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The Encounter Weekly: Sept 24- Oct 1, 2021

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

IPOs, M&As & Investments:

Ripple Foods, the California-based brand making dairy-free products from yellow peas, has raised $60 million in a Series E funding round led by Rage Capital, Ajax Strategies, and S2G Ventures. The new raise puts the brand at more than $250 million raised to date.

US alt-dairy startup Perfect Day has raised $350 million in Series D funding, valuing the non-animal dairy startup at roughly $1.5 billion. Singaporean sovereign fund Temasek and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board co-led the round. Other Series D investors included Disney executive chairman Robert Iger.

Canadian precision ag platform Semios, , has closed $100 million in late-stage funding. The round was led by Morningside Group, bringing the company’s total funding to $225 million.

Precision livestock platform Vytelle has closed $13.2 million in Series A funding for its technology that lets livestock producers speed up genetic advancement in cattle. Private equity firm Open Prairie and Ag-tech VC, Fulcrum Global Capital co-led the round.

New Age Meats has raised $25m in series A round led by Hanwha Solutions of South Korea that will allow it to begin manufacturing sausage products combining cell-cultured and plant-based meat at a 20,000-square-foot pilot facility in Alameda, California, in 2022.

Indian food delivery startup Swiggy is in talks to raise over $500 million in a new financing round that could value it at over $10 billion, two sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

Burro, formerly known as Augean Robotics, an autonomy company providing solutions for the agriculture industry, today announced it has raised a $10.9 million Series A.

Ginkgo Bioworks, the Boston-based synbio startup, has gone public on the NYSE. Trading under the ticker symbol DNA, the company, which raised $1.6 billion through the SPAC merger, is now looking to continue growing its cell programming platform “to solve even bigger problems with biology”, from alt-materials to sustainable protein.

Seattle agtech startup iUNU just announced another acquisition: it is buying Artemis, a Lake Ariel, Pa.-based startup founded in 2015 that offers a “Cultivation Management Platform” for indoor farms.

The healthy fast-casual restaurant chain Just Salad announced its largest-ever capital raise. Focussed on building a circular economy, investment firm Closed Loop Partners participated in the round along with existing investor Panda Restaurant Group, the parent company of Panda Express. Just Salad will use the capital to double the number of its restaurants and scale its reusable bowl program.

Latin American agrifood tech investors SP Ventures has closed its latest agrifoodtech fund on $41.5 million. The fourth close adds big-name investors to the table including Banco de Brasil, one of the largest financial institutions in the country with 50% of the credit and insurance market in the region.

Agfunder’s data snapshot: Startups developing innovative food and ingredients, including alt-proteins, raised a total of $1.4 billion in the first half of this year, according to AgFunder data – representing a 25% increase on H2 2020’s funding total.


News & Trends:

Beyond Meat’s meatless chicken tenders are heading to the freezer aisles of grocery stores.

Pea suppliers in the plant protein sector are facing an unprecedented situation that is strongly impacting the market – tight raw material supply capacity amid rising global demand for meat alternatives. Specifically, pea availability has been hit by an exceptional drought this summer in Canada, the largest pea-producing region in the world.

Food brands and supermarkets have the power to make nature-positive food the norm. The Foundation’s latest study, The big food redesign: Regenerating nature with the circular economy, explains how.

Rehovot, Israel-based cultivated meat company Aleph Farms has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with two of Asia’s largest food companies. Thai Union, the Thailand-based seafood-product company, and Korea-based food and bio company CJ CheilJedang, will help Aleph with its scale-up and go-to-market efforts in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, according to an announcement shared with Green Queen.

California-based Impossible Foods has arrived in the United Arab Emirates, the company’s first market in the Middle East. Its flagship product, Impossible™ Burger, is kosher, halal and gluten-free certified, and now exclusively available on the menus of select restaurants across Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Having recently launched plant-based fish-finger, Moving mountain is expanding its line of business of alt seafood offerings with a plant-based fish fillet.

A new cocoa fruit juicer concentrate has been developed by french chocolate maker Valrhona in collaboration with Swiss-Ghanaian startup Koa.

Vegan sweets brand Candy Kittens has teamed up with social change and reforestation charity TreeSisters to launch a 2021 Christmas Calendar.

Alternative dairy cheese brand Violife is rolling out a new plant-based SKU: Viospread Light & Creamy.

Ethical British coffee start-up Presto has launched a Colobian instant coffee to capitalise growing premiumisation of the UK coffee market.

The prospect of genetically modified foods being grown and sold in the UK has come a step closer after changes to farming regulations that will allow field trials of gene edited crops in England.

The Giant Co. has partnered with Instacart to launch Giant Instant Delivery and Martin’s Instant Delivery, allowing busy customers to skip that quick trip to the store. Shoppers can get fresh groceries, convenience items and household essentials from early morning to late at night in as fast as 30 minutes.

Dairy-identical vegan gelato and baked goods are coming to the foodservice sector thanks to a partnership announced this week between food technology startup Perfect Day and Villa Dolce, an Italian family-owned artisanal gelato and sorbetto supplier.


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