A lunch spread from ezCater. Image credit: ezCater

The Week in Agrifoodtech: EzCater nets $100m, McCain bets $55m & Good Meat gets green light

December 16, 2021

This week, vertical ag player Infarm and corporate catering startup ezCater each closed funding rounds that kicked their valuations to over $1 billion. In the alt-protein world, Eat Just secured further regulatory clearances in Singapore for its cultivated chicken products; while celebrity chef José Andrés threw his figurative hat into the cultivated meat ring by joining the company’s board.


Agtech startup funding

🇩🇪 Infarm raises $200 million Series D round from Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and others. QIA will work with Infarm to build vertical farming facilities in the region. InFarm will also build more vertical farms in the US, Canada, Japan and Europe, and enter new markets in Asia Pacific. (AFN)

🇦🇷 Agrofy adds $30m in Yara-led Series C round to grow its ‘agfintech’ services offering. The agribusiness marketplace will also use the funds to expand its presence in Brazil. (AFN)

🇺🇸 JVB leads $22 million funding round for Greeneye Technology. Greeneye will use the over-subscribed Series A round to expand its AI-based weed- and pest-control spraying system across North America and extend the technology’s capabilities to new crops and inputs. (Incus Media)

🇬🇧 Phytoform Labs raises a $5.7 million seed round. Funding will go towards scaling up the company’s CRISPR-based plant genome-editing platform targets small changes in DNA sequences to improve plant health and resilience. (AFN)

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇺🇸 The Urgent Company buys ice cream-maker Coolhaus. The Perfect Day subsidiary acquired Coolhaus for an undisclosed sum. The latter will work towards removing all animal products from its range. (Green Queen)

🇺🇸 Symbotic announces $5.5 billion SPAC deal with SoftBank vehicle. The automated fulfillment solutions provider, which counts Walmart as a client, will merge with Softbank-affiliated SVF Investment Corp 3. The transaction will raise $725 million. (AFN)

Foodtech startup funding

🇺🇸 Elsehwere, Softbank’s Vision Fund 2 led a $100 million round for ezCater. The corporate food startup is now valued at $1.6 billion and will use the new funds to expand further into catering for health care, retail, and manufacturing workers. (Bloomberg

🇨🇦🇮🇪 McCain Foods invests $55 million into Irish plant-based brand Strong Roots. This is the latest of several investments McCain has made in the emerging agrifoodtech space recently. Strong Roots will use the funds to expand its product range and market reach. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Jack & Annie‘s closes a $23 million Series B round. The frozen food brand, which makes meat analogues with jackfruit, will use the new funds to expand US distribution for retail and foodservice channels. (TechCrunch)

🇦🇺 Provectus Algae secures $11.4 million in pre-Series A funding. Funds will go towards scaling the company’s bio-manufacturing platform that turns algae into high-value ingredients for food items, including those in the alternative protein market. (Food Navigator)

Funds & accelerators

🇺🇸 Clif Bar launches Trailblazers Incubator to tap into more food innovations. The CPG company’s new in-house program will build a pipeline of products for both humans and pets, with the first product, a dog food, dropping in 2022. (Food Business News)

Other news

🇺🇸🇸🇬 Eat Just gets additional regulatory nod in Singapore for its Good Meat cultivated chicken breast. Meanwhile, Michelin-starred chef José Andrés has joined Good Meat’s board and has agreed to serve its cell-cultured chicken at his restaurants once it gets regulatory approval in the US and Qatar. (The Spoon)

🇪🇸 Delivers.AI to make robot deliveries in Madrid. Sidewalk robots will start making deliveries courtesy of Delivers.AI in partnership with on-demand service Glovo and autonomous mobility company Goggo along with non-profit Madrid Futuro in January 2022. (OttOmate)

🇺🇸 Fetzer Vineyards achieves Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) for its winery and vineyards. The California company, which has long used regenerative and organic practices, says it is now the world’s largest ROC-certified winegrower. (Wine Business)

🇺🇸 Bayer, Bushel and AWS launch a carbon measurement tool for US farmers. Called the Carbonview Project, it aims to create “awareness and acceptance for low-carbon fuel markets” and help farmers assess and report the carbon footprint of their produce across the supply chain. (AFN)

🇩🇪 BASF Agricultural Solutions to launch Global Carbon Farming Program. BASF’s program will launch in phases in 2022 and enable farmers worldwide. to track and profit from practices reducing carbon dioxide emissions. (BASF)

🇺🇸 ReFed and the Upcycled Food Association launch the Food Waste Funder Circle. The network offers a curated platform for education, collaboration, and investment to close the gap in capital needed to cut food waste in the US by 50% by the year 2030. (Upcycled Food Association)

🇺🇸 Wildtype is bringing its cultivated seafood to grocery and restaurants. The company has signed distribution agreements with grocery store sushi bar operator Snowfox and fast casual restaurant chain Pokéworks. (Food Dive)

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