The Encounter Weekly

1-6 May, 2022

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




IPOs, M&As & Investments:


Indian grocery startup Zepto said on Tuesday it has raised $200 million in fresh funding that values the company at around $900 million, signalling growing investor interest in a sector where companies are luring customers with quick 10-minute deliveries.


Blue Apron Holdings Inc reveal a $70.5M capital infusion. This capital infusion will help the company with existing loans and general sustainable growth plan.

Brazil- and US-based farm management startup Solinftec has secured a $60 million growth investment round to expand its precision agriculture platform.

San Francisco-based Pachama has raised $55 million in Series B funding for its tech-focused carbon credit platform the company says can bring more integrity and accountability to forest carbon markets and reporting.


Voyage Foods, the California-based company that has reverse-engineered chocolate, peanut butter and coffee, closed a $36 million Series A investment round. It was co-led by UBS O’Connor and Level One Fund. Horizons Ventures, SOSV’s Indie Bio and Social Impact Capital also participated.

Yamaha Motor Ventures, has announced it led a $7.5 million Series A funding round for Verge Ag, developers of the world’s first AI-powered interactive software that enables farmers to plan, simulate, and validate the movement of equipment in the field and execute field operations efficiently.

Sweden’s Melt&Marble raised $5M to develop what it believes is the world’s first precision fermentation-derived beef fat. The company says this could help close the “taste gap” between plant-based and animal-based foods.

Philippines-based Kraver’s Canteen, a cloud kitchen operator, raised US$3 million in a series A round led by Quest Ventures and joined by Foxmont Capital, Oak Drive Ventures, and Kaya Founders.

Mooji Meats, a 3D printing alt protein startup, has raised $3M in seed funding to advance its 3D printing technology. The Y Combinator graduate can produce whole cuts of meat using plant-based or cultivated meat cells, including Wagyu beef.

Swiss startup Infrascreen has raised $1.5 million in funding for its nanotech-enabled ‘smart material’ that can be used to control climatic conditions in greenhouses.

Austrian alt dairy platform for casein Fermify, has announced the closing of its pre-seed funding. Funding will be used to for expanding their internal rescources and accelerating the development of their first prototype

The Alkaline Water Company has announced a public offering expected to raise approximately US$5 million.


 

News & Trends:


Colorado’s MycoTechnology, Inc., the world’s leading explorer of mycelia, announced a “groundbreaking” joint venture with Oman Investment Authority (OIA), to use locally-grown dates in the production of mushroom-based protein. The joint venture is to operate as Vital Foods Technologies LLC.


Agricultural biotechnology startups raked in $2.6 billion across 209 deals in 2021 according to AgFunder’s 2022 Agrifoodtech Investment Report.

DoorDash opened a new ghost kitchen in Brooklyn, with table to sit on. DoorDash’s facilities partner for its NYC food hall ghost kitchen is commercial kitchen-as-a-service startup Nimbus.


This week direct to consumer darling Daily Harvest launched its first meat substitute. Called Crumbles, the new frozen food product features 13 grams of protein per serving and can be added to tacos, soups, or pasta sauces


Spanish plant-based meat brand Heura is introducing a new food processing method called Good Rebel Tech. It is dubbed a “new approach to food technology” that will produce macro- and micro-nutrient dense foods in a sustainable manner that “goes beyond what’s been technologically possible to-date


The Big Idea Ventures accelerator program has revealed the 15 alt-protein startups in its latest cohort. BIV will make pre-seed investments in the companies through its offices in New York, Singapore, and Paris.

Motif FoodWorks has revealed a technology development partnership and investment with NemaLife Inc., a Texas-based microfluidics screening platform company. Motif is investing in developing and utilizing Nemalife’s in vivo testing and protein characterization platform, which is novel to the F&B industry.


Caribou Coffee, an American coffeehouse chain, announces the debut of the JUST Egg Roasted Tomato & Pesto Flatbread, the brand’s first fully plant-based breakfast sandwich. Created as a partnership with plant-based egg brand JUST, the sandwich will be available starting Thursday, May 5 at Caribou Coffee stores across the US.


With conflict continuing in Ukraine, food awareness organization ProVeg International surveyed European plant-based firms about the impacts of the crisis on plant-based industry.

BIOMILQ, a biotech startup producing human breast milk from cultured cells, reveals its technology is on pace to reach the market in the next three to five years. Aiming to disrupt the $52 billion infant formula industry, BIOMILQ is working to combine the nutrition of breast milk with the convenience and practicality of formula.

While the rate of global deforestation slowed by 29% in a decade, the Earth’s tropical rainforests are still under threat from livestock grazing, particularly in South America, and cropland expansion for palm oil plantations in Asia, cautions the latest Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report.