Dubai fund invests $47M into farming tech startup Indigo

The farming technology start-up Indigo has reportedly announced that it received an additional $47 million investment from the Investment Corporation of Dubai, a state-owned sovereign wealth fund.Dubai, Dubai Fund, Farming tech, Indigo

The new round of funding brings Indigo’s latest financing round to $203 million, according to Reuters.

Indigo, a company dedicated to harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet, said in a statement that ICD will hold a board observer seat at the firm.

According to reports, the financing is one of the largest single investments into a private agriculture-technology company. It rivals SoftBank Group‘s investment into Plenty, a start-up working on new technology to grow crops indoors, announced in July, which amounted to $200 million.

The Boston-based company is valued, after the latest round, at $1.4 billion, said Indigo’s president and chief executive David Perry.

Perry said Indigo will use the funding to open or expand new offices in Australia, Argentina and Brazil and continue to invest in research. The company raised $100m last year, and has raised more than $400m since its founding in 2014.

The start-up says it is working to create a new way to grow crops so they are more resistant to insects, drought, severe weather and nutrient-poor soil. The company says its formula of coating seeds in microbes will one day help crops to withstand environmental stresses and allow farmers to forgo chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides.

“There is an enormous initiative to grow crops differently” and “in a more sustainable way,” said Perry.

Indigo’s business is a work in progress and far from proven. Perry said most farmers that use Indigo technology still also use fertilizers and chemicals on their plants. The company works with farmers in the US, Argentina and Australia.

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