The Encounter Weekly

18 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:


Singapore-based Tindle by Next Gen Foods raised $100 million in the largest Series A funding round ever for any plant-based meat company.


Equip, has raised $58 million led by The Chernin Group, bringing its total funding to $75 million. It plans to use the money to push its service nationwide by mid-year.


Digital fitness and wellness company FitOn has raised $40 million in Series C funding led by Delta-v Capital, the company announced on Tuesday.


Functional soda brand Olipop's $30m Series B funding round led by a long roster of celebrities, beverage industry veterans, and entrepreneurs, will help make the brand mainstream, according to co-founder David Lester.


Cannabis-infused beverage company Cann has announced a $27 million Series A funding round and its expansion into Canada. A roster of celebrity investors participated.


Hyphen, a company developing automation solutions for commercial kitchens, raised $24 million in Series A funding.

Agreena raises $22.5 million for its Series A round. Its platform helps farmers to sequester, monitor, and monetize carbon, giving them a reported 20% boost in profitability per hectare of land.


Retail analytics SaaS platform Kepler Analytics has raised $22m (USD$15.5m) Series B funding round. The company plans to use the fresh capital for key hires, roll out new product features and fuel global expansion.


Animal-free dairy cheese company Change Foods extended its Seed Round with an additional $12 million, bringing the round's total investment to $15.3 million, the most for any precision fermentation company at this point.


Snoop Dogg’s Casa Verde has led a €13.2 million funding boost for Cansativa Group – a German medical cannabis distribution startup that is becoming a European market leader.

US-based plant-based powerhouse and functional nutrition brand KOS announces it has secured $12 million in Series A round to secure the company’s position as a key player in the plant-based nutrition space and diversify its plant-based footprint.


Food service focused company ​​Agot AI raises $12 million. It develops computer vision solutions and has pilot programs in place with some of the world’s largest quick service restaurants


Advanced recycling startup Novoloop has announced it raised $11 million in Series A financing. The funding will go toward expanding the company’s plastics chemical recycling proces and bringing its production process to scale.


Vanilla Vida raises $11.5 million to fix the vanilla value chain. It’s achieving this by optimizing vanilla yields and using data to enhance the curing process.


Solar Foods has received a €10 million investment boost from the Pharmacy Pension Fund of Finland. The investment will go in the Solar Foods’ Factory 01 facility which will house the first commercial Solein production line.

voilà, the Berlin-based company that enables people to enjoy fine dining experiences at home, with nationwide delivery, has announced €8.8 million of new funding to accelerate its European expansion.


NourishedRx raises $6 million in seed funding to accelerate growth of the first intelligent food-for-health platform.The capital will enable expansion,, increase resources for patients and health plan members, deepen partnerships and key hires.

Seawith – a cultivated steak pioneer from South Korea – has announced the completion of a ₩6.5 billion ($5.43 million) Series A investment, as the startup looks to lead the cultivated meat movement in the country.


The São Paulo, Brazil-based company Nude raised R$25 million (about US$4.8 million) in a Series A led by Vox Capital.

ProfilePrint, a Singapore-based AI-powered food fingerprint platform, has announced the closing of an undisclosed Series A funding round.

AI-powered FoodDocs has raised £1.8 million (US$2.4 million) to solve food safety compliance issues in a fraction of the time. The technology is poised to help food businesses become compliant 500 times faster than traditional methods.


Soil testing and agtech Indonesian startup Semaai scores $1.3 million in fresh funding. The company also provides assistance to small and medium sized farms.

Canada’s female-led plant-based comfort food company Boosh Plant-Based Brands Inc. has announced that it executed an asset purchase agreement to acquire all the assets of the fast-growing American vegan snack company Beanfields Inc.

Kerry Group acquired two companies to increase its biotechnology capabilities. C-LEcta at a cost of 137 million euros and enzyme manufacturer Enmex, costing 62 million euros.

