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The Encounter Weekly

20-25 March, 2022

Stay up to date with the most recent news, investments and partnerships regarding the agrifood tech industry and sustainability.

IPOs, M&As & Investments:

Sayurbox announced that it had raised $120 million in a Series C funding round led by Northstar and Alpha JWC Ventures. The new capital will be used for market expansion and to develop its supply chain across Indonesia.

Africa’s Agtech startup ThriveAgric has raised $56.4million in debt funding. The new investment will enable the company to grow its 200,000+ farmer base and expand into new African markets, including Ghana, Zambia and Kenya.

Backed by local commercial banks and institutional investors, ThriveAgric raises $56.4million to accelerate pan-Africa expansion plans

E-commerce startup KoRo has announced a €50 million investment round. The fresh funding will be used to expand the product portfolio, to develop new marketing channels and to further expand the team and the business internationally.

Kenya-based agritech Apollo Agriculture, which helps farmers access high-quality farm inputs, financing and markets, has raised $40 million in Series B funding. The company plans to expand its farmer base and to introduce more products.

Livestock management platform Breedr has raised £12 million ($15.8 million) in funding and launched a financial product to help farmers with cash flow.

Indian startup Aquaconnect raises $8 million and will use the funding to strengthen its network of franchise stores that give fish and shrimp farmers access to high quality inputs.

Australian enviro-tech startup Samsara Eco has developed an enzyme-based technology that breaks down plastics, has raised $6 million to build its first recycling plant later this year.

Food Tech company Resugar announces $3 Million in Series A funding investment will fuel global expansion for manufacturer of first truly no-compromise sugar substitute.

Nonprofit consortium Protein Industries Canada (PIC) announces a $4.1 million investment to develop novel, nutritionally superior oat ingredients and products, including Canada’s first oat-based protein.

Molecular alt-dairy farming company Miruku has secured $2.4 million in seed funding. This will enable the company to begin to “seriously scale” and build on milestones for the next round, which he believes will take place in 2023.

Agtech startup IntelliCulture has secured $1.7 million CAD in seed financing led by Emmertech. The company intends to use the funding to grow its customers and team.

London-based Vevolution has bagged $330,000 in a seed raise. Funding has been earmarked for tech improvements, portfolio expansion and continued support of the plant-based and cellular agriculture industries.

Pure play impact investor Blue Horizon has announced an investment in biotech startup Syocin. The company that is developing treatments to protect food crops from bacterial disease.

The Live Green Co is merging with 5 Chilean food startups to accelerate the world’s transition to a healthier plant-based food system. The five merging brands – Terrrium, Aztlan, Gibit, EcoKetrawe and Regional Food – will operate independently while mutually benefiting from each others’ strengths.


News & Trends

The Kroger Co. is entering into a strategic collaboration with computing company NVIDIA. The partnership will allow the grocer to utilize NVIDIA’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered applications and services to fundamentally change the way consumers shop.

Global beverage and convenient foods company PepsiCo and N-Drip have announced a partnership to help farmers around the world adopt drip irrigation technology across 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) by 2025.

Growmark, one of North America’s largest agriculture supply cooperatives, has partnered with agtech solution provider Solinftec to trial a new scanning and field monitoring robot.

Despite the economic hardships of the global pandemic, supply chain issues, and inflation, new data has revealed the growth of the US plant-based industry grew 6.2% in 2021. This brings the total plant-based market value to a record high of $7.4 billion.

Cultivated seafood start-up Wanda Fish Technologies has signed two agreements with Tufts University, US, to advance its path to fully developed cultivated fish on par with their finned counterparts.

The EVERY Co has used the iconic macaron to celebrate the launch of an animal-free egg white with the functionality of egg whites called EVERY EggWhite. The company partnered with Chantal Guillon, designer of the “French macaron of the West Coast.”

Beyond Meat and PepsiCo announced the debut of plant-based jerky, the first snack made under a partnership between the plant-based meat company and the soft drink and snacking giant.

AgFunder, one of the world’s most active investors in foodtech and agtech startups, has increased its assets under management to $160 million – 10x in two years – with the first close of its fourth fund.

Venture capital investors pumped $51.7 billion into agrifoodtech startups worldwide in 2021, according to the latest edition of the annual AgFunder Agrifoodtech Investment Report.

Instacart announced the launch of Instacart Platform™, a suite of tools for grocery retailers to deliver omnichannel experiences for shoppers.

108Labs has unveiled its M2 smart bioreactor milk production platform, bringing the US-based company closer to cell-cultured breast milk and bovine dairy ingredients

Unilever and SAP pilot blockchain to source more than 188,000 tons of oil palm fruit. The solution helps Unilever track, verify and report in near real-time the origins and journey that palm oil takes through its long and complex supply chain

Sound Agriculture, a US startup helping farmers reduce their nitrogen use and boost crop yields, is joining forces with UK-based petroleum giant Shell to measure the economic and environmental impacts of reducing ag-related nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions.

Bidra innovation ventures launches a $50 million agtech fund focused on identifying, nurturing and empowering bold, innovative solutions in agriculture around the globe

South African company Mzansi Meat is set to showcase what it claims is Africa’s first cultivated meat burger. The product will be revealed at a bespoke event in Cape Town next month.

Willicroft, the vegan cheese specialist based in Amsterdam, has become the first plant-based cheese brand in Europe to achieve B-Corp certification.

Eat Just has announced the start of construction on what it claims will be the largest plant-protein factory in Singapore.

Colorado startup Meati launches sales of their new line of mycelium-based chicken cutlet and crispy cutlet direct to consumers via their website and has plans to start selling a steak filet later in the spring.

Shiru - a startup producing proteins via microbial fermentation - has teamed up with texturizing ingredients specialist CP Kelco to explore label-friendly replacements for methylcellulose and other highly functional ingredients.


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