Perfeggt
Perfeggt's liquid egg alternative. Image credit: Perfeggt

The Week in Agrifoodtech: African startups Apollo, Wasoko & ThriveAgric close big-ticket rounds

March 24, 2022

This has been a watershed week for African agrifoodtech, with a string of startups from the continent closing eight and nine-figure US dollar rounds over the past few days. Kenya’s Wasoko and Apollo Agriculture raised $125 million and $40 million, respectively – while Nigeria’s ThriveAgric took home a tidy $56.4 million.

Elsewhere in the world, OnePointOne and California Giant Berry Farms join the increasingly crowded race to grow strawberries indoors, and The Every Company put an alt-protein twist on French macaroons. A brand-new industry report revealed that a record-breaking $51.7 billion was invested into agrifoodtech startups globally last year; while one of the most recognized VCs in the space raised a fresh $60 million for its latest fund.


Agtech startup funding

🇳🇬 ThriveAgric raises $56.4 million to accelerate pan-Africa expansion plans. The startup, which helps farmers in Nigeria access finance and sell their produce to enterprise customers, will use the capital to expand into Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia, among other markets. (Business Insider)

🇰🇪 Apollo Agriculture raises $40 million Series B funding to help farmers in Kenya access ag inputs. Softbank Vision Fund 2 led the equity round with participation from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and others. (TechCrunch)

🇬🇧 Livestock management app Breedr bags £12 million ($15.8 million) Series A led by Investbridge Capital. The UK-based startup also launched a financial product to help farmers with cash flow. (AFN)

🇮🇳 Aquaconnect nets $8 million venture debt financing from Trifecta Capital. Funds will go towards building out the Aquaconnect network, which gives fish and shrimp farmers access to high-quality inputs [disclosure: AFN‘s parent company, AgFunder, is an investor in AquaConnect.] (The Fish Site)

🇨🇦 IntelliCulture closes C$1.7 million ($1.36 million) Emmertech-led seed round to scale its farm management platform. The Kitchener, Ontario-based startup uses sensors on farm equipment to provide insights into spray coverage, operational health, and labour management. (Betakit)

Aquaconnect founder
Aquaconnect founder and CEO Raj Somasundaram. Image credit: Aquaconnect

Foodtech startup funding

🇹🇷 Getir announces $768 million Series E round; it’s now a decacorn with an $11.8 billion valuation. MubadalaAbu Dhabi Growth Fund, Alpha Wave GlobalSequoia Capital, and Tiger Global invested in the on-demand grocery and restaurant delivery app. (Tech.eu)

🇰🇪 B2B e-commerce platform Wasoko closes $125 million Series B to expand across Africa. Tiger Global and Avenir Growth led the round for Wasoko, formerly known as Sokowatch. (AFN)

🇮🇩 E-grocery startup Sayurbox raises $120 million in Series C funding. Northstar and Alpha JWC Ventures co-led the round, with Syngenta Group Ventures among the other investors. Sayurbox sells produce from 10,000 farmers to 1 million consumers on the islands of Java and Bali. (Forbes)

🇺🇸 MeliBio banks $5.7 million for its beeless honey. Astanor Ventures led the seed round. Berkeley, California-based MeliBio is using a combination of plant science and precision fermentation to make its bee-free honey. (TechCrunch)

🇩🇪 Perfeggt raises €3.6 million ($4 million) pre-seed round for chicken-less eggs. Leading European foodtech investors participated including the founders of Gorillas, Foodspring, and MyMuesli, among others. (EU Startups)

🇮🇱 Resugar announces $3 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Eitan Yochananof, CEO of Israeli grocery giant M Yochananof & Sons. Resugar produces an “all-natural” compound that “tastes and behaves identically” to sugar in industrial settings. (Resugar)

🇳🇿 ‘Molecular farming’ startup Miruku raises $2.4 million seed round to produce dairy proteins in plants. Movac led the round with participation from alt-protein fund Better Bite Ventures and others. (Dairy Reporter)

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇺🇸🇬🇧 Crop input startup Sound Agriculture partners with petroleum giant Shell. The two will measure the economic and environmental impacts of reducing ag-related nitrous oxide emissions, with a view to generating carbon credits. (AFN)

🇹🇭🇮🇱 CP Foods and Future Meat join forces for cell-cultured meat. The Bangkok-based food giant and the Israeli alt-protein startup aim to bring the latter’s hybrid cultivated meat products to Asian markets. (Future Meat)

🇺🇸 OnePointOne and California Giant Berry Farms team up to grow strawberries in vertical farms. California Giant has also made an equity investment in Silicon Valley-based OnePointOne for an undisclosed sum. (OnePointOne)

A sandwich made with Future Meat’s cultivated chicken breast. Image credit: Future Meat

Funds & accelerators

🇺🇸 AgFunder announces first close of new $100 million agrifoodtech fund. The $60 million close takes AgFunder’s total assets under management to $160 million, representing 10x growth in two years. LPs in Fund IV include The Norinchukin Bank, Alexandria Venture Investments, and Nest [disclosure: AgFunder is AFN‘s parent company.] (AgFunder)

🇰🇪🇳🇬 Four African agrifoodtech startups join Catalyst Fund‘s fintech accelerator. ColdHubs from Nigeria, and AquaRech, TopUp Mama, and Tulix – all from Kenya – join Catalyst’s tenth fintech cohort focused on underserved smallholder communities. (AFN)

Other news

🌐 Agrifoodtech ventures raised a record $52 billion in 2021, nearly doubling the previous year’s total. The figures were revealed in the latest edition of AgFunder’s annual global investment report [disclosure: AgFunder is AFN‘s parent company.] (AFN)

🇺🇸 Impossible Foods founder Patrick Brown steps down as CEO. Peter McGuinness, former president and chief operating officer at Chobani, will become Impossible’s new CEO; Brown will stay on as ‘chief visionary officer.’ (AFN)

🇨🇴 Bezos Earth Fund invests $17 million in CGIAR‘s Future Seeds plant gene bank. The global food security-focused research partnership will preserve plant biodiversity and support agricultural research. (AFN)

🇺🇸 The Every Company unveils “world’s first” animal-free egg white. The company has partnered with patisserie brand Chantal Guillon to test the Every EggWhite in French macaroons. (Food Navigator)

🇺🇸 Wild Earth’s plant-based dog food now at Walmart stores. The company aims to get its “superfood” vegan dog food, based on koji protein, on the shelves of other major retailers in the future. (Vegconomist)

🇬🇧 Edinburgh-based biotech firm Roslin Technologies announces cultivated pet food venture. Named Good Dog Food, the new venture has been launched in partnership with UK agrifoodtech investor Agronomics. (The Scotsman)

🇺🇸 Alt-protein investment marketplace Vevolution grabs $330,000 in seed funding. Capital V, Kale United, and CULT Food Science led the round.for the Denver-based company that aims to democratize funding for plant- and cell-based protein companies. (Vevolution)

🇺🇸 Target, Amazon unveil ‘net-zero’ grocery stores. Target’s first net-zero energy store is in California while a new Amazon Fresh grocery store in Seattle, Washington is pursuing net-zero carbon certification. (Grocery Dive)

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