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Tomatoes growing in Mucci Farms' indoor facility. Image credit: Mucci Farms

The Week in Agrifoodtech: Brevel’s microalgae protein bags $8.4m, Brazil’s Agrotools closes $21m, CHONEX raises $6m

June 9, 2022

This past week, alternative protein raised more funding including Brevel’s seed round to further develop its microalgae-based protein ingredient, SCiFi Foods’ rebrand and major VC backer, and Cocuus’ 3D printing alt-protein tech. In agtech, Brazilian platform Agrotools landed a big deal while Cox Enterprises added another indoor farming operation to its business.

Foodtech funding

🇮🇱 Brevel nets $8.4 million seed round. The microalgae-based alternative protein company will use the funds to build a commercial pilot facility for scaling Brevel’s R&D. (The Spoon)

🇪🇸 Cocuus banks €2.5 million ($2.7 million) for 3D-bioprinting tech for alt-protein. The pre-Series A round included participation from Big Idea Ventures, Cargill, Eatable Adventures, and Tech Transfer UPV. (Protein Report)

🇮🇳 Food upcycling startup Wastelink raises $100,000. Matterhorn Projects LLP, Indigram Labs Foundation, Sanjiv Rangrass, and other angel investors participated in the seed round. (AP News)

🇺🇸 SCiFi Foods (formerly Artemys) emerges from stealth with $22 million Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz. The round will go towards R&D for SCiFi’s cultivated beef burgers. (AFN)

🇨🇭 Foodtech Community FoodHack raises $1 million to develop investment platform. The Switzerland-based company aims to enable angles to invest in climate-focused solutions and startups through investments ranging from roughly $1,000 to $100,000. (Sifted)

🇮🇳 Alt Co. secures $1 million from undisclosed “major” investors. The plant-based foods maker will use the funds to increase its geographic footprint and product portfolio that includes an alt-dairy item. (Green Queen)

🇺🇸 Brown Foods snags $2.36 million to develop milk using mammalian cell culture tech. Y Combinator, AgFunder, SRI Capital, and others contributed to the round. [Disclosure: AgFunder is AFN’s parent company.]

Agtech funding

🇧🇷 Agrotools raises $21 million to grow its digital platform for corporate agribusiness. Agrotools offers a number of digital solutions for ag businesses including rural financing and insurance, supply chain, ESG, and sales. (Pandaily)

🇺🇸 Salient Predictions closes $5.4 million. Wireframe Ventures led the seed round, which Salient will use to scale its weather prediction and analytics platform. (Axios)

🇺🇸 Alabama agtech companies lead $5.78 million seed round for CHONEX. The latter’s manure-tech biological product, StrongSoil, specifically addresses increasing yields and reducing input costs for farmers. (CHONEX)

🇺🇸 🇨🇦 Cox Enterprises makes undisclosed “strategic” investment in CEA company Mucci Farms. Mucci Farms brings a greater variety of CEA-grown fruits and vegetables as well as significant geographic expansion to Cox’s existing indoor farming business. (Produce Blue Book)

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇬🇧 Financial services provider Virgin Money launches $251 million Agri E Fund. The fund will support farmers in the UK and targets “emissions-reducing initiatives.” (AFN)

🇮🇱 SuperMeat gets grant from Israeli Innovation Authority. SuperMeat will use the funding to set up what it says is the world’s largest open-source, high-throughput screening system for cultivated meat ingredients, supplements, and cell scaffolds. (NoCamels)

🇦🇹 Revo Foods secures $2.3 million grant from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency. The equity-free award will help Revo continue development of its 3D-printed, plant-based seafood analogues. (Green Queen)

M&As, IPOs & partnerships

🇺🇸 Restaurant ordering platform Lunchbox acquires NovaDine for undisclosed sum. NovaDine’s online order software is designed specifically for multi-unit restaurants. (Food Dive)

🇺🇸 🇲🇽 🇧🇷 Pachama partners with Mercado Libre for Regenera America forest carbon capture program. The two companies will use Pachama’s carbon monitoring and reporting software to help restore 3,300 hectares of land across Brazil and Mexico. (Pachama)

🇸🇪 🇺🇸 Ingredients company AAK Foodservice acquires ForA:Butter. The latter’s plant-based butter is made from aquafaba, a liquid leftover from cooking chickpeas. (Food Navigator)

🇺🇸 General Mills invests $3 million in regenerative agriculture. The CPG is working with Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) to expand the Eco-Harvest program that rewards farmers for “beneficial outcomes” for regen ag practices. (Business Wire)

🇺🇸 The Bayer Trendlines Ag Innovation Fund and The Trendlines Group launch a company. The new venture, dubbed TierraSpec Ltd, will focus on real-time remote measurement and validation of carbon sequestration in agricultural soil. (AgReads)

🇫🇷 Alt-dairy startup Bon Vivant strikes a deal with biotech heavyweight Abolis. The two companies will produce animal-free dairy products via precision fermentation on an industrial scale, with the goal of becoming European leaders in the alt-dairy space. (Vegconomist)

🇳🇱 🇨🇭 Chemicals giant DSM to merge with ingredient maker Firmenich. The companies say the merger, valued at roughly $21 million, will have 16,000 patents and 15 R&D centers. (Food Dive)

Other news

🇺🇸 Country Crock unveils new whiskey to promote regenerative ag. Cover Crop Whiskey, as the limited edition product is dubbed, will promote the alt-butter brand’s initiative to assist farmers with planting cover crops. (Food & Wine)

🇺🇸 Chocolate bars probably contain cockroach parts and other insect bits. The United States Department of Agriculture says fewer than 60 insect pieces per 100 grams of chocolate is safe for human consumption. (Green Queen)

🇮🇱 Remilk obtains self-affirmed GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status for its animal-free milk. GRAS status, in accordance with United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements, means the Israeli company can start selling products in the US. (Food Ingredients First)

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