NEW YORK, NY — Bowery Farming, the largest U.S. vertical farming company, has appointed Injong Rhee as Chief Technology Officer (CTO), reporting to CEO and Founder Irving Fain. In this new role, Injong is responsible for accelerating the integration of proprietary smart farming technology across Bowery’s growing network of farms, further propelling its mission to expand access to wildly flavorful Protected Produce that’s local, safer and more sustainable.
“Agriculture sits at the crux of many of the world’s most pressing challenges, from climate change to food insecurity and population growth. Bowery is building a global business with world-class technology and human ingenuity at its core, revolutionizing how food is grown, in a more efficient, scalable and sustainable way,” said Injong Rhee, Chief Technology Officer of Bowery Farming. “It has been a lifelong goal to make a positive meaningful difference in people’s lives using technology, which is exactly what Bowery is doing. I’m excited to join this purpose-driven company in leading the next frontier of agriculture.”
Since 2015, Bowery has been building the world’s most efficient indoor farming system from the ground up. Each farm in the network is powered by the company’s proprietary BoweryOS, which integrates software, hardware, sensors, computer vision systems, machine learning models and robotics to orchestrate and automate the entirety of its operations.
“Injong is a tech powerhouse, with more than three decades of experience developing successful products at the intersection of software and hardware systems, which ties directly to the work we’re doing at Bowery with the BoweryOS,” said Irving Fain, Bowery CEO & Founder. “His technical expertise, leadership and deep passion for reinventing agriculture using technology will further accelerate our business growth and momentum as we continue to scale.”
In his role, Injong will ensure that every farm continues to benefit from the collective intelligence of the BoweryOS, and that this seamless integration will further strengthen the entire network with each new farm built. As a result of the BoweryOS, the company’s farms are more than 100 times more productive than a comparable square foot of traditional farmland, and its crops grow more than two times faster than the field, using a fraction of the water and land.
Prior to joining Bowery, Injong served as Google’s Vice President and General Manager of Internet of Things (IoT), where he led its IoT efforts as an Entrepreneur in Residence. Under his leadership, Google launched the full hardware and software end-to-end stack of Cloud IoT Platform, including IoT Core and EdgeTPU (a purpose-build AI ASIC chipset), which enables IoT application developers to implement, deploy and manage their intelligent services from the edge all the way to the cloud. Before joining Google, he was the CTO of Samsung Mobile and its Head of Engineering leading software and services. Recognized for his contribution in making Samsung a significant player in the software industry, he has been referenced as “the invisible hand of a great designer” behind Samsung Galaxy smartphone software and their user experience design that made “Samsung’s software caught up to its hardware” today. Injong also has extensive academic credentials in computer networks, mobile computing and IoT. He is the inventor of TCP congestion control used in all modern operating systems, which serves billions of Internet users today. He is a two-time winner of the IEEE William Bennett Award (2013, 2016). Before joining Samsung he was a professor at North Carolina State University for 15 years.
Injong’s appointment comes at a pivotal time in the company’s growth. Bowery, now the largest U.S. vertical farming company, had 600% sales growth in 2020 with brick and mortar grocery retailers and it has more than quadrupled sales with e-commerce platforms, including Amazon. The company currently sells to more than 700 grocery stores and is on track to expand to more than 1,000 in the coming months.
To meet unprecedented consumer demand for its produce, Bowery is building its largest and most technologically-advanced farm yet in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which will further automate the growing process from seed to store as Bowery reinvents the produce supply chain and expands its reach throughout the East Coast.
About Bowery Farming
Bowery Farming, the Modern Farming Company, was founded in 2015 with the belief that technology and human ingenuity can grow better food for a better future. Propelled by its proprietary software system, the BoweryOS, Bowery builds smart indoor vertical farms that deliver a wide variety of Protected Produce — in little time, near cities they serve, for a truly local approach.
Bowery’s farms are growing the next generation of vibrant and flavorful produce. They’re 100 times more productive on the same footprint of land than traditional agriculture, and grow traceable pesticide-free produce – the purest, best expression of what produce is meant to be – with a fraction of the water and land.
The largest vertical farming company in the U.S., Bowery’s produce is available in 680 grocery stores and via e-commerce platforms serving the Tri-state and Mid-Atlantic region, including Amazon Fresh, Giant Food, Hungryroot, Stop & Shop, Walmart, Weis, Whole Foods Market, and specialty grocers.
Based in New York City, Bowery has raised more than $172.5 million from leading investors, including Temasek and GV (formerly Google Ventures), General Catalyst, GGV Capital, First Round Capital, Henry Kravis, Jeff Wilke, and Dara Khosrowshahi, as well as some of the foremost thought leaders in food, including Tom Colicchio, José Andres, and David Barber of Blue Hill.