Spread Co., Ltd. (HQ: Kyoto, Japan; CEO: Shinji Inada, hereinafter “Spread”) has secured approx. $30 million (4 billion yen) in Series A round from multiple business companies and angel investors in what the company considers, the largest-ever single fundraising in the Japanese food tech ecosystem.
Based in Kyoto, Japan, Spread accumulated unparalleled know-how of plant cultivation through 15 years of lettuce production, started at Kameoka Plant in 2007, and then continued at Techno Farm Keihanna, the next generation automated vertical farm. Now, the know-how is being applied to product development of high-quality, pesticide-free strawberries, and research on alternative meat. By combining the latest tech with cultivation skills originating from the high-quality consciousness of traditional Kyoto farming, Spread strives to create a sustainable society where future generations can attain peace of mind through its “Global Food Infrastructure” concept.
Starting from developing new technologies for the world’s largest automated vertical farm Techno Farm Fukuroi *1, Spread also invests in the marketing of its sustainable vegetable brand Vegetius, R&D in the new fields of strawberry and alternative meat, and global business development.
The company’s first farm Kameoka Plant started operating in 2007 and was the first in the world to achieve profitability and an operating rate of 97% after 6 years. Spread strived for an even more efficient and sustainable system and developed Techno Farm Keihanna (start of operations: 2018), which utilized automated cultivation, precise environmental control technology, IoT-based cultivation management system Techno Farm Cloud and other revolutionary technologies. The farm achieved an operating rate of 99% *2 within two years since the start of operations.
Spread has developed the technology for mass production of pesticide-free, high quality strawberries in a vertical farm using artificial lighting in 2021. By introducing the bees necessary for pollination of strawberries and creating an environment where they can thrive, we have achieved stable pollination indoors under LED lighting, which is said to be difficult to achieve. Next step is to bring application of automation technologies and large-scale cultivation know-how to spread safe and delicious berries in Japan and around the world.
Since its establishment, Spread has always strived to create a sustainable society where future generations can attain peace of mind. Currently Spread works towards its 2030 goal of 100 tons of lettuce daily production domestically. To answer world’s growing needs of food supply, Spread is widening its product range by working on fruits and alternative meat, and is looking to expand globally in the future. The ultimate goal is a “Global Food Infrastructure”, where all people are free from the food anxiety.