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The Week in Agrifoodtech: Amazon launches agronomy in India & agroforestry in… the Amazon

September 8, 2021

In the past seven days, Amazon launched an agronomy platform in India and an agroforestry scheme in… well, the Amazon.

Elsewhere, Carbon Robotics, Plantible, and Olio raised big rounds; while the EU gave the all-clear for insect protein producers to supply the pig and poultry feed markets.

🇮🇳🇺🇸 Amazon launches an agronomy service for Indian farmers. The US tech giant, which runs one of India’s largest e-grocery platforms, will provide farmers in the country with crop plans, pest and disease alerts, and farm management software that can be accessed via mobile app. (AFN)

🇧🇷🇺🇸 It has also teamed up with The Nature Conservancy to establish an ‘agroforestry accelerator’ in Brazil. The initiative will assist smallholder farmers to restore degraded cattle pastures to native forest and develop income-generating agroforestry systems around cocoa and other crops. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Carbon Robotics’ weeding automations help it raise $27 million funding. Anthos Capital, Ignition Capital, FUSE, and Voyager Capital were among the investors to take part. The Seattle-based startup’s robots zap weeds using lasers. (TechCrunch)

🇺🇸 Plantible nets $21.5 million for its plant protein which “emulates animal-based proteins.” Astanor Ventures led the Series A round with Piva Capital, CJ CheilJedang, Good Friends, Vectr Ventures, and FTW Ventures among the other investors joining. The San Diego-based startup is deriving its protein from lemna, an aquatic plant that can double in mass every 48 hours and can be harvested year round. (FoodNavigator)

🇬🇧 Food sharing app Olio scores $43 million. The Series B round was led by VNV Global with participation from DX Ventures, the VC arm of food delivery giant Delivery Hero. Olio partners with food retailers and vendors, including supermarket chain Tesco, to sell surplus or near-expiry items and reduce food waste. (Sifted)

🇸🇪 Stockeld Dreamery raises $20 million Series A funding to expand plant-based cheese lineup. The Stockholm-based startup makes alt-cheese products via a fermentation process that uses pea and fava bean protein. Its first offering, a feta-like product called Stockeld Chunk, hit store shelves in Sweden in May this year. (AFN)

🇦🇺 All G Foods raises $11.8 million seed funding for alt-protein products. The Sydney-based startup is using precision fermentation technology to develop dairy proteins for milk and cheese replacements and for inclusion in its plant-based ‘meat’ range. (Australian Financial Review)

🇺🇸 Local Bounti closes $200 million debt facility with Cargill. The US agribusiness major had made an equity investment in Hamilton, Montana-based Local Bounti, which operates indoor farms, earlier this year. (Local Bounti)

🇰🇷 Kurly acquires payment gateway Paybot. The South Korean unicorn, which operates e-grocery platform Market Kurly, aims to establish its own payment service for use within its own ecosystem and with third parties. (KoreaTechDesk)

🇺🇸 Compound Foods brews up $4.5 million funding for its synthetic coffee. Lowercarbon Capital, SVLC, Humboldt Fund, Collaborative Fund, Maple VC, and Petri Bio invested in the Bay Area startup, which is leveraging synthetic biology to create coffee on the molecular level. (TechCrunch)

🇨🇳 Cultivated pork player CellX confirms $4.3 million raise. The Shanghai-based startup, which unveiled its first products containing blends of cellular pig meat and plant-based protein this week, scored the funding earlier this year. (Reuters)

🇺🇸 Indoor ag hydroponics startup Fork Farms banks $2 million funding. The Green Bay, Wisconsin-based company’s Series A round was led by local VC TitletownTech. (WisconsinInno)

🇮🇩 Pasarnow scores $3.3 million seed funding to upgrade Indonesia’s fresh food supply chain. Jakarta-based VC East Ventures led the round, with Amand VenturesPrasetia DwidharmaSkystar CapitalSMDV, and several angel investors also participating. Pasarnow’s platform allows both enterprise customers and end consumers to purchase fresh groceries from 1,000 farmers. (AFN)

🇮🇳 Proeon raises $2.4 million seed funding to supply plant-based protein industry. The Pune-based startup is developing ingredients for the plant-based foods industry using proteins derived from amaranth, chickpea, hemp seed, and mung bean. The round was led by Shaival Desai, vice president at restaurant management platform Petpooja. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Impossible Foods releases plant-based ‘chicken’ nuggets. The company’s soy-based nuggets appeared on the menus of restaurant and delivery chains including Fatburger, Fuku, and Dog Haus this week. Impossible claims its “clucking delicious” nuggets contain up to 40% less saturated fat and 25% less sodium than competing animal-derived brands. (Impossible Foods)

🇪🇺 EU greenlights insect-derived protein in pig and poultry feed. The EU has authorized processed animal proteins derived from insects for use in feed products for pigs and poultry, which account for around 65% of the bloc’s compound feed production. (AFN)

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