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The Encounter Weekly

Weekly roundup: stay up to date with the most recent news, investments and partnerships regarding the agrifood tech

24 February, 2023

IPOs, M&As & Investments:

FreshToHome, has closed $104 million in Series D funding with Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund leading the round. The capital will strengthen FreshToHome's mission to make 100% preservative and antibiotic-residue-free fish, seafood, and meat accessible and affordable to millions of meat lovers.

Land-based fish farm developer Pure Salmon has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia to build a RAS salmon farm in the kingdom. The deal with the country’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIM), involves an investment of £421.5 million.

(AI) provider for greenhouse growers, has closed $23 million in its Series A funding round. After the successful commercial launch and implementation of its first product, the company will launch two new products in 2023. The new funding will also help expand its AI to support even more crop types and farming methods.

Loliware, which uses seaweed material for sustainable packaging, has raised a total of $15.4 million, with $6 million raised in its latest round of pre-series A funding – making it the market’s best-funded seaweed materials tech company.

Brussel-based Paleo has now raised €12M in a Series A funding round led by US-based VC DSM Venturing and Planet A Ventures. The capital will help scale its technology (from 10L to 10,000L fermenters) and begin commercial production.

Canadian startup Future Fields has raised $11.2 million in a seed extension round to scale up fruit flies as production vehicles for high-value recombinant proteins. The funding will support the hiring of key personnel and build out a facility next to its HQ.

CEA’s French startup Futura Gaïa just secured €11 million to reach industrial scale. Now, with this new funding, the startup will enhance its agronomical and technological R&D capacities along with the installation of the first vertical farm at an industrial scale.

CarbonCloud, a climate-tech SaaS solution for the food industry, has secured €7.5M in a Series A round of funding led by Cusp Capital and Peak. CarbonCloud says it will use the funds to expand its market position as the leading climate intelligence platform.

Swap Robotics has secured $7 million in seed funding to automate solar vegetation management with 100% electric autonomous robots. This round was led by SOLV Energy, one of the largest utility-scale solar project developers in the U.S.

California-based upcycling startup Planetarians has received a $6 million venture capital infusion to help it move to its next phase of commercial production. In fact, the new investment will be used to build a pilot facility and ramp up sales.

Paris-based Carbon Maps has secured €4M in a Pre-Seed round of funding from European venture capital firms Breega and Samaipata. The startup plans to utilize the capital to improve its platform’s features and models, key hires, and expand its services to other EU countries.

Cambridge, Mass-based startup Wild Microbes has raised $3.3 million in a pre-seed round to help unlock the potential of precision fermentation through the use of a gene-editing approach it claims can create superior production hosts.

Inclusive candy company Better Sour has raised an oversubscribed $1 million pre-seed round to support the brand’s launch. The company will focus primarily on brick-and-mortar and it will be available through Pod Foods, with more details on their retail partners to be announced in the coming months

Raleigh-based food production startup Myodenovo has raised $105,000 in funding from Sustainable Food Ventures and Sweet Farm, though the round could grow as large as $2 million.

Soylent Nutrition is joining public company Starco Brands as part of an acquisition that will keep the plant-based food technology company operating as a separate unit under its current CEO Demir Vangelov.

Molecular farming company IngredientWerks has secured its seed round of funding. With the capital they will advance to the next level in their pipeline of plant-based, bioidentical animal proteins and its objective to help the industry reach price parity.

Molecular farming ingredient startup Elo Life Systems has raised $24.5 million in its Series A funding round. The funding will enable Elo to accelerate the development of its natural, plant-based sweetener products by advancing U.S. regulatory approvals, building pilot-scale processing capabilities, and market-testing its sweetener with consumers.

News & Trends

Which sectors within food and ag-tech are attracting big money? According to a recent McKinsey study, recent growth in VC investment was particularly transformative for the Food and AgTech sectors.

We have been witness to an accelerated pace of innovation in every part of the food system. And while consumers have accepted and even embraced many of these food tech innovations, they remain most guarded when it comes to what they are actually putting in their bodies.

In Israel, interest in food tech ranges from alternative proteins to food waste, vertical farming to delivery robots. Which areas have ecosystem majors pinpointed as solid growth opportunities?

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced plans to start developing Japan’s cellular agriculture industry with the aim of producing cultivated meat and fish, according to a story published by the Japan news bureau, Nikkei.

Singapore-based AI-driven ingredient profiling company ProfilePrint and the Guatemalan national coffee association Anacafé have signed a strategic partnership deal. The partnership is expected to result in the first primary practical application of ProfilePrint technology in the Latin American coffee sector.

Transforming food waste using sustainable technologies could produce enough protein to tackle the global food crisis and more, says fresh research.

A new cooperation framework was signed between the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Eagle Genomics. The two will collaborate at the intersection of life science and data science to help solve urgent global challenges in food security, nutrition and agriculture.

8X Ventures plans to deploy $20 million in the near future in the region’s climate tech and cleantech startups, with a further $5 million set aside for startups that are based in the Middle East and actively working in the region.

FoodTech start-up Mush Foods, is propelling the "meat-plus" movement to the mainstream of foodservice and food retail. A portfolio company of the Kitchen FoodTech Hub, Mush Foods developed its 50CUT mycelium protein ingredient solution to slash the animal protein content in meat products by 50%.

Nine precision fermentation leaders across the globe - Change Foods, The EVERY Co., Helaina, Imagindairy, Motif FoodWorks, New Culture, Onego Bio, Perfect Day, and Remilk have joined forces to establish the Precision Fermentation Alliance, a new trade organization created to champion precision fermentation as a trusted solution for a more resilient and sustainable food system.

Contrarian Ventures, a climate tech investment firm, has secured €25 million from the European Investment Fund to back European start-ups tackling the climate crisis.


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