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Robomart's self-driving grocery store. Image credit: Robomart

The Week in AgriFoodTech: BP invests in green hydrogen, Toyota funds carbon measurement, Bushel gleans $26m

August 17, 2023

This week, BP and Toyota got involved with climate tech for green hydrogen and measuring soil carbon, respectively. Bushel, a platform for grain trade management, raised additional Series C funding. Elsewhere, food robots and restaurant tech saw new funding rounds but also hefty fines for some.

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store. Image credit: Robomart

Foodtech funding

🇺🇸 Serve Robotics raises $30 million, becomes public company through reverse merger with Patricia Acquisition Corp.
The delivery robot company will use the new financing to deploy up to 2,000 robots with Uber Eats. (Food Dive)

🇩🇪 Restaurant marketing app NeoTaste secures €5.9 million ($6.4 million) Series A. The startup will use the funds to expand it additional cities in Germany as well as international markets. (Silicon Canals)

🇺🇸 Self-driving vehicle-maker Robomart lands $2 million seed round from Wasabi Ventures and others. The company will expand its “store hailing” concept with the new capital. (TechCrunch)

Testing out Yard Stick’s handheld probe. Image credit: Yard Stick

Agtech funding

🇺🇸 SEC filing reveals $26.25 million Series C extension for Bushel. The grain management platform has raised a total of $114.85 million in funding through 8 rounds. (Upstream Ag Professional)

🇺🇸 BP venture arm leads $12.5 million round for green hydrogen company Advanced Ionics. Funding will support green hydrogen production technology aimed at decarbonizing heavy industry. (ESG Today)

🇺🇸 Caron measurement platform Yard Stick raises $10.6 million Series A led by Toyota Ventures Climate Fund. Yard Stick will use the funding to transition from beta to full commercial deployment. (Yard Stick)

Marina Cat treats. Image credit: CNW Group/CULT Food Science Corp.

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇰🇷 🇺🇸 Korean alt-meat brand UNLIMEAT to introduce new plant-based products with JUST Egg. The companies will unveil new products using JUST Egg’s folded format. (Food Ingredients First)

🇨🇦 🇸🇬 CULT Food Science Corp. & Umami Bioworks unveil Marina Cat pet food. The product is a hybrid cell-cultivated pet food brand for cats. (PR Newswire)

Funds, grands & accelerators

🇺🇸 The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture invests $12m into ag microbiome research. Research will focus on characterizing agricultural microbiomes and microbiome functions in ag systems. (NIFA)

🇺🇸 The Greener Cattle Initiative awards $758,776 for enteric methane research. Penn State’s Distinguished Professor of Dairy Nutrition Dr. Alexander N. Hristov will develop new enteric methane inhibitors and delivery methods. (PennState)

RootWave’s e-weeder zapping weeds in the orchard. Image credit: RootWave

Other news

🇬🇧 RootWave launches a tractor-powered, high-frequency e-weeding machine for fruit orchards. The company is currently crowdfunding via Crowdcube ahead of its Series B. (AFN)

🇦🇺 Australia communications regulator fines DoorDash $2 million for sending spam. DoorDash sent more than 1 million texts and messages in breach of the country’s spam laws, according to the regulator. (Startup Daily)

🇺🇸 Precision fermentation startup New Culture​ “on track” to produce animal-free mozzarella at cost parity with conventional. The company believes it can reach this parity within three years. (AFN)

🇮🇳 Dunzo dark stores go offline amid worker salary delays. The quick-commerce grocery startup is currently facing a liquidity crisis as it shifts business models. (YourStory)

🇺🇸 Vertical farming company Oishii appoints CPG veteran as CCO. Rita Hudetz will lead Oishii’s strategies around scaling and expanding the company’s retail footprint and driving new product launches. (AFN)

🇮🇱 🇺🇸 Imagindairy obtains self-affirmed GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status in the US. The precision fermentation startup also opened a new headquarters in Haifa, Israel. (Green Queen)

🇺🇸 Cohort selected for the fifth California Milk Excelerator competition. The program works to identify and curate innovations for dairy-based food products. (PR Newswire)

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