Berlin-based portable vertical farm startup InFarm on Tuesday disclosed a vast Series B raise of $100 million, bringing its total funding to over $134 million. The raise dramatically eclipsed the big vertical farming news from Britain’s Ocado, which had forked out $22m just a day before as part of a majority stake buyout of JFC, as well as for its new joint venture Infinite Acres.
Europe's agrifood tech ecosystem raised just 9% of the funding that went to foodtech and agtech startups globally in 2018. But deal activity increased 23% as agrifood tech startups in the region closed a similar number of deals as in the US.
While the final size of the Series B has yet to be disclosed -- there are still some more potential investors coming into the round, according to CEO Arturo Elizondo -- sources close to the deal say it was raising $40 million.
Retail and restaurant tech is a category of agrifood tech startups encompassing technologies and services aimed at making retail food businesses more profitable as well as improving shopper experience at the supermarket, in restaurants and other brick & mortar stores.
Understory analyzes and processes data to create real-time datasets, views, and actionable information from historical, current and forecasted weather events to provide better insights and early detection of risks.
4Front Holdings, a cannabis investor-turned-multi-state operator engaging in the cultivation, distribution, and retail of cannabis, has closed a $31m venture round. This brings its total funding to over $50 million.
Clear Labs, a Californian startup using next-generation sequencing (NGS) to test food for dangerous pathogens like Salmonella, has raised $21 million in an extension to its Series B round.
The advent of NGS, most notably developed by Illumina for cancer genomics and newborn screening, brought down the cost of genetic screening in the healthcare industry, as well as the time tests took, and now the same is happening for food.
Agribusiness marketplaces are a hot trend in agrifood tech at the moment as entrepreneurs look to create more options for farmers than existing distribution channels to give them more flexibility and hopefully more money in their pockets.
“Pivot Bio is addressing one of the largest sources of GHGs on the planet – the potent nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide emissions associated with the use of synthetic fertilizers,” said Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough Energy Ventures.