Farm8 raises $12.5 mln in funding round

Smart farming startup Farm8 Co Ltd managed to raise 15 billion won ($12.5 million) in its final funding round before going public, even though it took six months longer than intended, sources said on Wednesday (July 15).

The funding round was led by Korea Development Bank and other institutional investors. More funds could be brought in.

“Some investors are said to be open to raising their stakes [in Farm8],” a source said.

Several new investors are engaged in agriculture, which will allow Farm8 to be eligible for government aid. The Act on Fostering and Supporting Agricultural and Fisheries Business Entities allows an agricultural corporation with a capital stock of at least 100 million won and five or more farmers contributing to its capital to receive government financial support and consulting services for activities to grow the business, such as research and development and mergers and acquisitions.

Farm8 plans to use the proceeds to further expand its plants in Gyeonggi Province. The company built an agricultural processing plant and a vegetable farming plant in Pyeongtaek city in 2008 and acquired a bell pepper farm in Hwaseong city in the following year. It built additional plants in 2014 and 2015.

The company has hired Samsung Securities Co Ltd to advise on its planned initial public offering on the local stock exchange, originally intended for the first half of 2021. The listing is now likely to be delayed until 2022. (Reporting by Byung-yoon Kim)