80 Acres Farms has recently laid off about two dozen workers, representing less than 10 percent of its workforce. The Cincinnati Business Courier reported the layoffs and mentioned that it was unclear the positions they had or their location at this time.
Produce Blue Blook mentioned that the company employed about 300 people this summer.
80 Acres Farms currently operates eight indoor farms using technology and analytics by its tech-focused subsidiary, Infinite Acres. The company grows a variety of products available from retailers, including Kroger, Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, Jungle Jim’s Markets, and Dorothy Lane Market, as well as food service distributors, such as Sysco and US Foods.
FTX’s Collapse & 80 Acres Farms Relation?
The laying-off would likely be linked to the current macro-environment surrounding indoor farming/vertical farming, as several companies have had to consolidate their operations to decrease their cash burn rate in the hopes of becoming profitable. In the past few weeks, we’ve witnessed a wave of closures, laying-off staff, bankruptcy filing, or divestments from indoor farming companies.
At the end of 2022, the now infamous FTX crypto group collapsed due to its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, embezzlement of capital and client funds. Part of the group included the Alameda venture capital portfolio, a venture capital fund that invested in hundreds of start-ups/projects/organizations with money it didn’t own.
The collapse of FTX gets related to 80 Acres Farms when the financial times revealed various screenshots of an Excel spreadsheet SBF was sharing in early November when he was seeking funds to save its company. In the first spreadsheet of the document, we can see in the 36th line a USD 25M equity investment from FTX Ventures Ltd in 80 Acres Farms.
Moreover, bitcoin.com noted that FTX may have had a role in the vertical farming companies’ expansion in the Bahamas with its Eeden Acres project.
At this stage, we cannot confirm whether there is a direct relation between both events. Still, with the attorneys of FTX seeking every fund SBF has stolen to pay creditors (roughly USD 5Bn), we can suspect that there may be an indirect relationship between both.
Image provided by 80 Acres Farms