The Encounter Weekly

11 February, 2022

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



IPOs, M&As & Investments:


Amsterdam-based Polestar Capital has announced the launch of Europe’s biggest circular economy fund – the Polestar Capital Circular Debt Fund (PCDF). The fund has opened at €100 million and expects to grow to €400 million within a year.


Seoul-based VC Envisioning Partners, has secured its latest impact fund. The oversubscribed $64 million Envisioning Climate Solutions (ECS) Fund is to back startups combating the climate crisis.


Insect-based ingredients startup Protix raises €50M and will use the proceeds for further international expansion and ground-breaking R&D.


Endless West bags $60 million in new series C funding. The funds will be used to expand production capabilities by 10x to 20x to help spirits brands cut back on production costs while boosting sustainability.


​​Cooks Venture secures $50 million financing. The slow-growing chicken breeder will use the money to expand its genetics program and build out infrastructure as well as license its IP around regenerative agriculture to farmers over time.


Agtech startup Agritask bags $26 million. It will use the funds for the development of new products, scale up sales and marketing, and increase hiring


Splendid Spoon, a women-owned and -operated national meal delivery service specializing in ready-made plant-based soups, bowls and smoothies, announces the close of a $12 million funding round led by Nicoya


Aiming to transform the voluntary offset market and accelerate the transition to net-zero, Estonian agtech startup ​​eAgronom raised €6.4 million in a series A equity round this week.


Brasilian agriculture focused fintech startup Agroforte, closed an investment round of US$1.13 million. The funds will be used to expand its offer of credit products and solutions in conjunction with a national growth strategy.


Agtech startup Harpe Bioherbicide Solutions closed more than $3 million in financing. The funds will provide the company the resources to accelerate its R&D and strengthen its intellectual property portfolio.

Canadian startup Wyvern announced a $4.5 million seed round and entry into Y Combinator, and now it’s revealing that it has landed another $4 million in funding via Canada’s Sustainable Development Technology (SDTC) program.

Plant-based burger maker Everything Legendary has closed a $6million Series A round led by CircleUp Growth Partners.. Funds will be used for an ambitious growth plan.

Bolk, a maker of bowl-making robotic canteen raised €4 million in new funding and will use the capital to build prototypes which it has already started to deploy around Paris and surrounding areas.

​​Started as a Meme, Crypto community FriesDAO is on track to buy a fast-food restaurant franchise after raising $4.4 million in one week selling NFTs.

Australian plant-based meat Fënn Foods has scooped $3 million in its latest funding round. Funds are earmarked for across-the-board expansion and refining of processes.

Vietnamese 10 minute grocery delivery startup Rino raised a $3 million pre-seed round from Global Founders Capital (GFC), Sequoia Capital India, Venturra Discovery and Saison Capital.

Korea’s Seawith, developer of cultivated beef, has announced a ₩1 billion ($835K) investment from Mint Venture Partners. It follows previous backing from Hg Initiative, Daesung Startup Investment and Daily Partners.

French insect farming startup InnovaFeed and US agribusiness giant ADM have entered into a strategic partnership agreement which will see the two collaborate on insect protein production.

Cult Food Science Corp, a Canadian company that invests in clean, lab-grown food, has diversified its portfolio with an investment in cultured chocolate manufacturer, California Cultured.

Upfield has taken a minority stake in Alternative Foods London, which operates via its egg alternatives and vegan bakery brand, Oggs.

Hormel Foods Corporation announced the closing of its acquisition of the Planters® snacking portfolio from the Kraft Heinz Company


Greenlight Biosciences completes $1.2 billion SPAC merger to list on Nasdaq. The company develops RNA products for agriculture and human health, including Covid-19 vaccines.


Ingredion has taken an equity stake in Israeli chickpea specialist InnovoPro. Ingredion continues to grow its plant-based portfolio with InnovoPro – developer of a proprietary extraction process to concentrate protein from the chickpea.

 

News & Trends:


InnovaFeed, a French biotech insect producer for animal and plant nutrition, announced Feb. 2 an agreement to supply insect protein to Archer Daniels Midland Co.’s (ADM) pet food division.


Spanish meat alternatives brand Heura has more than doubled the number of households that consume its plant-based products compared to the same period of last year.


US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has announced that the country’s Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest $1 billion over the next year into “climate-smart” farming.

Using proprietary genome editing technology, Brain Biotech and Formo are collaborating to produce bioidentical milk protein. The move has the potential to accelerate commercialization of alternative milk proteins.

German food tech start-up Plant B has announced that it is launching a sweet lupin-based liquid egg alternative this April. The Plant B Egg is said to be rich in protein, fibre and zinc, and is made with only seven ingredients, including lupin flour, sunflower oil and spices.

Kerry Group has launched a €6m dairy sustainability program to support the acceleration of science-backed sustainability actions and best practices across farms in Ireland.

Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) has ramped up its sustainability journey by pledging to eliminate deforestation and converting to native vegetation from its supply chain by the end of 2025.

Zomato will continue to invest both in its core food business and in quick commerce – and updated the upper bound of our potential investments in this category to $400 million cash over the next two years.

High-income nations that shift towards plant-based eating will benefit from a “double climate dividend” of reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and enhanced carbon sequestration, according to the findings of a recent study published in Nature

Sustainability labels and classifications can positively impact consumer acceptance and raise awareness, but they are not driving more sustainable consumer behaviour yet

Lifeway Foods – a US supplier of microbiome-enhancing kefir and fermented probiotic products – has unveiled a new line of adaptogenic beverages that taps into the burgeoning consumer trends for gut health and functional mushroom ingredients.

The Basque Culinary Center will open a new gastronomy innovation hub where teams of experts will be able to develop innovative solutions to some of gastronomy's biggest global challenges.

As food waste continues to be an issue for many households and the food industry at large, this study shows which solutions consumers are most inclined to adopt to cut down on the amount of food that goes to waste in the US.

The vegan chocolate market is experiencing a 12.3 percent CAGR, expected to reach $1 billion in global sales by 2027.