Agtech Funding Catch Up: Summer’s Top 10 Deals

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It’s September 1 and summer is coming to an end. As with many industries, the venture capital industry slows during the months of July and August – particularly August and particularly in Europe! But, with the Labor Day holiday coming up this weekend and the UK’s August Bank Holiday over, the summer is officially over and it’s business as usual from next week.

While it’s certainly been slower, there have been some notable fundings during this period, however.

So whether you’ve been sunning yourself on the coast of Italy sipping Aperol Spritz or taking endless weekend trips to the Hamptons or Lake Tahoe, you may not have been keeping a close eye on them. And we don’t want you to have missed them!

Here’s our top 10 of the summer.

Indigo – $100m Series C

This monster of a funding is the largest for a pure-agtech play. The bulk of the round came from Alaska Permanent Fund, which has pledged continued support to the microbiome research and bio-products company. The funding coincided with the launch of its first product, a seed coating to boost water efficiency in cotton. Watch this space for further product launches later this year. For more, click here.

Ripple Foods – $30m Series B

Led by Google Ventures, the round for this alternative milk company involved a who’s who in venture capital: Prelude Ventures, Tao Capital Partners, Tim Koogle, Khosla Ventures, S2G, Collaborative Fund, Blueberry Ventures, Seth Goldman, and Radicle Impact. This is unsurprising considering the founders have launched venture-backed companies in the past such as Amyris. Founded by Dr Neil Renninger and now listed on the NASDAQ, Amyris is a biotech company in the healthcare industry that was backed by Khosla and DAG Ventures. His co-founder Adam Lowry also founded Method Products, an environmentally friendly home cleaning products company, in 2000.

Farmers Business Network – $20m Series B

This digital ag startup is making waves in the ag industry with its input procurement business that’s aiming to disrupt the large seed and chemical companies with transparent pricing. It raised funding from new and existing investors: DBL Investors, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, GV, Acre Venture Partners. For more about FBN, click here and here.

Drone Deploy – $20m Series B

The software platform for drones raised funding from Scale Venture Partners and ExactTarget co-founder Scott Dorsey’s fund and High Alpha Capital. Agriculture is one of Drone Deploy’s central industries of focus and the funding will be used to help expand the product, make additional hires, advance market reach and for R&D.

Vestaron – $18m Series D

This bioinsecticide company raised funding from existing investors Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, Anterra Capital, Charter Capital Partners, Open Prairie, Pangaea Ventures. It is set to release its first product SPEAR, which it claims is as efficacious as synthetic alternatives, in the first quarter of 2017.

Good Eggs – $15m Series C

The return of this once ailing food delivery startup surprised some in the market, but new CEO Bentley Hall appears to have impressed new investors S2G Ventures and Obvious Ventures. Find out more here and here.

Sample6 – $12.7m Series C

A pathogen detection and analysis system, Sample6 raised $12.7 million in Series C funding from Acre Venture Partners, Valley Oak Investments, Canaan Partners, and Cultivian Sandbox. To find out more about the growing food safety & traceability space click here.

Prospera – $7m Series A

Prospera, an Israeli startup using computer vision, data science, and machine learning to monitor and analyze crops, has raised $7 million in Series A funding in a round led by local VC Bessemer Venture Partners. Read more about Prospera here.

Ava Winery – $2.7m Seed

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s VC firm Horizons Ventures continued its bet on alternative, synthetic foods with an investment in Ava Winery. The startup is manufacturing wine without grapes or fermentation.  Find out more here.

Agrivi – $1m Series A

One of the more established decision support software options on the market, especially in Europe where it launched in 2013, it’s amazing Agrivi is still at Series A stage and raising a relatively small round. The startup raised the round from South Central Ventures — also known as the Enterprise Innovation Fund — a €40 million vehicle, which counts German development bank KfW and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as investors. 

And from this week…

HappyFresh, an Asian grocery delivery service, closed an undisclosed Series B round led by Dubai-based private equity investor Samena Capital. It also announced that it is pulling out of two markets in the Asian region — Taiwan and the Philippines — to focus on Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Runnr, the Indian food delivery merger between TinyOwl and Roadrunnr, has closed a $7 million round with existing investors seed-stage venture fund Blume Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners. Sequoia Capital did not re-invest.

CropIn Technology Solutions, a Bengaluru-based farm management software maker, has closed a $2 million venture round with Danish social enterprise investors Sophia Investment.

Krishi Star, a marketplace for tomato farmers, has closed an undisclosed seed round with four investors. Impact investors Upaya Social Ventures led the round with participation from poverty-focused group 1to4 Foundation, early-stage impact investors Artha Venture Challenge, and an unnamed angel investor.

Additional reporting by Lauren Manning.

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