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Benson Hill co-founder Todd Mockler. Image credit: Benson Hill

The week in agrifoodtech: $42m for No Meat Factory, New Age Eats ‘lets go’ of pilot facility, Benson Hill co-founder passes away

January 12, 2023

This week, Canadian alt-protein startup No Meat Factory raised Series B funding, while down in the US, New Age Eats let go of its nearly completed pilot facility. There were two new deals for forestry-related projects along with new funding for India ag data startup Cropin.

More importantly, AFN is very saddened to learn that Benson Hill co-founder Todd Mockler has passed away at the age of 52. Mockler was also a scientist at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis. “He made the work we do and the impact we have the privilege to make possible, and his scientific curiosity will continue to inspire us,” Benson Hill said in a statement on its website.

Benson Hill co-founder Todd Mockler. Image credit: Benson Hill

Foodtech funding

🇨🇦 No Meat Factory closes $42 million Series B. Tengelmann Growth Partners led the round for the plant-based meat company. (Vegconomist)

🇳🇬 B2B ingredients supplier Releaf lands $3.3 million Series A. Samurai Incubate Africa, which participated in Releaf’s seed round, led the Series A round. (TechCrunch)

🇲🇽 Hero Guest bags $2.3 million for its digital training “academy” for restaurants and hotels. Grupo MVS, the Variv Capital fund and Grupo Anderson participated. (LatamList)

A soil technician testing soil with probe. Image credit: enrichAg/Terramera

Agtech funding

🇳🇴 N2 Applied lands €10 million ($10.8 million) to further develop and expand use of its fertilizer technology. The European Innovation Council (EIC) provided the funding. (N2 Applied)

🇮🇳 VC firm Omnivore invests $1 million seed round into animal health startup eFeed. Funds will go towards research and development operations, expanding eFeed’s farmer network, and hiring. (VC Circle)

🇺🇸 Microbiome startup BIOHM raises $7.5 million in equity financing. Middleland Capital’s VTC Ventures led the round, which will go towards further development of BIOHM’s platform for food and medicine. (genomeweb)

🇨🇭 Open Forest Protocol secures €3.8 million ($4.1 million) to improve forestation through blockchain. Shima Capital and Übermorgen Ventures, amongst others, participated. (Silicon Canals)

🇺🇸 Terramera spinout enrichAg lands $6 million seed round, officially launches. At One Ventures has led a $6 million seed round to commercialize enrichAg’s soil testing and analysis platform. (AFN)

🇮🇳 India-based ag data startup Cropin has raised $13.7 million in Series D funding. Google and JSR Corporation joined the round as new investors. (AFN)

Deforestation. Image credit: iStock

M&A, IPO & partnerships

🇺🇸 Ingredients company Benson Hill sells Fresh division to IMG Enterprises for $21 million. The former plans to concentrate on its Ingredients division. (Food Dive)

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇮🇪 Specialist asset manager Gresham House launches the €200 million ($217 million) Irish Strategic Forestry Fund. The fund aims to increase investments for forest cover in Ireland. (Agri Investor)

🇺🇸 Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations extend funding photosynthesis project. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency project aims to optimize photosynthesis. (RIPE)

Mineral rovers. Credit: Mineral

Other news

🇺🇸 New Age Eats (formerly New Age Meats) lets go of nearly complete pilot facility. No reason was given for the company’s sudden shift in plans. (Food Navigator)

🇺🇸 Google parent company Alphabet publicly launches agtech startup Mineral. Mineral aims to provide data and analytics for companies across food, agriculture, and technology. (AFN)

🇩🇪 Project Eaden unveils new fiber technology to improve texture and appearance of alt meat. The company has also extended its seed round from €8 million to €10.1 million ($8.7 million to $11 million). (Vegconomist)

🇺🇸 Deere & Co. will let farmers repair their equipment. Following a lengthy battle, a deal with American Farm Bureau Federation lets farmers fix their own equipment or go to an independent technician. (Reuters)

🇨🇦 Cell ag investment platform CULT Food Science announces CULT Foods division. The new division will work with affiliate companies to commercialize cell-based food products. (PR Newswire)

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England to ban single-use plastic cutlery and plates. The ban does not include plastic items found in the supermarket. (BBC)

🇺🇸 Yo-Kai Express debuts desktop ramen robot at CES 2023. The new model is designed for “small-format retailers” like gas stations and co-working spaces. (The Spoon)

🇺🇸 World’s first agri-focused satellite launched from Cape Canaveral. EOS SAT will provide ag and forestry with data to support efficient and sustainable practices. (PR Newswire)

🇺🇸 Albertsons implements Afresh AI-powered technology to more than 2,000 stores. Afresh’s inventory management platform helps retailers reduce food waste. (Progressive Grocer)

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