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The Encounter Weekly

March 3rd - 10th, 2023

Weekly Roundup: Stay up to date with the most recent Agrifood Tech news, investments and partnerships

IPOs, M&As & Investments:

Impact foodtech company Divert, announced a $1 billion infrastructure development agreement with Enbridge, strengthening its mission to decarbonize the food value chain. Divert also secured $100 million in growth equity.

Danish biotech startup Chromologics raised €7.1 million seeds round. Funds will further advance regulatory approval, establish a commercial production line, expand the portfolio towards additional colors, and progress on commercial execution.

Israeli-cultivated meat company MeatAfora bags $5 million. The funds will inject the company’s R&D with new capital to upscale its platform, which is capable of producing nutritional, low-cost cultivated meat.

Fly by Jing, a Chinese food brand, has secured $12 million in Series B funding from Prelude Growth Partners and Pendulum.The funds will accelerate its growth as it expands into Kroger, Albertsons, and other US retailers.

Following the recent expansion of TiNDLE, Next Gen Foods has acquired Mwah!, a new startup producing dairy-inspired products from plants. By expanding into new categories Next Gen continues to diversify its product offering while meeting consumer demands.

The New Zealand-based women-led precision fermentation start-up, Daisy Lab, has successfully closed a USD $930,000 Seed funding round. The startup will use the funding to scale up the production of its microbial whey protein and continue its research into caseins.

NYC-based baby food brand Cerebelly closed a Series A funding of an undisclosed amount. The company intends to use the funds for product development and innovation, brand marketing, expanding digital presence, and retail growth.

German vegan breakfast startup Wholey has received EUR6.2m as part of pre-Series A financing. Wholey is planning on using the investment “to invest in product development, marketing and sales, with a focus on expanding retail distribution in Europe”

Traceability technology provider The GrowHub has closed a $3 million Pre-Series B round. The fresh funds will be used to continue to build its technology offerings and strengthen its technology capabilities as it further expands across the Asia Pacific region.

Plant-based food company Barvecue completed the opening capital raise for its Series Seed equity funding round. The company will use the funds for the continued growth of its retail and food service business, along with sustained operations of its Carolina Smokehouse production facility.

Sparkalis has taken a minority stake in Fooditive, a precision fermentation foodtech startup producing innovations, including upcycled calorie-free natural sweeteners with the taste and functionality of sugar derived from apple and pear side streams.

Edinburgh-based ePOS Hybrid has undergone a comprehensive rebrand to become Grafterr, following a £100,000 investment and laying the foundations for the next chapter in its growth.

Swiggy, a major player in the foodtech industry, has sold its kitchen infrastructure business, Swiggy Access, to Kitchens@, a cloud kitchen infrastructure startup, in a share-swap agreement.

AGvisorPRO raised $1 million late seed funding round led by PERIGRO. The investment will be used to continue to drive user growth over 25%, scale their revenue to prepare for a Series A round, and advance product development across four key areas.

Burcon NutraScience announced plans to submit a formal proposal to acquire the Canadian plant protein processor Merit Functional Foods business.

Pessl Instruments, the Austrian multinational company, announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the 85% of METOS Canada that it did not own and consolidate ownership over its Canada distribution.

News & Trends:

Europe is 'lagging behind' other international markets when it comes to the development of lab-grown meat, a growing segment of the food tech sector, a new study has revealed.

Japanese food tech company NEXT MEATS announces it will launch its latest alt-protein innovation, Next Short Rib 2.1, at all 31 Costco Wholesale locations in Japan beginning in March.

Plant-based ingredients startup Climax Foods launched its very first offering in its line of zero-compromise, specialty cheese alternatives. The new product line includes Climax Blue, as well as soon-to-be-launched brie-, feta- and chevre-style.

Danish startup FÆRM successfully adapts traditional cheesemaking techniques in the manufacture of plant-based cheese. Furthermore, now, has joined the Venture Lab accelerator program in a bid to commercialize its patented technology.

Investments in climate tech have risen significantly in recent years, as governments put increasing pressure on companies to decarbonize, introduce favorable climate policies, and push a rapid transition to green.

Consumer perceptions toward new food technology innovations are shifting. A recent study conducted by The Hartman Group and commissioned by Perfect Day and Cargill revealed that over three-quarters (77%) are likely to purchase products made with ingredients produced via precision fermentation.

Buyers Edge Platform, the leading foodservice procurement platform with more than $35 billion in transactional volume, announced the launch of Buyers Edge Back Office, a one-stop-shop solution for restaurant operators to manage food costs and automate their back-office operations.

The CEOs and presidents from Loblaw, Empire, and Metro testified before the House of Commons agriculture committee on Wednesday as part of an investigation into food inflation.

Cargill and CUBIQ FOODS have signed a product co-development and commercial go-to-market agreement to develop and accelerate the wide-scale commercialization of CUBIQ FOODS' innovative fat technology.

Motif FoodWorks signed a research collaboration with IngredientWerks. The partnership will study methods to refine heme protein production via molecular farming. IngredientWerks recently also closed its seed funding round.

The competition regulator in Kenya is probing the conduct of online food and grocery delivery platforms to inform its suggestions on regulatory and policy options to bolster healthy competition and enforcement of consumer protection.

US plant-based meat company Impossible Foods has expanded its plant-based product portfolio with the launch of a new product dubbed Beef Lite, a leaner and less fatty version of their vegan-friendly Impossible Beef mince

Hundreds of farmers and food and farm systems advocates gathered for the Farmers for Climate Action: Rally for Resilience, part of a mass mobilization calling on lawmakers to prioritize climate solutions in the 2023 Farm Bill. Participants hailed from 40 US states and 2 territories.

Denmarks’s BioInnovation Institute (BII) announced that it has accepted 'Yummowia' a new project into its Bio Studio program to develop an engineered mycoprotein meat alternative.

Eat Just is cutting 18% of its workforce at its plant-based egg division Just Egg. The move could affect around 40 employees, mostly in the US, and are necessary for profitability, the company said. Good Meat is safe for now.


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