Bowery Farming acquires robot harvesting startup Traptic. The latter uses computer vision, robotic arms, and AI for harvesting fruiting and vine crops like strawberries and tomatoes

An affiliate of private investment firm Peak Rock Capital has completed the acquisition of Ziyad Brothers. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


A group of Canadian investment and protein firms is looking to raise $200 million in equity capital to finance the next generation of plant-based food processors, according to Real Agriculture.


 

News & Trends:


Fiction Foods, a portfolio company of CULT Food Science, has announced significant developments in its novel cellular agriculture product pipeline, with the commercial launch slated for the third quarter of 2022.


Barclays set a €153.00 ($175.86) price objective on Delivery Hero (ETR:DHER) in a research report released on Thursday, Borsen Zeitung reports.


A confluence of skyrocketing investments, consumer demand for healthier and more regenerative products and unprecedented entrepreneurship is supercharging a food sector alive with new options and possibilities


Founded in 2020, New Delhi-based startup ZFW has a tech-enabled network of dark storess to help D2C and F&B brands expand distribution, get closer to customers, and boost profitability.

Satellite technology creates virtual grazing areas in Epping forest, Satnav keeps cows safe without the need for fences and lets woodland thrive

Bioactive foods, also sometimes called functional foods, generate significant interest these days for their ability to improve health outcomes and prevent chronic disease.

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the largest US research institute and non-profit for plant science, has established a new company called Danforth Technology Company (DTC).

Consumers are very enthusiastic and curious about animal-free dairy, with animal welfare being the reason they most want to consume it, according to a series of focus groups done by precision fermentation startup Formo, Fordham University and Mercy For Animals

As part of humanity’s collective efforts to ensure food security and biodiversity amid climate change and other environmental disasters, more than 20,000 new seed samples from 10 global genebanks have been deposited in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Kellogg is spending $2 million on a program called InGrained that will help farmers in the Lower Mississippi River Basin reduce their methane emissions.

Givaudan and US-based company Fiberstar have entered a new deal allowing Givaudan to commercialize and use Fiberstar’s natural, plant-based texturizing ingredient Citri-Fi, upcycled from citrus fiber.

Researchers have claimed to find a way to brew non-alcoholic beer that tastes just like regular beer. In addition, the method is far more sustainable than the existing brewing techniques, hailed as “a game-changer for non-alcoholic beer.”

Benson Hill – a US-based food-tech company unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants – is launching TruVail, a new line of non-GMO plant-based protein ingredients with sustainability benefits, such as water usage reduction

Quorn is the latest food company to unveil plans to look into the deployment of green hydrogen technology at its facilities in order to cut down on fossil fuel use and meet climate targets.

Unilever’s CEO has shrugged off speculation that the group could still dispose of its nutrition or ice cream businesses after its failed move for the GSK Consumer Health business, which would have been funded by a likely IPO of Unilever’s food interests.

Nestlé has launched an initiative that promises to help bridge the living income gap for cocoa farmers in its supply chain. With a focus on productivity, resilience, diversification and access to education the company is more than tripling its current annual investment in cocoa sustainability efforts.

Indian foodtech company and spice brand Agromatic Foods has entered the alt-protein sector with Letz Vez, a new range of plant-based meats.

Gaia’s Farming Co. – the hemp-focused biotech – has launched its Hemp & Coco Chocolate M*lk into Neat Burger restaurants across the UK.

U.S. patent approval has been granted to Israel’s Wilk Technologie, formerly known as BioMilk, for its proprietary procedures and technology associated with milk cultivation.

Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) has teamed up with Potager Farm to establish a new retail park-based vertical farm in Berlin, Germany.

Food and beverages targeting microbiome health and personalised solutions offer significant potential for innovation. However technical, commercial and regulatory challenges remain as product formulators navigate the hype.

Nearly two-thirds of the world’s largest meat, fish, and dairy suppliers are at high risk of incubating the next global pandemic, according to a new report by investor network FAIRR.

House crickets and yellow mealworms have been approved as high protein food ingredients across a broad range of European F&B platforms.

Swiss food giant Nestlé is shaking up the beverage market in Thailand with a new soy-based version of chocolate malt beverage firm favorite, Milo.