A vertical farm startup, sponsored by the co-founder of Tao Capital- Nicholas Pritzker- has turned to an innovation in agricultural technology.
Originally named RoBotany, located beside the last steel mill in the industrial town of Braddock, only nine miles from Pittsburgh’s U.S. Steel Tower, the farm was set up in 2016 by Austin Webb with Carnegie Mellon University support. Currently named Fifth Season, plans on using high tech, $75 million of venture capital, rising distribution of products, and a bigger management team to disrupt the $60-billion American produce market.
Over five years, fifth season could be worth $15 million in Pittsburgh, firmly predicted by the farmland’s CEO Webb. He also estimated in 2022 the farm’s sales would reach a double-figure revenue, a 600% jump.
Utilizing proprietary robotics and artificial intelligence, the farm raises fresh yield throughout the year. It applies high tech to monitor water, light, and minerals.
The current 1% of fresh produce, raised via hydroponics, is estimated by Mordor Intelligence to rise by about 11% each year and reach about $600 million by the year 2025.
The indoor farming company aims to set up its second farm next year. Negotiations are underway to obtain a piece of land in Columbus, Ohio, near the John Glenn Airport.