The Encounter Weekly

April 10-15, 2022

Stay up to date with the most recent news, investments and partnerships regarding the Agrifood Tech industry and Sustainability.



IPOs, M&As & Investments:


India’s eGrocery startup BigBasket raises $131 million from its holding company Supermarket Grocery Supplies. Tata-owned BigBasket also plans to roll out one-hour grocery delivery for more than 7,500 products.


Taking on the growing food waste problem and bringing fresh innovation to the food industry, Berlin-based Choco has just picked up an incredible €102 million joins Germany’s unicorn club.


Seso, the workforce management platform for agriculture, just closed a $25m in Series A funding. With this investment, Seso will advance its mission to create a stronger, more equitable and efficient food production system in the U.S.


New Zealand-based Leaft Foods has scored US$15 million to accelerate the production of “beef-like” protein – rubisco – which is trapped in the cell walls of leaves. The company is now focusing its R&D activities on the alfalfa plant.


Israeli syn-bio platform Enzymit has announced a $5 million seed round. Enzymit plans to accelerate its computational design platform to develop designer enzymes that can replace almost every chemical reaction used in modern fermentation methods.


John Kempf and his team at Advancing Eco Agriculture (AEA) have raised $4.7 million in financing — both equity and debt — in their first external round of funding.


In its second Equity for Good Rebels crowdfunding campaign, Heura has raised over €4 million in just 12 hours, consolidating its fame as Europe’s fastest-growing plant-based startups.

China’s alt-protein startup Haofood has completed a $3.5 million seed funding round. The female-led company plans to use the funding to diversify its channel sales strategy and advance its R&D infrastructure facility.

Female-founded digital platform Tushop has secured $3 million in pre-seed funding. The Kenyan startup will use the funds to expand, enhance its technology stack and grow the team.

UAE’s agtech startup Right Farm raised $2.8 million from investors including Abu Dhabi state holding company ADQ's venture platform.

Cerve, a Sweden-based food tech startup, has raised a $2 million seed round for its infrastructure platform that claims to automate wholesalers’ sales operations.

Technology expert in plant-based protein development, Burcon NutraScience Corporation, has pinned down a US$1 million co-investment from Proteins Industries Canada to develop protein ingredients from sunflower seeds.

Terramera receives $1M in funding to further soil carbon measurement technology and improve soil health. This technology will help the emerging low-carbon marketplace and meet emissions reduction goals.

Digital meal-planning and grocery shopping platform eMeals acquired RecipeBox, an app enabling consumers to save and organize online and offline recipes in a central location for easy access.


 

News & Trends:


US synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks and Elanco Animal Health Incorporated are launching a “microbiome innovation” company that will develop microbiome-based products and services for improved animal health.


Grocery tech Getir announced it is partnering with Copia. Through the collaboration, surplus food and groceries from Getir's stores will be delivered to select nonprofits across the New York City, Chicago, and Boston regions. This relationship to donate surplus food will help communities, solve hunger issues while reducing the environmental impact of food waste.


US-based Pearlita Foods, a cell-based mollusk company, is poised to produce the world’s first “ocean-free” cultured oysters. This follows an investment by Cult Food Science, an investment platform with a focus on cellular agriculture.


Conagra's Evol brand will introduce eight meals that are certified carbon neutral. The products will be verified by the Carbonfree Product Certification Program, making them the first single-serve frozen offering to receive this designation.

SORTEDfood, the social media movement dedicated to cooking, has launched an app that it says can help home-cooks make ‘amazing meals’ while saving ‘at least 30%’ on food bills and cutting food waste.

Newly published seafood industry analysis by On the Hook – a campaigning coalition of marine advocacy dedicated to ocean conservation – argues that the one of industry’s leading certifiers, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is “failing to deliver on its vision of an ocean teeming with life.”


Archer Daniels Midland is investing roughly $300 million to ramp up production of alternative proteins. The project, expected to be finished in 2025, will increase its soy protein concentrate capacity and the facility's extrusion capacity.

Social movements for equal opportunities and minority inclusion have gained the spotlight with General Mills’ venture capital arm, 301 Inc, investing US$15 million in Fearless Fund for women-of-color (WOC) and Latina and WOC-powered Supply Change Capital.


Yili Group has launched a plan to achieve carbon neutrality across its industrial chain before 2050.


The GROW Impact Accelerator cohort is unveiled. Showcasing innovations across the value chain, the selected companies offer technologies that will drive positive transformation across our food and agriculture industry. The startups are: 3Bee (Italy), Decomer Technology (Estonia), LYRO Robotics (Australia), Mycotech Lab (Indonesia), Nubocha (US) Phagos (France) Tepbac (Vietnam) Veggie Victory (Nigeria) X-Centric Sciences (US) Yeap Proteins (Israel)