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Agri-FoodTech News in Europe: $178m in Venture Funding this Week

June 27, 2019

Catch up on the latest funding activity for European food and agtech startups. This week, the funding rounds below represent a total of $177.9 million committed to the sector, covering food delivery, B2C marketing, and restaurant software.

Finland’s food delivery company Wolt revealed it had clinched $160 million through two rounds of funding: a $130 million Series C round and a previously unannounced $30 million Series B round in January 2018. The Helsinki-based company launched in 2014 and has expanded to 50 cities in 15 countries in the EMEA region. “Food delivery is a hyper-competitive market and it’s rare for any company in this industry to stand out for having a sustainable business model,” said Laurel Bowden, partner at 83North, which led the company’s Series B round. The company claims its platform “optimises logistics in real-time, allowing Wolt to deliver food more efficiently than the wider industry.” ICONIQ Capital led Wolt’s Series C. Other backers include Highland Europe, EQT Ventures and Lifeline Ventures.

UK-based restaurant company Taster raised $8 million in Series A funding to expand its chain of delivery-only restaurants. The two-year-old company operates three food chains: Mission Saigon, O Ke Kai, and Out-Fry, which service London, Paris and Madrid via delivery partners like Deliveroo, Glovo and UberEats. Founder Anton Soulier hails from the early days of Deliveroo. Taster integrates the backend tech, like billing and supply chain management, to allow it to expediently launch restaurants and expand into new service areas. The company has reportedly delivered about 400,000 meals. Battery Ventures, Heartcore Capital, LocalGlobe, and Marc Ménasé backed its Series A round alongside other other existing investors.

Also in the UK, nez secured £2 million ($2.5 million) for its food and drink “discovery app” that aggregates special offers from bars and restaurants. Founder Joe Zender, who started nez in 2016, said his mission is to help revive the brick and mortar restaurant scene. More than 300 bars, restaurants and cafes across London have posted nearly 400,000 offers via nez. Burger King UK’s chairman, Martin Robinson, was among the investors in nez’s latest funding round.

Dutch online supermarket Crisp clinched €5 million ($5.7 million) in a Series A funding round backed by several individual investors. The company’s focus is connecting consumers directly with small farmers, producers and food businesses across the Netherlands. It partners with more than 350 suppliers across the country and has structured a logistics network that allows for next-day delivery. 

Another Dutch company, Antwerp-based APICBASE, raised €1.5 million ($1.7 million) in fresh funding for its cloud-based food management software. The platform is designed to help restaurants, caterers and other food services firms manage their business operations—everything from culinary processes to marketing and sales. APICBASE also hosts a photo studio for professional kitchens, adding 15,000 photos and 4,500 recipes each month. The funding from investment firm Newion will be used for team expansion.

And on the investor side of things:

London-based Talis Capital raised $100 million to back European tech companies this year. Food and agtech ventures will get a slice of the investment pie. The investment firm’s current foodtech portfolio includes US farm-focused software company Artemis and insect farming venture Ynsect.

Cherry Ventures, based in Berlin, closed its third fund—a generalist fund for early-stage European startups. Cherry Ventures, an early backer of Infarm, plans to include food and agtech ventures in the fund’s pipeline. It will write checks in the r€300,000 and €5 million range.

Ireland’s Yield Lab Europe opened its 2019 accelerator program for agtech startups. The program places special emphasis on enterprises developing solutions for sustainability and food security. Accepted ventures will get €100,000 each, alongside mentorship and training.

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