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Laura Modi, founder and CEO of infant formula company Bobbie.

The Week in AgriFoodTech: Aphea.Bio scores $78m for biologicals, Do Good Foods files Ch. 11, Chipotle’s avocado robots

July 13, 2023

Good news this week arrived in the form of funding rounds for biologicals maker Aphea.Bio and infant formula startup Bobbie, amongst several others. Less sunny was news that upcycled chicken company Do Good Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Meanwhile Chipotle unveiled its latest foray into restaurant robotics.

Laura Modi, founder and CEO of infant formula company Bobbie.

Foodtech funding

🇺🇸 Infant formula startup Bobbie raises $70 million to acquire pediatric nutrition company Nature’s One. PowerPlant Partners led the Series C round. (Fortune)

🇳🇿 Highland Europe leads $57 million Series C for Oritain. Oritain deploys forensics to verify the origin of everything from cocoa to coffee. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Low-carbon infrastructure specialist Nexus PMG raises $50m to support waste-to-value projects. The round was led by an affiliate of Greenbacker Capital Management (AFN)

🇺🇸 Biotech company Allonnia raises $30 million to turn waste into valuable materials for plastics, metals and other sectors. Battelle and General Atlantic, amongst others, participated. (SynBioBeta)

🇺🇸 Reusable packaging program Topanga nabs $3.6 million from Amasia & others. Topanga’s program is embedded into the Gruhub UI and the company has partnerships with food distributors Aramark and Sodexo. (TechCrunch)

🇦🇺 Non-alcoholic cocktail company Naked Life raises $3 million via equity crowdfunding site Birchal. The company looks to expand its products to additional liquor stores and hospitality venues. (Startup Daily)

🇺🇸 Bessemer Venture Partners leads $2.7 million seed round for Foraged. Funding will go towards further development of the Foraged online marketplace for buying and selling wild and speciality foods. (FinSMEs)

🇵🇪 Plant-based foodtech startup Nutri Co raises $1 million pre-Series A round. MrPink VC, White Lions & others participated in the round. (LatamList)

The Silo leadership team. Image credit: Silo

Agtech funding

🇧🇪 Aphea.Bio scores €70 million ($78 million) from Innovation Industries, Gates Foundation & others. Funding will support the growth of Aphea.Bio’s biologicals business. (Aphea.Bio)

🇺🇸 Supply chain tech startup Silo bags $32 million Series C led by Koch Disruptive Technologies. First Citizens Bank also invested $100 million to launch a new financial product. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Pano AI raises $17 million for its technology that can detect wildfires and issue warnings to local firefighters. Valor Equity Partners led the Series A extension round. (AFN)

🇳🇱 FarmTrace closes $6.5 million Series A to build out animal farming data platform. Surmount Ventures and CNBB Equity Partners led the round. (FarmTrace)

🇦🇺 Sensand lands AUD $6 million ($4 million) for its carbon farming platform. Robert Costa, chair of agricultural investment firm goFARM and his family fund, Costa Asset Management, was the sole investor. (Startup Daily)

🇫🇷 BiOceanOr scoops up $2 million for its water-quality forecasting tech. The Yield Lab Europe led the funding round, which includes a grant from the i-Nov innovation program. (The Fish Site)

🇮🇩 Eratani nets $2 million from SBI Ven Capital and others. Eratani provides agribusiness services to farmers including funding, supply chain management and crop distribution. (Tech in Asia)

🇬🇧 NetZeroNitrogen (NZN) closes $1.6 million pre-seed round of funding for its nitrogen alternative for agriculture. German VC Revent and Zero Carbon Capital led the oversubscribed round. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Builders VC makes undisclosed investment in precision livestock platform Performance Livestock Analytics. PLA has separated from animal health company Zoetis, which acquired PLA in 2020. (AFN)

The Fermify team. Image credit: Fermify

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇺🇸 Biotech company ZeaKal teams up with ag retailer Nutrien Ag Solutions. The partnership support commercialization of ZeaKal’s novel photosynthesis trait tech for US soybean growers. (NewsDirect)

🇦🇹 Alt-cheese startup Fermify extends previously closed seed round new partnerships. It will collaborate with multinational companies CREMER and Interfood. (Vegconomist)

🇮🇳 Food delivery giant Swiggy will acquire retail distribution company LYNK Logistics. The deal marks Swiggy’s entry into the retail business-to-business (B2B) segment. (Retuers)

🇺🇸 Agriculture company The Andersons buys pet food ingredients company Bridge Agri Partners. The deal supports The Andersons’ strategy to expand beyond its core grain and fertilizer business. (PR Newswire)

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇺🇸 Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator & Danforth Plant Science Center announce new climate-focused cohort. Seven agtech startups will receive $1.15 million in non-dilutive funding to accelerate commercialization. (Business Wire)

🇺🇸 Coca-Cola and eight bottling partners have closed a $137.7 million venture capital fund. The fund will focus on sustainability investments that will be managed by VC firm Greycroft. (AFN)

Perfect Day cofounder and CEO Ryan Pandya
Perfect Day cofounder and CEO Ryan Pandya. Image credit: Perfect Day

Other news

🇺🇸 Farmers Business Network (FBN) launches farmland evaluation system, AcreVision. The tool is meant to provide farmers with “accurate, comprehensive information to evaluate potential parcels” of land. (Business Wire)

🇺🇸 Perfect Day to sell off consumer products arm The Urgent Company. The precision fermentation company plans to focus on supplying high-value ingredients B2B and its enterprise biology firm helping other startups scale up. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Plant cell tech company Ayana Bio to open new cell-to-product laboratory. The Boston-based facility will share a building with Ayana’s strategic partner, Ginkgo Bioworks. (PR Newswire)

🇪🇺 The European Commission unveils food waste reduction package with “legally binding” targets. Businesses would have to reduce food waste 30% by 2030; critics say it doesn’t go far enough. (Euractiv)

🇨🇭 Nestlé says it’s moving away from carbon offsets to focus on actual emissions reductions. One of the key emissions reduction initiatives is advancing regenerative ag in its value chain. (ESG Today)

🇺🇸 Arkeon Biotechnologies announces new production plant. The new facility enable large-scale production of converting CO2 to functional ingredients. (Vegconomist)

🇺🇸 Domino’s finally listing pizzas on Uber Eats app. The move ends Domino’s well-documented refusal to use food delivery apps. (The Verge)

🇺🇸 Genetically modified “purple tomatoes” clear regulatory hurdles to enter US market. Norfolk Plant Sciences (NPS) now gears up to launch its antioxodent-rich tomatoes in the US. (AFN)

🇺🇸 More investors join FAIRR‘s Restaurant Antibiotics Engagement. The engagement focuses on 12 North American fast food chains and asks companies to “demonstrate sufficiently rigorous existing antibiotic policies.” (FAIRR)

🇺🇸 Upcycled chicken company Do Good Foods files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company said the filing is “an important step to put the business in a position to succeed and allow us to continue pursuing our goals.” (Food Dive)

🇺🇸 Chipotle is piloting an avocado robot. The ‘bot, designed by Vebu, can hold 25 pounds of avocados at a time and cuts, cores and scoops the fruits. (Restaurant Dive)

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