The Encounter Weekly: 22-29 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:

GrubMarket, a San Francisco-based food technology company, announced today it raised $145 million in a heavily oversubscribed Series E funding round.

Swedish better-for-you ice cream and snacking brand Nick's closed a $100 million Series C fundraising. The round was led by Kinnevik, Ambrosia and Temasek. Gullspang also participated in this round.

DeHaat, an online platform that offers full-stack agricultural services to farmers in India, has raised $115 million in what is the largest funding round for an agritech startup in India, where farm produce yields two-thirds of the country’s $1 trillion in annual retail spending.

Fabric, a maker of robotic micro-fulfillment solutions for grocery and e-commerce retailers, announced today they have raised $200 million in a Series C funding round. The new funding puts the company’s valuation at $1 billion.

Daring Foods closed on $65 million in Series C funding as the plant-based chicken startup launches its products into 3,000 Walmart stores nationally.

Australian soil carbon startup has raised $40 million from investors including TIME Ventures, a VC fund run by Silicon Valley’s Marc Benioff.

UAE-based agritech startup Pure Harvest Smart Farms has secured $64.5 million in growth capital from Korean private investment firm IMM Investment alongside existing investors.

Dig, a vegetable-centric, multi-format restaurant group, has raised series F funding of $65 million for a growth plan coupled with progressive employee benefits and talent retention strategies, according to a company press release.

Plant-based ingredients ​​Shiru has closed a $17 million Series A round led by S2G Ventures and joined by returning investors Lux Capital, CPT Capital, Y Combinator, and Emles Venture Partners

RealEats, the meal delivery service that makes it simple for people to enjoy the nutritional benefits of real food, announced today it has raised $16.3 million in a Series A funding round.

True Essence, the parent of the SoChatti chocolate brand, has raised more than $5 million in series A2 funding with support from Indy-based Elevate Ventures and other private investors.

Mosa Meat, the Dutch cell-based meat pioneer, has secured an EU grant for its Feed for Meat project in partnership with aquafeed giant Nutreco. The grant, totalling nearly €2 million, will be put towards R&D into lowering cell culture media costs by as much as 100-fold, bringing it one step closer to commercialising cell-based beef in the European market.

ProFuse Technology received $1.25M from Fresh Start FoodTech Incubator

Alternative seafood brand Aqua Cultured Foods says it has closed one of the largest pre-seed funding rounds for a food tech company in the biofermentation protein space, for a total of $2.1 million.

Cocoa-free chocolate maker QOA has raised $6 million in seed funding. The round was led by Cherry Ventures and included participation from 50years, World Fund, Nucleus Capital, Trellis Road, Pioneer Fund, and Tet Ventures.

Sweetgreen Inc., the salad restaurant chain founded by Georgetown University graduates, filed for an initial public offering, disclosing a revenue jump and declining losses.

Shenandoah Growers, a Virginia, US-based indoor farming company, has rebranded as Soli Organic and struck a $120 million financing arrangement with real estate development firm Decennial Group.

GNT announces initial investment of $30 million to expand to North America. The Dutch natural colour company's new facility in North Carolina features an expansive warehouse, with a Technical and Culinary Experience Center set to follow in August 2022.

The Berlin-based World Fund just launched Europe’s biggest climate tech venture capital fund. The €350 million fund is targeting startups building technology that can help decarbonize the planet.

White Star Capital, a multi-stage global technology investment platform, announced it has secured $360 million for its third flagship fund, to invest in exceptional entrepreneurs building ambitious, global businesses.

Nordic FoodTech, the venture capital firm investing in alternative protein and sustainable food startups, has closed its first fund with €42 million. Launched last year, the fund is the first early-stage VC in the Nordics region to be fully focused on food techs, and its now set to back 15 to 20 more companies in the coming years.

A recently launched climate technology fund, which says its mission is to solve the problem of climate change, aims to raise a total of 350 million euros ($407 million) to invest in startups whose innovations could avert the global crisis.