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Agtech Funding Sheet: Smart Food Packaging, Robotic Weeding Tech, Indoor Ag, more

December 1, 2016

ItemMaster, a smart food packaging company, raised a $7.5 million Series A funding led by New Jersey-based growth equity firm Edison Partners. Early-stage venture capital firm Chicago Ventures, which led the startup’s seed round, also participated. ItemMaster will use the funding to hire new staff and ramp up its technology.

ecoRobotix, a robot weeder manufacturer, raised $2.95 million with early stage Swiss risk capital fund 4FO Ventures. The company plans to use the new capital to proceed with production and begin marketing its device, which uses robotics to create an agricultural vehicle system that eliminates weeds in row crops.

Agricool, an indoor ag company using shipping containers, closed a $4.3 million venture round from a new VC fund called Daphni, which focuses on user-oriented early stage startups, in addition to Henri Seydoux, the founder of Parrot, and Jean-Daniel Guyot, the founder of Captain Train.

Click & Grow, a Palo Alto company developing smart pots that take care of plants automatically without external assistance, closed a $4.1 million Series A with Ambient Sound Investments partner Jaan Tallinn and former Facebook engineer and Dropbox exec Ruchi Sanghvi. Using a special nano-material medium to grow the vegetation, sensors, processors, and software help keep it alive and thriving.

MonkeyBox, an India-based food tech startup delivering healthy meals to children, raised an undisclosed seed round from Mumbai-based early stage VC Blume Ventures. Some other individual investors participated in the round, as well. The capital will be allocated toward getting a kitchen up and running. The company reports doing roughly 850 orders in Bangalore each day out of their first kitchen.

Osam, a dairy products maker, raised a $6.7 million Series B led by impact investor Lok Capital and existing early-stage investor Aavishkaar. Based in Ranchi, the company offers two milk varieties in addition to value-added products. The new funding will be used to boost production and expand into Bihar.

Lemon Leaf, a fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain venture run by Delhi-based RP2 Ventures, raised an undisclosed bridge round with a group of angel investors. Last August, supermarket operator Daily Delite India acquired Lemon Leaf. The new capital will be used to establish a processing facility in Dwarka, which is in southwest Delhi.

Salk Institute, a biological studies research institute focusing on molecular biology, genetics, neuroscience, and plant biology, was awarded a $25 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The grant award constitutes a renewal of the largest research gift in the Institute’s 56-year lifetime.

Dely, a Tokyo-based food delivery startup, closed a $4.42 million venture round led by Japanese venture capital firm ANRI with participation from smartphone industry funders Gumi Ventures, multimedial products focused United, multi-stage investors YJ Capital, and Japanese adtech startup director Yuskuke Sato. The new capital will be used to tap into mobile videos and content from stores to gauge the effectiveness of advertisements. The company is also rumored to be eyeing an overseas expansion.

Bats on Delivery, an on-demand food and commodities delivery startup, raised an undisclosed angel round with a Delhi businessmen Devdeep Singh. The new capital will be used to open a kitchen in Gurgaon in addition to opening a few takeaway posts throughout Delhi.

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