Freight Farms is getting ready to see a lot more green, thanks to an agreement it has reached to go public via a merger that values the Boston-based producer of hydroponic container farms at $147 million.
The company said on Thursday that it would join with Agrinam Acquisition Corp., a deal that Freight Farms CEO Rick Vanzura said would enable his company to “more aggressively scale our business to deliver sustainable, hyper-local food production to more customers across the world.”
Agrinam is a special purpose acquisition company — a shell firm that is already publicly traded and launched with the express purpose of merging with an operating business — led by Mexican investment banker and entrepreneur Agustin Tristan. Agrinam was created last year to look for opportunities in agribusiness. In the deal announced Thursday, shareholders in privately-held Freight Farms would get shares in the newly-combined public company.
Freight Farms had previously raised more than $40 million in outside private investments, including through a funding round last year led by water infrastructure company Aliaxis and investment firm Ospraie Ag Science (Freight Farms’ largest investor).
Founded in 2012, Freight Farms is among the most prominent climate-tech companies to arise in Greater Boston in recent years, with a stated goal of offering a way to grow vegetables with no soil and minimal water. The company says it was the first to create a vertical hydroponic farm in a shipping container; the flagship product is now known as the Greenery S container farm. This technology is used in more than 600 farms across the globe. Clients range from professional farmers to nonprofit food banks to school districts. The company also sells its Farmhand automation software, which provides operators with access to data and analytics about their crops.
Vanzura, the former CEO of the Wahlburgers restaurant group, has led Freight Farms since early 2020. The company currently employs 53 people, including 43 locally.
The deal with Agrinam is at the letter-of-intent stage. A definitive agreement is expected to be reached later this year that will need approvals of the boards and shareholders of both Agrinam and Freight Farms.