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The Encounter Weekly

15-20 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:

US biotech startup Vestaron, which is developing biological alternatives to chemical-based crop controls using peptides, has raised $82 million in its Series C funding round.

​​Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition Ventures invests in Boston’s Motif Foodworks to create next gen plant-based foods “moving beyond animal mimicry” into new product categories, as the company simultaneously announces its launch into foodservice with its alt beef, pork and chicken.

Cloud Agronomics has rebranded to Perennial and raised $18 million for its soil carbon measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) platform that aims to help companies meet their net zero emissions commitments through better insetting and offsetting

Imagindairy, an Israeli producer of animal-free milk proteins, has just raised an additional $15 million for its extended seed round. The capital will be used to expand R&D, production and key hires.

Shanghai-based CellX raises US$10.6 million just as China gives its blessing to cultivated meat as a sustainable food source. The funding will be used to expand the start-up’s platform technologies to create a cultivated meat production system.

Cocoa pulp upcycling start-up Koa has captured US$10 million in funding to raise its processing by tenfold at its plant in Ghana. The company also plans to share its upcycling technologies with 10,000 additional cocoa smallholders.

Irish grocery tech startup Buymie just picked up €7 million in fresh funding, with its total funding now sitting at €18.2 million. Monies will be used to better their technology and help stores better their capabilities.

Berlin-based biotech company Bosque Foods bags $3M in fresh funding. The mycelium fermentation startup will use the capital to expedite product development and commercialization and work towards expansion and regulatory approval in the EU and USA.

Netherlands alt cheese startup Willicroft raised €2 million to fuel growth in the UK, Germany and the Nordics. The round was led by Rockstart. Paulig’s venture arm PINC, Döhler and Feast Ventures also participated.

New Zealand startup NewFish has emerged from stealth and closed NZ$1.3 million ($816,000) in funding to advance its range of “reimagined” local seafood items that incorporate both plant and animal proteins.

Climate Edge, a UK-based startup that’s providing communication solutions for small holder farmers and their suppliers in developing countries, has closed a $500,000 seed round.

EverAg, a leading agtech provider dedicated to empowering agriculture, food, and beverage supply chains to feed a growing world, has acquired this week Partners for Production Agriculture (PFPAg), a premier provider of agricultural risk management solutions for the swine and cattle sectors.


News & Trends:

Californian-food tech Eat Just has announced that its GOOD Meat cultivated chicken brand is now partnering with food processing giant ADM to help accelerate commercial rollout of GOOD Meat products. The collaboration marks the first cultivated meat partnership for ADM, which recently pledged to invest $300 million towards better protein production.

Finless Foods, a leading alt-seafood company, announces its first official product, plant-based pokè-style tuna, is launching at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) show in Chicago.

General Mills, Inc. is stepping up its efforts around regenerative agriculture and views the practice as key to reaching its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals, the company’s top sustainability officer said.

Australian plant-based meat leader v2food is diversifying its range with ready meals to offer consumers fast and convenient access to prepared vegan dishes. The move marks v2food’s fourth round of innovation, following on from its beef mince and burgers, sausages, pork mince and chicken line.

Paris-based La Vie, known for its game-changing vegan bacon, has announced the opening of a virtual restaurant in collaboration with OFC, The Original Food Court. The dishes created through the collaboration will be available for delivery on Eatic, Deliveroo, and Uber Eats from June.

Israeli food tech startup Yo! Egg has announced it will be launching into U.S. restaurants later this year. The whole-egg analogues are already served in an Israeli breakfast chain and a U.S. debut is just around the corner.

Using precision fermentation, Change Foods has a current war chest of more than $15 million from venture firms and food manufacturing companies and collaborations with such giants as Upfield and Mexico’s Sigma-Alimentos. Bucca believes Change Foods will have products on the market in 2023.

Axa and Unilever plan to invest 100 million euros each into a new 1 billion euro regenerative agriculture fund to be managed by Tikehau Capital. The new private equity "impact" fund is dedicated to enhancing biodiversity and mitigating climate change.

Israel’s InnovoPro and American Milkadamia, leaders of the next generation of alt-protein products started to collaborate and the two showcased Milkadamia's latest development - plant-based ice cream based on InnovoPro's chickpea protein ingredients.

​​Xarvio Field Manager, from BASF Digital Farming, has expanded its weather station device connectivity options for farmers in collaboration with METOS Canada, reports RealAgriculture.

Solis Agrosciences, a new company out of St. Louis, Missouri, has just launched its “Plant Pipeline as a Service” platform to assist ag biotech startups with their research and development needs on the road to commercialization.

Sustainability and school meals are ways to jump-start sales of plant-based meat alternatives, said Chris DuBois, senior vice president, protein practice leader for IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm.

Uber has unveiled plans to trial autonomous 'sidewalk robots' to deliver food to people's doorsteps.

Every five years, Congress’s $1 trillion Farm Bill funds the agricultural industry. A coalition of farmers and companies are campaigning to get the bill to support regenerative farming—and prioritize family farmers over large-scale agribusiness.


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