The Encounter Weekly

24-29 April, 2022

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

IPOs, M&As & Investments:

A new, early-stage venture capital firm, Climate Fund Regeneration, targeting climate and sustainability-related investments announced its debut $45 million fund, with backing from the likes of Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Silicon Valley’s Tribe Capital.

Restaurant tech platform FOODICS has raised $170 million. The series 'C' funding will support regional and international expansion including its merger and acquisition (M&A) strategy to increase market penetration.

Anuvia™ Plant Nutrients today announced it has raised $65.5 million in Series D funding co-led by Riverstone Holdings LLC and Piva Capital. Funding will be used to expand production and commercialization.

Grocery tech startup Food Rocket has raised $25 million in a Series A round. The company plans to use the funding to grow its service, enhance its team and bolster its proprietary technology.

Enhanced water brand Lemon Perfect closed its $31 million Series A funding round. Investors included celebrity Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Funding will be used to double its distribution.

CoverCress raised $26M and closed a commercialization deal with agribusiness giant Bunge Ltd. The partnership will involve processing grain from the St. Louis startup’s crop to develop renewable fuels.

US based agtech startup Seso raised $25 million in a Series A round led by Index Ventures with Founders Fund, NFX, and K5 Ventures. The company digitilizes agricultural recruitment and payroll processes.

​​The Scottish online marketplace Rooser has raised $23 million in funding to eliminate seafood waste. The Series A round was led by Index Ventures and witnessed the participation of Google Ventures and Point Nine Capital.

Saudi Arabian agriculture technology startup Red Sea Farms said on Monday it had raised an additional $18.5 million to help expand its fresh produce line and also to sell its technology to users in harsh, water scarce environments.

African agribusness marketplace Farmerline raises $13m to connect West African farmers with services, buyers with data. Funds are a mix of institutional capital and debt financing.

The startup Floki that supplies restaurants raised US$10 million in a round led by the NFX and Valor Capital funds. Funds will be used to strengthen their service by adding new products.

Sourcing foodtech platform Crafty raised $10m in Series A funding. The company intends to use the funds to invest in growth with a focus on recruiting key hires for its technology, product, and sales teams.

India’s Tractor Junction, an online marketplace for tractors and other farm vehicles, has raised $5.7 million in funding. Funding will be used to expand locations and services as well as talent acquisition.

Inseco, a South African startup that uses insects to convert waste food and other organic byproducts into proteins, oils, and fertilizer, has raised $5.3 million in funding.

Funding will be used to expand the team and R&D capacity.

Nature’s Fynd, a food company growing novel Fy™ protein from fermented microbes, has received a $4.76M grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to introduce its fermentation technology in low- and middle-income farming communities.

Shanghai-based Haofood, pioneer in the development of plant-based chicken from peanuts, will take its proprietary protein Innotein to the next phase of growth following a cash injection of US$3.5 million

Brazil’s Decoy Smart Control, claims it is the first team in the world to develop biological controls to kill pests that affect farm animals – and it has just raised $2 million in funding to commercialize its solution.

Microsoft joins $225 million debt financing round for Udaan. The convertible notes offering comes ahead of B2B e-commerce startup Udann’s IPO, which is planned for the next 12-18 months.

Brazil’s Novah! has become the third company to secure funding through the plant-based equity crowdfunding platform Vegan Business. The cashew cheese brand raised R$600,000 ($120,400) in just nine hours, with participation from 108 investors.

Vertical Farming company Edible Garden AG, Inc. (EDBL) expects to raise $15 million in an initial public offering (IPO) on Friday, April 29th. The company will issue 2,100,000 shares at $6.00-$8.00 per share.

In a move intended to further strengthen its foothold in the global food supply chain, agritech platform DeHaat Tuesday has acquired food tech company, Y-Cook India Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed amount.

Mondelēz International has entered into an agreement with Grupo Bimbo to acquire its confectionery business, Ricolino, for approximately US$1.3 billion. Ricolino is a growing business with a leading confectionery position in Mexico


News & Trends:

The NEAT Food Co, the UK vegan fast food chain backed by Lewis Hamilton, reveals actor Leonardo DiCaprio has joined the group as a strategic investor. Bloomberg reports that NEAT’s most recent valuation is $100 million.

Israeli startups in the alternative protein sector raised a sizable $623 million in 2021, a 450 per cent increase from $114 in 2020, with $507 million specifically going to cultivated protein and $91 million going to plant-based protein.

DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub have become synonymous with on-demand restaurant delivery. DoorDash alone accounts for 59% of U.S. business; Uber Eats has 24% and Grubhub 14%.

IFF is joining forces with Israeli food-tech start-up SimpliiGood by Algaecore Technologies LTD to develop the first commercial smoked salmon analog made entirely from just a single ingredient - whole fresh spirulina.

A new study from researchers in Finland found that diets that simply cut down on meat and dairy are nearly as climate-friendly as diets that rely on culture-grown meat and milk.

In a lab in Boston, the startup UnReal Milk has spent the last few months cultivating mammary cells from a cow—and recently succeeded in finding the perfect conditions to get those cells to produce real cow milk without an animal.

California-based Perfect Day, the “unicorn” alt-dairy company valued at US$1.5 billion, has announced the opening of a 60,000 square foot plant (about 5,500 square meters) in Utah, US.

A McKinsey and Co. study suggests that while sub-Saharan Africa has the potential to increase (even triple) its agricultural output and overall contribution to the economy.

Beneo is making a €50 million (US$52.6 million) investment in a pulse processing site based in Offstein, Germany, strengthening its plant-based portfolio.

Croptimistic Technology receives $1.1 Million of funding from CAAIN for $5 Million project to automate and scale SWAT MAPS to advance Canadian agriculture.

Fast food chain Jack in the Box is partnering with Miso Robotics, the food tech startup responsible for the burger-flipping robot known as Flippy.

Food Rocket strikes a funding deal with Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. that puts its 15-minute grocery delivery service in more than 14,000 Circle K convenience stores and Couche-Tard locations.

CB Therapeutics is broadening its services to support partnerships in psychedelics, cannabis and food tech research. This includes cellular agriculture and fermentation.

Kind Technologies’ daughter companies Crux Agribotics and KOAT will further join forces to develop high-end Robotics for end-to-end harvesting, sorting, and the packing of fruits and vegetables.

Turning just half of the people’s lawns into food forests will be enough to solve their problems with food supply and can keep them and their families well fed during the inevitable food collapse.