The Encounter Weekly 18-24 July

Stay up to date with the most recent news regarding the food tech industry and sustainability, and this week's summary of the most relevant investments and IPOs




IPOs, M&As & Investments:


AgTech


While working as the chief operating officer of a pizza chain in Vietnam, Taku Tanaka saw how difficult it is for restaurants to connect with farmers. Tanaka founded Kamereo, B2B platform with its own warehouse and last-mile delivery network, to focus on those problems. Based in Ho Chi Minh City, the company announced Monday that it has raised $4.6 million co-led by food conglomerate CPF Group, Quest Ventures and Genesia Ventures. The capital will be used for hiring, building a new warehouse management system, user interface upgrades and expanding into Hanoi next year.

Pivot Bio announced on Monday that it had raised $430 million led by venture firm DCVC and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. The new investment brings the agricultural technology startup’s funding to more than $600 million at a valuation of nearly $2 billion.

The Chicago-based indoor, smart hydroponic company Rise Gradens raised $9 million in an oversubscribed Series A round, led by TELUS Ventures, with existing investors True Ventures and Amazon Alexa Fund and new investor Listen Ventures joining in. The company has a total of $13 million in venture-backed investments since Rise was founded in 2017, founder and CEO Hank Adams told TechCrunch

ClimateAi, a pioneer in applying artificial intelligence to climate risk modeling, today announced the launch of its Enterprise Climate Planning (ECP) platform. The ClimateAi ECP platform offers enterprises actionable insights around climate risk tailored to their supply chains. The launch coincides with the closing of a $12 million Series A round led by AI-focused Radical Ventures, with participation from Finistere Ventures and Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition Ventures to meet mounting market demand for ClimateAi solutions.

FoodTech & Biotech

Nature’s Fynd, a food company growing sustainable protein from a microbe with origins in the geothermal springs of Yellowstone National Park, announced today it has raised $350 million in a Series C financing - bringing the company’s total financing to over $500 million. The round was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2* and joined by new investors including Blackstone Strategic Partners, Balyasny Asset Management, Hillhouse Investment, EDBI, SK Inc. and Hongkou with continued support from existing investors.

Magi Richani’s Nobell Foods, announced a $75 million Series B round of funding as it launched out of stealth today, backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and other investors. In total, it has raised $100 million so far. For more than four years, the company has pioneered a new way to make dairy products from plants. The key lies in casein, a protein unique to milk, which the startup now grows in soybeans.

Sensory data company Aromyx announced tuesday that it has raised a $10 million Series A round of funding led by Rabo Food&Ag Innovation Fund and SOZO Ventures, with participation from existing investors Ulu Ventures, Radicle Growth, Capital Energy and Merus Capital.

Reduced, a Copenhagen-based foodtech startup just closed a €385k pre-seed round, which was led by Impact Capital Partners with Rockstart as co-investor. The startup plans to use the funding to build a production facility for a new product line of natural flavor enhancers, which they have been testing at the Technological Institute of Denmark.

Shiok Meats has closed a bridge financing involving several major food companies. While the cell-cultured seafood startup didn’t disclose how much it has raised, it said the round takes its total funding to date to $30 million.

Vevolution, the London-based fintech platform connecting alt-protein startups to investors, has just released new fundraising data. Looking at more than 126 investment rounds, startups were on average seeking $1 million to scale up. Together, these plant-based and cell-based startups are looking to raise $130 million in capital on Vevolution’s democratised fundraising platform.

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Restaurant Tech & Retail Tech


Halla, the AI-powered production recommendation service for grocery retail, announced today that it has raised $4.5 million in Series A1 funding, led by Food Retail Ventures. This brings the total amount raised by Halla to $8.5 million.


It took SoftBank several years, but the Japanese investment giant is now ready to bet on India’s food delivery market. Swiggy said on Tuesday it has closed a $1.25 billion financing round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Prosus.

Choco, the technology company building a connected global food system, announced today that it has raised $100 million in Series B funding. The round is led by New York-based growth equity firm Left Lane Capital, who is joined by venture capital and private equity firm.

Collectiv Food, the next generation food supply business transforming how fresh products are accessed and distributed within cities, has secured €13.9 million in its Series A funding round. Sweden’s VNV Global, Singapore’s VisVires New Protein (VVNP) co-led the round. Octopus Ventures, Norrsken VC, and existing investors Partech and Mustard also participated.

Rappi, a Colombian on-demand delivery startup, has raised “over” $500 million at a $5.25 billion valuation in a Series F round led by T. Rowe Price, the company announced late Friday.

The San Francisco-based Zenput raised $27 million in Series C financing, led by Golub Capital, to continue developing its application to automate operation procedures like tracki