VoloAgri, a vegetable seed technology and breeding company, raised $69 million in Series C funding in a round led by Singapore state fund Temasek, joined by WP Global Partners and others. This is Temasek’s third agtech investment in under a year; it invested in HappyFresh, the Indonesian grocery delivery service through its venture arm Vertex, and in Modern Meadow, the lab-grown leather company earlier this year.
VoloAgri focuses on tomatoes, peppers, melons, watermelons, eggplant, cucumber, squash and green garlic, and is targeting the indoor agriculture market. The company sells its seed under several brands, including US Agriseeds, Axia, Greenport Seeds, California Hybrids, Catalyst Seeds, and New World Seeds.
ClearPath Robotics, a company that retrofits agriculture machinery with autonomous capabilities, closed a $30 million Series B in a round led by iNovia Capital, a Canadian early stage VC. The VC arm of two large equipment companies — Caterpillar Ventures and GE Ventures — joined the round alongside RRE Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank. In addition to innovating solutions for agriculture, the company also serves a variety of other industries including warehousing and distribution centers. The funding will be used to scale up the company’s production, including creating software that will help robots function in materials handling capacities.
UK impact investment firm Bridge Ventures invested £5.6 million ($7 million) in Vegetarian Express, a UK plant-based food ingredient supplier, for a controlling stake in the business. Vegetarian Express is the UK’s leading supplier of specialist plant-based ingredients to the food service industry, with a range of over 1k products including tofu, tempeh, quinoa, and nuts. Bridge’s main motivation for investing was to promote plant-based diets in the UK. Find out more about the deal and Bridges Ventures’ view on the food and ag sector on AgFunderNews later this week…
InnerChef, a food discovery and delivery startup using big data, closed a $2.5 million Series A round led by Mistletoe Japan, which is funded and owned by serial entrepreneur Taizo Son, who is also the youngest brother of SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son. M&S Fund Singapore and other existing investors also joined this round.
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White Shadow Technology, which operates a B2B online grocery marketplace called Bharat Bazaar, completed an undisclosed seed round with a group of investors including BeeNext, a Singapore-based early-stage technology fund, Manipal Global Education Services, and Aarin Capital. FreeCharge co-founders Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon also participated in the round. Snapdeal co-founders Rohit Bansal and Kunal Bahl, Shaadi.com co-founder Anupam Mittal, InMobi and Tracxn Labs co-founder Amit Gupta, among others, also participated in the round.
Home Chef, a Chicago-based fresh ingredient meal kit delivery service, closed a $40 million Series B round led by consumer brands investor L Catterton. The funding will be used to help the company expand its reach. The company distinguishes itself from other meal kit services by offering customizable menu options and other add-on items like fruit baskets and breakfast fare.
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