Green Sense Farms Reaches Crowdfunding Goal on Day 1

Green Sense Farms Reaches Crowdfunding Goal on Day 1

Green Sense Farms, an indoor farm company based in Portage, has raised more than $120,000 in a crowdfunding campaign on startengine.com.

The market-leading company, which raked in $788,000 in revenue last year and just opened its first farm in China, reached its minimum goal of $100,000 on the first day but hopes to raise up to $1 million to build a network of indoor vertical farms. These would be built at perishable food distribution centers owned by large grocery stores and institutional campuses that serve a lot of food daily, such as at hospital cafeterias.

“We’re not subject to rain or drought," Founder and CEO of Green Sense Farms Robert Colangelo said. "We precisely control the indoor environment, to create the perfect conditions for our plants to grow year-round, every single day.”

Last year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted rules that allow companies to sell securities through crowdfunding, which SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said would give smaller companies a more innovative way to raise capital while protecting investors.

Companies can go online to raise up to $1 million through crowdfunding over a 12-month period. They're required to disclose independently audited financial information, including from tax returns, and the crowdfunding platforms have to provide investors with disclosures and educational materials.

Green Sense Farms, which reports having $2.6 million in assets, grows GMO-free leafy green vegetables indoors, using less water and land than traditional agriculture. The company says more sustainable farming practices are needed because climate change is reducing the amount of arable land and the world's population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

"Green Sense Farms has been the fortunate recipient of numerous stories about our exciting innovative indoor vertical farming technology," Colangelo said. "All this press has generated many inquiries from individuals asking how they can invest in our sustainable farm. We’re pleased to announce that the recently released crowdfunding regulations now allow for individuals to make direct equity investments in growth companies like ours."

The company, which started with a 20,000-square-foot farm in Portage, is seeking investments of at least $100 to fund R&D for new farm designs and to expand its network. It's eyeing indoor farms near colleges, hospitals, military bases and corporate campuses, including abroad in Canada, Scandinavia and China.

"Just as Green Sense Farms has disrupted produce distribution and cut out the middleman, the new crowdfunding regulations have democratized the capital markets, allowing individuals the opportunity to take advantage of public offerings without the use of traditional stock brokers," Colangelo said.

For more information, visit www.startengine.com/startup/green-sense-farms-llc.

By Joseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316

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