US – Oishii, New Jersey-based vertical farming pioneer, has successfully closed a USD 134 million Series B funding round, with Japanese telecommunications giant NTT taking the lead.

The infusion of capital will drive the establishment of a solar-powered facility, facilitate entry into unspecified “new markets,” and fuel advancements in “advanced robotics and energy-saving innovations,” according to an official statement.

Despite the growing interest in vertical farming, Oishii refrained from disclosing the exact location or anticipated launch date of the solar-powered facility.

However, in response to queries regarding “new markets,” the company clarified, “Our goal is to continue to expand across the East Coast.”

Apart from NTT, contributors to the funding round include Bloom8, McWin Capital Partners, private investors, Mitsubishi Shokuin Co. (Mitsubishi’s food distribution arm), and Mizuho Bank.

The Japan Green Investment Corporation for Carbon Neutrality and Yasawaka Electric Corporation, a local robotics group, also participated in the investment.

Oishii’s successful funding round is particularly noteworthy at a time when several vertical farming companies face challenges and closures due to escalating energy costs.

In response to this, Hiroki Koga, CEO, and co-founder of Oishii stated, “The time is now to take our technology from a promise of a better tomorrow to a proven reality – making good on the movement my predecessors in Japan started a decade ago.”

Koga also highlighted the significance of the capital injection, stating, “This capital will help us pave the way for mainstream adoption of vertical farming in the US.”

NTT’s President and CEO, Akira Shimada, expressed confidence in Oishii, describing it as “a leading company with a great vision, a strategic approach, and one-of-a-kind technology.”

Founded in 2016 in New York, Oishii, which translates to “delicious” in Japanese, currently manages two vertical farms in New Jersey.

The company’s Mugen farm, inaugurated in 2022 in New York, stands as the “world’s largest” vertical farm exclusively dedicated to strawberries.

Oishii’s diverse portfolio includes the Omakase berry and Koyo Berry, launched in 2018 and 2023, respectively.

Earlier this year, the company introduced its latest product, the Rubī tomato, described as “jewel-like.”

Oishii’s products are distributed across a wide range of regions, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New England, Virginia, New Hampshire, Texas, and DC, through partnerships with major retailers such as FreshDirect, Balducci’s, 99 Ranch, and Whole Foods.

The company has also established a presence in the culinary scene through collaborations with restaurants and cafes in New York City.

Notably, Oishii ran a successful month-long collaboration with the Planta restaurant, which boasts 15 locations across key cities in the United States and Canada, including New York, Atlanta, Maryland, Chicago, DC, Los Angeles, Florida, and Toronto.

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