The Encounter Weekly 16-22 October, 2021

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

IPOs, M&As & Investments:

Rebel Foods, the world’s largest internet restaurant company, announced that it has raised $175 million in a Series F round led by Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), with participation from existing investors Coatue and Evolvence. This round catapults the company to a unicorn status with a valuation of $1.4 billion.

US carbon trading platform CIBO Technologies has raised $30 million in Series C funding. The company indicated that the funds will be used to boost the commercialization of its monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) tool for soil carbon.

Berlin-based on-demand grocery delivery and dark store operator Gorillas has grabbed “close to” $1 billion in Series C funds, in the latest sign of the searing investor interest driving activity in urban food shopping apps across the continent and beyond.

Coffee tech start-up Cometeer has secured $35 million in a Series B round, bringing the total raised to date by the company to $100 million.

There’s no shortage of innovation in the synbio space, but there’s a gap when it comes to startups’ manufacturing capacity to bring novel sustainable products to life. Culture Biosciences, which is on a mission to fill this gap with its cloud bioreactor platform, just secured $80 million a Series B round.

Joes Future Food, the first food tech in China to produce cell-based meat, has secured 70 million RMB (US$10.9 million) in its Series A round. Proceeds will go towards ongoing R&D, scaling its technology, and to build its first pilot production line for cultivated pork.

Kenneth Obiajulu and Wale Omotimirin launched Agricorp, a tech-enabled agronomic services startup, three years ago to help Nigeria’s spice farmers overcome issues common across Africa’s agriculture sector. They have recently raised 17.5m funding.

Onato, a data driven B2B platform for fresh produce, emerged out of stealth and announced a seed financing of USD 2.2 million. Onato is building a technology platform for India’s USD 100+ billion fruits and vegetables (F&V) industry.

FarMart, a B2B SaaS-led food supply platform, has raised $10 million funding led by Matrix Partners India, with participation from Innoven Capital and existing investors.

Vegan meal delivery startup Allplants has nabbed £38 million (~$52 million) in Series B funding led by Draper Esprit to serve up more tasty plant-based, heat-at-home meals direct to U.K. consumers.

C3, a Miami FL-based food-tech platform, raised $10M in funding. The round was led by Lurra Capital AG.

Plant-based meat producer Abbot’s Butcher has announced the undisclosed closing of a successful Series A funding round. Joining the round were Hollywood actors Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson.

BIOMILQ announced that they’ve closed their Series A financing round with $21 million. This round of funding will help BIOMILQ to bring its production processes to scale.

Agronomics has led a Seed Funding Round for California Cultured, a food-tech company which utilises cell culture technology to produce cocoa products like cocoa powder, chocolate, cocoa butter and flavanols in order to circumvent the serious issues arising from cocoa production such as deforestation and child slave labor.

Rubio Impact Ventures has closed its second fund with €110m, almost 40% more than its initial target. It now manages €150m of impact capital, four times more than this time last year.

UK vegan restaurant chain Neat Burger, backed by F1 star Lewis Hamilton, has raised $7 million in a funding round led by Rajeev Misra, CEO of Softbank Investment Advisors.

US biomaterials company Bucha Bio has raised $550,000 in funding to scale up production of its bio-textile product called Mirai.

Washington, Iowa based startup Continuum Ag has raised a $475,000 investment round led by Clean Energy Trust. Additional investors in the round include Ag Startup Engine and Ag Ventures Alliance.

Egyptian startup ILLA, that provides full-stack delivery solutions to corporates and small businesses in the FMCG sector, announced the close of a $2 million funding round to scale across Egypt.

Vertical Oceans, a startup that grows sustainable shrimp in huge “aqua towers” closed a $3.5 million seed round. The operation was led by Khosla Ventures and with the participation of SOSV.

Algama Foods, the French startup expert in the replacement of animal proteins by microalgae, is the winner of a €2 million grant from the FEAMP 2020 Blue Economy Window.

Traceless materials, a female-founded startup that developed a holistically sustainable alternative material for plastic, just received a €2.42 million grant and equity investment from the European Innovation Council (EIC).