AppHarvest, an indoor farming company based in Morehead, KY, has gone public. The company makes massive, high-tech greenhouses that distribute water more effectively and use a highly efficient LED lighting system. The company says its system uses less water than traditional farming and yields 30 times more food. The company plans to employ 350 people by the end of this year in an area of rural Kentucky that desperately needs economic development.
AppHarvest went public via a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) called Novus Capital, with an initial market value of $1 billion. The deal includes big equity commitments from Fidelity, Inclusive Capital, and Novus, and VC funding from ValueAct Capital, Revolution (Rise of the Rest), and Equilibrium Capital. AppHarvest’s board includes foodies Martha Stewart and Impossible Foods CFO David Lee, as well as J.D. Vance, author of the bestselling memoir Hillbilly Elegy.