Erez Galonska, makes a so-called growing center, which at 10 meters (10.9 yards) to 18 meters high generates the crop-equivalent of as much as 10,000 square meters of farmland. They take six weeks to build, occupy 25 square meters of ground space and save up to 10 million liters (2.6 million gallons) of water per year.

The company touts its growing centers as being 400 times more efficient at food production than traditional soil-based agriculture. Infarm’s website says it provides fresh produce to half the world’s largest food retailers, including Whole Foods Market Inc., Marks & Spencer, Aldi and Kroger Co.

Founded in 2013 in Berlin, Infarm has said it plans to establish 100 growing centers by 2025, and has 15 planned or under construction in cities including Paris, London, Copenhagen, Tokyo and Seattle. Its backers include Atomico and Hanaco Venture Capital, PitchBook data shows.

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