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The Encounter Weekly

Friday, February 4th, 2022

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

Latest Funding:

Copia Global, a Kenyan B2C e-commerce company, has secured $50 million in Series C funding in a round led by Goodwell Investments.

Zapp, the instant grocery delivery startup that launched in 2020 in London, has raised $200 million, a Series B round of funding that Zapp said it will use both to beef up its presence in its home market, and to expand to “mega cities”.

Natural granola, oatmeal and baking mix company Purely Elizabeth closed a $50 million Series B funding round.

Functional soda brand Olipop closed a $30 million Series B funding round led by Monogram Capital Partners, which also led the company's 2020 Series A round.

Restaurant ordering platform Lunchbox raises $50 million in a Series B round. The company will use to accelerate product research and development as well as expand hiring.

Dutch online-only supermarket Crisp raises $35 million. The Series B capital gives the company a valuation of almost $500 million.

Kula Bio, a US-based startup developing a biological fertilizer, has raised $50 million in Series A funding to increase production capacity and further innovate on its technology.

Microbe made-Vegetable oil alternative and fermentation company Zero Acre Farms just raised $37 million on a Series A round. Investors include Coldplay, Branson and Robert Downey jr.

Retailo — an online B2B marketplace that connects merchants with food producers and other suppliers — has raised $36 million for its Series A round, which included both equity and venture debt components.

Jakarta’s retail-tech company Astro closes $27 million Series A round. The app scored the funding from lead investors Accel and Sequoia Capital, among others

Qlub, a startup developing an ultra-fast payment solution for consumers in restaurants, has raised $17 million in seed financing.

Recently, smoothie company Kencko reported raising a $10 million Series A, and Athletic Greens, which created a daily nutrition beverage, announced $115 million on a $1.2 billion valuation.

Agribusiness platform Our Food closes $6 million round. The company will use the funds for its overall growth including increasing its manufacturing capacity and improving the agricultural food supply chain.

Singapore-headquartered Kind Kones, a plant-based ice cream startup, has raised S$1.5 million (US$1.1 million) in its series A round led by DSG Consumer Partners.

Cropsy Technologies has successfully completed its first capital raise, with the award-winning ag-tech company raising $1.5 million in an over-subscribed round, ensuring it is perfectly positioned to commercialise its world-first AI-enabled crop vision system.

Gobble, a Singapore-based foodtech firm, has raised US$1.3 million in a seed round led by Beenext and Flash Ventures.

M&A, IPO's

Transaction to result in Kalera becoming a publicly listed company on NASDAQ and delisting from Euronext Growth Oslo exchange during Q2 2022, through Merger with Agrico Acquisition Corp

Multinational joint venture PlantPlus Foods, closed the CA$125 million [approximately $100 million] deal with Canadian vegan food manufacturer Sol Cuisine about two months after it purchased Drink Eat Well.


News & Trends:

Beyond Meat is expanding its partnership with Chinese-American fast-food giant Panda Express. The duo have debuted two new plant-based beef dishes to be served at the Panda Express Innovation Kitchen, located in Pasadena, California.

Save Foods, an Agri-Food Tech company specializing in eco crop protection that helps to reduce food waste and ensure food safety, announced that the Company received approval from Peru’s Ministry of Agricultural Development and Irrigation to sell its products in Peru.

Synthetic biology company Tierra Biosciences has officially launched its “proteins-on-demand” e-commerce portal where synbio scientists and researchers get custom proteins synthesized, validated, and shipped to them via a single interface.

Thailand has become Asia’s first country in modern times to formally decriminalize cannabis in what one expert called a “major step towards other major steps.”

Food companies seeking to launch new products into foodservice venues can learn some important lessons from the ongoing wave of plant-based product introductions in the industry.

Sweden, Finland and Austria are the top performers in the 2021 Food Sustainability Index, with particularly strong results in managing food loss and waste and nutritional challenges.

As the effects of climate change intensify and paths for limiting global warming narrow, politicians, media and environmental advocates have rallied behind “carbon farming” as a mutually beneficial strategy for society, the environment and farmers.

Kubota has enlisted Tesla co-founder and engineer Ian Wright to develop field robots controlled by artificial intelligence. The partnership will initially focus on machines that grow wine grapes.

Brimore, an Egyptian social e-commerce market will be worth over $14.8 billion by 2024. The opportunity in the market can be attributed to the growth in online social sellers in the country, over 1.25 million them, helping little-known brands sell and distribute their goods via different networks.

Indoor vertical farming company Square Roots and national food distributor Gordon Food Service have opened a new climate-controlled, indoor farm in Kenosha, Wisc., making locally-grown, fresh leafy greens and herbs available to more Midwest consumers year-round.

UK food and drink firms say they remain concerned about supply shortages as a deal which ensured carbon dioxide (CO2) supplies comes to an end.

Red Sea Farms is expanding into the US. Their international expansion is being accelerated following investment from US investors AppHarvest and Bonaventure Capital.

Tea, coffee and botanical solutions supplier Finlays has sealed a deal with flavor house Firmenich, which gives Firmenich full sales rights to two core parts of Finlays’ cold-brew coffee and tea extract portfolios in Europe.


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