Sense360, a customer tracking and data platform for restaurants and grocery stores, has raised $7 million in seed funding from Firstmark, Qualcomm Ventures, and Upfront Ventures. The startup has sensor technology embedded in dozens of apps installed on at least 2 million smartphones, providing it with anonymous data on where, how, and when people interact with physical locations and businesses. Read more on TechCrunch.
MJ Freeway, a cannabis business management software startup, has raised $3 million in a Series B extension round. MJ Freeway received new investments from existing investors Roger McNamee and Tao Capital Partners, according to VC News Daily.
Wurk, a cannabis workforce compliance technology platform, has raised $3 million in seed funding. Cannabis investors Poseidon Asset Management led the round alongside Phyto Partners, Salveo Capital, and The Arcview Investor Network. Wurk helps cannabis companies provide the necessary HR and Payroll infrastructure to take care of their employees and stay compliant with government regulations.
Farmdrop, the UK-based farm-to-consumer food delivery platform, has raised £7 million ($9 million) in a round led by UK venture capital firm Atomico, which is run by Skype cofounder Niklas Zennström. Atomico was joined by other high-profile investors: SwiftKey CEO and cofounder Jon Reynolds, and Saracens Rugby club chairman Nigel Wray. Existing investor, ASOS cofounder Quentin Griffith, also joined the round. Farmdrop sells and delivers groceries from farmers within 150 miles.
Nutriati, a plant-based food technology startup, has raised $8 million in investment, in a round led by UK’s Tate & Lyle Ventures, and vegetarian fund Powerplant Ventures. The round also involved participation from NRV and Blueberry Ventures.
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Wasteless, an Israeli startup creating a real-time tracking solution to help fight food waste at the grocery store using machine learning, raised a $400,000 seed round investment with accelerator VC SOSV, Food Angels, Jonathan Ofir, the CEO of cannabis grow system startup Leaf, and pre-seed tech investor Winston Ltd. Read more about the deal here.
Marrone Bio, the listed biological ag products company, is raising $8 million in a public share offering. National Securities Corporation is the sole book-running manager. Read the press release here.
PicoBrew, a home craft beer brewing appliance company, has raised over $1 million on its KickStarter campaign that was initially targeting $350k. Investors purchased various combinations of equipment and subscriptions to the company’s monthly in exchange for their pledges.
Vital Farms, one of the largest pastured eggs suppliers in the US, has raised $11.1 million in private equity investment from Boulder, Colorado-based Sunrise Strategic Partners, and other individuals. The new capital will allow Vital Farms to complete a robotics-enabled egg washing and packing facility in Springfield, Missouri.
Global private equity firm KKR has invested $250 million in Vietnamese meat, packaged food, and animal feed businesss Masan Group and Masan Nutri-Science. KKR has purchased $100 million in secondary shares of Masan Group from PENM Partners, a Danish private equity company, and a $150 million primary investment in Masan Nutri-Science for a 7.5% stake. Vietnam’s $18 billion meat sector lacks productivity and is highly fragmented (the market leader has less than 1% share), leading to consumers paying more for less, according to a press release. KKR wants to help Masan become the first integrated consumer meat platform in Vietnam.
Faasos, an Indian food e-commerce startup, has raised $6.4 million in Series C extension capital from Lightbox Ventures II, Sequoia Capital India, RuNet South Asia, Lightbox Expansion Fund, and RB Investments. For a brief analysis of India’s food e-commerce space, go to YourStory.