In a bid to push more sustainable production into the U.S. food system, hedge funder-turned impact investor Jeff Ubben is backing agricultural technology greenhouse startup AppHarvest in his first deal since leaving ValueAct Capital Management LP in June to launch a new firm, Inclusive Capital.
AppHarvest, which is planning to open the world’s largest greenhouse this fall—a 2.76 million square foot facility in Morehead, Kentucky—raised $28 million in a Series C funding round, it announced Thursday. That brings the total raised for the company to $150 million over the past two years.
The latest round was led by J.D. Vance’s Narya Capital, which focuses on “scientifically complicated” startups. It also includes James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems investment firm and Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest fund, among others.
“We have to figure out how to feed people fresh produce that doesn’t extract so much from the planet,” Ubben said in an interview. “This is all about creating nutrition-rich whole foods that don’t sit on the border for a week waiting to get to the supermarket, and using agriculture and technology to get there at scale.”