Little Leaf FarmsFunding totaling $300M was provided by a Devens, MA-based company that produces packaged lettuce.
The round was led by led by The Rise Fund, TPG’s multi-sector global impact investing strategy, with debt funding from Bank of America. As part of this transaction, Maya Chorengel, Co-Managing Partner of The Rise Funds, will join Little Leaf Farms’ Board of Directors.
The company intends to use the funds to support growth and expansion of farms and distribution, making its local lettuces accessible to more than half of the country’s population by 2026.
Little Leaf Farms, led by Paul Sellew, is a brand that produces packaged lettuce sustainably grown in controlled environment agriculture (CEA). It uses advanced greenhouse technology to grow fresh, sustainably raised lettuce all year. The company makes use of captured rainwater and natural sunlight through high-transmission glass. They also make use of solar-powered energy to grow their soil-less hydroponic farms. The baby greens are harvested by the company without any contact with humans and are not treated with chemical pesticides or herbicides.
Little Leaf Farms’ new hydroponic greenhouse will open in July on 180 acres in McAdoo, Pennsylvania. This is the fourth greenhouse for Little Leaf Farms and will expand the brand’s distribution of fresh lettuce – all free of harmful pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides – throughout the Northeast. The farm will increase the brand’s retail presence by 50%, with products available in more than 3,500 grocery stores.
The new greenhouse will integrate Little Leaf Farms’ technology, including energy efficiencies across heating, cooling, lighting, advanced data analytics and hands-free automated grow systems. Little Leaf Farms uses hydroponic production to grow its lettuce. It grows under glass and uses natural sunlight, captured rainwater and up to 90% less water than greens grown in the field.
The brand plans to open several more greenhouses in both Pennsylvania and North Carolina to serve its customer base.