The Encounter Weekly

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


IPOs, M&As & Investments:


San Francisco’s alt protein pioneer Eat Just announced a $25 million investment and strategic partnership with Alibaba-backed private equity firm C2 Capital Partners (C2).

Changing Biotech, China’s first precision fermentation dairy startup, has emerged from stealth mode and announced a record-breaking $22 million Series A led by veteran domestic agtech venture capital fund Bits x Bites.

Groundwork BioAg, a leading producer of mycorrhizal inoculants with broad benefits for mainstream agriculture, has completed an $18 million Series B raise.

Sabanto announced it has closed an oversubscribed $17M Series A funding round led by leading agtech venture firm Fulcrum Global Capital. John Peryam, co-founder and partner at Fulcrum, joins Sabanto's board of directors.

Seth Goldman’s new venture Eat the Change raised $14.5 million for its Just Ice Tea set to hit the market next month. The funding is being used to set up and scale production and commit to major purchases of bottles, caps, tea and ingredients.

Kenya’s agtech startup iProcure has announced the closure of its $10.2 million Series B round. The investment will be used to scale and expand as well as upscale its technologies, logistical infrastructure, and distribution network.

Mycel, a South Korean startup making fungal-based biomaterials that can replace leather and meat, said it has raised $10 million (13 billion WON) in a pre-Series A round of funding

RipeLocker raised $7.5 million, providing the food-tech startup fresh funding to boost production, upgrade its systems and continue doing efficacy trials.

Chamberlain Coffee, a Los Angeles, CA-based organic coffee maker, raised $7M in Series A funding. The company intends to use the funds to expand into new channels, and develop new and innovative products in the beverage space.


Byte Kitchen, a startup that operates high-tech food halls, has raised $6 million from a group of investors including the co-founder of Caviar and the founder of Black Bear Diner

Cold storage solution Koolboks has raised $2.5 million in seed funding to continue developing their alternative solution to generate refrigeration without power in Africa.


Edinburgh-based biotech startup MiAlgae has secured an additional £2.3m in investment, creating 10 new jobs in the process. Plans are already in place to commercialise other high-value compounds and pigments through expansion of the platform.

Functional beverage brand Wet Hydration raised $1.3 million in its latest funding round. The brand, which launched in 2020, markets zero-calorie, zero-sugar beverages enhanced with electrolytes, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Indias’s FMCG startup Naagin has secured over $1 million as a part of its seed funding round to expand its online and offline channels. It also plans to invest further in research and development as well as in product innovation.

Japanese venture firm Real Tech Holdings has completed an investment in Singapore-headquartered whole-food plant-based meat brand KARANA. The Real Tech investment is the latest tranche in KARANA’s seed extension round and aims to support the company’s market expansion.


Agri insurtech startup IBISA announced that Ankur Capital, a major early-stage venture capital fund focused on transformative technologies in deeptech and climate tech, has joined its seed round

 

Funds & Accelerators

Stella McCartney has joined forces with venture capital firm Collaborative Fund to launch the sustainability-focused SOS fund worth $200 million. They will invest in companies in the fields of decarbonisation, food and agriculture, and materials solutions.

Bayer has announced the launch of ForGround, a farmer-first digital platform that will transform the way farms of all sizes can more easily make the transition to sustainable agricultural practices.

Intending to build the future of food and open the doors to new alliances, Grupo Bimbo, the world's leading bakery company, launched Bimbo Open Door, the largest food business accelerator in Latin America.

Seed to fork fund Butterfly Equity recently announced the closing of its sophomore fund. Nearly doubling in size from the previous vintage, the fund closed with commitments of $1 billion from a wide range of partners including institutional investors, family offices, entrepreneurs, and food investors.

 

JV, Partnerships & Grants

Kalsec, a natural colors and ingredients producer for the food and beverage industry, is partnering with biomanufacturing company Infinome Biosciences to develop and commercialize precision fermentation products.

Malaysia’s Fluree and Sinisana Technologies partner to boost Halal food verification through a forthcoming online platform, Intersect, designed to improve food product sourcing, provenance and safety.

ADM, a global leader in sustainable human and animal nutrition, and New Culture, a pioneering animal-free dairy company, have formed a strategic partnership to accelerate the development and commercialization of alternative dairy products.

Swiss cell cultured meat company MIRAI FOODS and Gaia Foods, a subsidiary of Shiok Meats, the first cultivated seafood company in SE Asia, announced that they are collaborating to exchange know-how and supplies to bring cultivated beef to Singapore.

 

News & Trends:

Pinky Cole, founder and CEO of burger phenomenon Slutty Vegan, announces Slutty Vegan Brooklyn will officially open on September 17th. The new restaurant marks the brand’s first franchise in New York, and its 7th national location.

Products from leading Brazilian plant-based meat maker Future Farm will become available in the U.S. through Amazon Fresh, and make their retail store debut at Sprouts Farmers Market.

Food delivery companies Deliveroo, Foodpanda, and Grab have jointly launched an association to represent the food delivery industry and better support delivery partners and merchants.

has recently announced that it is investing £4.5 million into a rebrand, with the target of increasing its retail sales value to £90 million by October of next year. The investment follows the acquisition of Gü by private equity firm Exponent

In the second quarter of 2022, total VC funding for the food tech sector experienced a 23% decline from Q1, says a new report by Pitchbook, with total deal values dropping from $6.9Bn to $5.6Bn.