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The Encounter Weekly

January 7th - 14th 2022

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

IPOs, M&As & Investments:

Online ag marketplace Farmers Business Network (FBN) and nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) have teamed up to launch a new credit facility to reward growers who implement sustainable farming practices. The $25 million pilot fund is extending one-year lines of credit of up to $5 million to about 40 corn, soybean, and wheat growers in the US.

MycoWorks, a company making a fungal-based biomaterial that can replace leather, brought in a fresh round of funding — $125 million in Series C financing — to fund a production plant for scaling the manufacture of its flagship product Reishi.

Indonesia-based eFishery announced today that it has raised what it claims is the largest round of funding by an aquaculture tech startup in the world. The company, which provides feeding devices, software and financing for fish and shrimp farmers, got a $90 million Series C funding.

Bowery secures $150 million credit facility led by private equity giant KKR. The vertical farming company also announced that it will build two new farms in Atlanta, Georgia and Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.

Starfield Food Science & Technology, a Chinese startup that develops plant-based meat alternatives, announced the completion of a $100 million Series B funding round led by private equity firm Primavera Capital Group.

Bolt the startup that operates on-demand ride hailing, shared cars and scooters; and restaurant and grocery delivery — has raised €628 million ($709 million at current rates), at a valuation of €7.4 billion ($8.4 billion).

Foxtrot raises $100 million to “modernize” the convenience store. The Series C funding will go towards opening new brick-and-mortar stores in the US while also building out the digital shopping component of the brand.

Monterrey-based company Parrot announced it secured $9.5 million, led by F Prime Capital, to continue developing ParrotConnect and expand its footprint in Mexico.

Agritech startup Pepper Farms has raised USD 1 million (around Rs 7.39 crore) from investors to grow its business. The startup helps farmers organise vegetable production lifecycle starting with plantations until harvest and sales.

Swedish agtech company Ljusgårda raised SEK 170 million (€16,6 million) in a new funding round. Ljusgårda is now continuing its drive to become Europe's largest indoor growing company. Investors include companies backed by the Lundin family, Karl-Johan Persson and Jula.

Alt-protein startup AuraPea closes $1.5 million fundraise. The clean ingredient company uses chickpeas to recreate meat crumbles, such as chorizo.

Cairo-based foodtech startup 3attar has secured Seed investment from AUC Angels, UI Investment and a group of angel investors., has closed €2.2 million for its software that is simplifying the day-to-day operations and management of restaurants.

M&A & IPO's

Himalaya Technologies, has signed a 19.9% stock purchase with The Agrarian Group. TAG is a provider of digital intelligence software called “AgtechDi” designed from its granted patents to optimize the food supply chain by increasing food safety and profitability for growers.

Meat snacks maker Stryve Foods closed $35 million of private offering. They plan to use proceeds from the offering for working capital to support near-term growth, capital expansion projects and general corporate purposes.

Monster Beverage will acquire Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective, a craft beer and hard seltzer company, for $330 million in cash.

COFRA Holding acquires greenhouse tech company Dalsem. The latter is known for developing high-tech greenhouse projects including some of those operated by AppHarvest.


News & Trends:

Plantish unveiled whole-cut plant-based salmon fillets, which will be launching at pop-up locations later this year and officially hit the market in 2024.

Food, ocean and agtech venture fund S2G Ventures released a report citing ten catalysts that will shape intersecting industries including agriculture, food manufacturing, nutrition and food retail in 2022.

Puratos and ReGrained announced a partnership developed for the rising demands of consumers and the producers that serve them. The global bakery leader will offer upcycled solutions for the industry through an exclusive collaboration and supply agreement.

PepsiCo looks like it's gearing up for the very first deliveries of Tesla's long-awaited electric Semis. The snack company has already received a number of Tesla Megachargers and it's now begun installing them on-site.

Soli Organic announced two new partnerships with Rutgers University and AI/IoT company Koidra that will help enhance its cost advantage and increase the accessibility and affordability of its products.

Olam Food Ingredients has partnered with US foodtech startup Brightseed to explore potential new health applications of produce including black pepper and garlic.

HumanForest has announced a partnership with food delivery unicorn Deliveroo to offer delivery riders access to sustainable transport in the UK capital.

As store shelves get barer, food industry insiders are warning that supplies will get even tighter in the weeks ahead due to the effect of Omnicron on the supply chain

Tetra Pak and Elvir are partnering to become the first carton packaging players in the F&B industry to launch a cap using certified recycled polymers.

3D printing is making inroads into food production. Two traction points are imitation meat and designer chocolate.

A Nottingham-based initiative, the Urban Worm Community Interest Company (UWC), is on a mission to “worm up” the UK by kickstarting an urban worm farming movement that can create high-grade fertiliser from banana skins and old socks.

Tel Aviv-based Albo Climate intends to enable “anyone on earth who wants to change his practices to get on our platform” and begin collecting carbon credit cash.

South Korea’s E Green Global is starting out by creating potato seedlings, from tissue cultures in the lab, and hopes to replicate the method with other crops in the near future

Gurugram, India, is the home of Cargill’s first Food Innovation Center where the company will collaborate with food and beverage partners in India to reformulate products that are lower in fat, salt and sugar, , while maintaining taste and texture

Chobani is doubling down on its fast-growing creamer business with the launch of a new plant-based product.

Consumers say that they are highly interested in mood-based food and beverage experiences, with more than 40% stating that they are "very interested" or "extremely interested," and survey data from Innova Market Insights shows there is an array of sought-after mood-related needs.

Dutch plant-based ingredients manufacturer Fooditive has unveiled its new vegan casein in an animal-free alternative milk made from peas using fermentation. The ingredient is the first vegan casein made available for applications in the food industry

Researchers have compared the environmental sustainability credentials of chicken egg white protein powder to an alternative produced using the fungus Trichoderma reesei and precision fermentation techniques. The results are in.

A new sustainable food app, Nommm, has launched promising to reveal to end consumers a greater level of transparency about the environmental impact of their food choices.

Denmark’s Danish Crown is finally entering the plant-based scene. Its new brand, Den Grønne Slagter, translates as ‘The Green Butcher’. It will be available throughout Denmark and sold in popular retail stores.

​​Despite fast-paced growth in investments in plant-based and food technologies and a record $3 billion USD of investment in 2020 alone, over half of women founders in these industries actively faced fundraising bias in 2021, reports Vegan Women Summit's second annual Women Founder Report.


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