There are a number of key areas of opportunity for agrifood tech startups in Europe as the support and resources available to entrepreneurs increases slowly, write Thomas van den Boezem and Louisa Burwood-Taylor.
The round takes the startup's total funding to over $300 million after it raised $156 million last year in Series C and D funding.
Early stage investment in agrifood tech startups reached $4.4 billion in the first half of 2017, posting a 6% year-over-year increase reversing the downward trend of 2016 when agrifood tech investing dropped 17% to $6.9 billion from $8.3 billion in 2015.
Biological pesticide firm Greenlight Biosciences has raised an $18 million Series D round led by led by farmland and agtech fund investor Fall Line Capital.
The raise will support late stage development for several chemical crop enhancement products in the company’s R&D pipeline.
The startup has now raised $273.5 million in debt and equity in total, making it the best funded alternative protein startup to date.
Syngenta Ventures has acquired a minority stake in Premier Crop Systems (PCS), a Des Moines, Iowa based agronomic software tool in a growth equity investment round.
Global private equity group TPG has invested in Brazilian digital ag company Solinftec through its Alternative and Renewable Technologies growth equity platform TPG ART.
Protix farms insects predominantly for animal and aquaculture feed, and has cracked the scalability challenge, according to new investors.
US indoor agriculture group AeroFarms has raised over $34 million of a $40 million Series D round, according to an SEC filing.
Solyent, Thymox, Propel, Hectare Agritech, Smart Earth Seeds, Taranis, Abundant, Calysta, Ceres, and Territory have all raised funding in the past two weeks.
The founder of Rockit Global, the New Zealand company that holds the global rights to the mini Rockit apple variety, has sold over 50% of the company to two private equity firms Pioneer Capital and Oriens Capital for around N$25 million ($17 million).
The financing will enable the business to achieve commercial scale manufacturing of its FeedKind protein, which is an alternative feed ingredient for fish, livestock and pet nutritional products.
Cool Planet, the biofuel-turned-biological ag products company, has raised $19.3 million in venture funding from existing investors to drive the commercialization of its first products.
A bumper two weeks of funding saw 14 startups raise $184m across on-farm biotech, biotech, satellite imagery, India, 3D printing, including Instacart's $400m Series D. There was also an ag data acquisition in the UK.
Investment in seafood and aquaculture technology increased 271% compared to the $52 million raised across both 2014 and 2015, but there is still a huge need for technology to bring efficiency and sustainability to the industry.
The year's first exit came from Observant, an early agtech pioneer in the precision water management space. Jain Irrigation acquired the Australian company.
Equity investing in just one way TechAccel, a venture development organization, works to accelerate innovation in agriculture.
Agtech funding in 2016 was a tale of two halves as the number of deals closed increased 10% to 580 due to an uptick in seed stage activity, while investment dollars fell 30% to $3.2bn.
Insect farming, Big Data technology, soil health products, and a Crowdfund a cow platform are just a few of this week's agtech fundings.