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Daring Foods
Daring Foods' plant-based chicken skewer. Image credit: Vanessa K. Rees

The Week in Agrifoodtech: Daring, Fabric & World Fund raise big money; Sweetgreen files for IPO

October 28, 2021

Farmer marketplace DeHaat made headlines this week with India’s biggest-ever agtech round. Elsewhere, fulfillment robotics company Fabric and online produce platform GrubMarket pulled in sizable financings, as did plant-based players Daring Foods and Allplants.

Alt-chocolate surfaced as another noteworthy trend, with US-based California Cultured and Germany’s QOA both raising funds for for removing the sometimes controversial cocoa bean from the chocolate-making process; while ‘grab-n-go’ salad chain Sweetgreen filed for a New York IPO.

Foodtech startup funding

🇺🇸 Fabric raises $200 million for robotic fulfillment centers. Singapore’s Temasek led the Series C round. Fabric will use the funds to bring its robotics and micro-fulfillment technology to more locations in the US and Israel. (TechCrunch)

🇺🇸 GrubMarket bags $145 million from BlackRock, others. The round values the online fresh produce marketplace at over $1 billion. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Plant-based chicken startup Daring Foods raises $65 million from celebrity investors. Founders Fund led the round, with participation from D1 Capital Group, Naomi Osaka, Steve Aoki, and others. (Vegconomist)

🇬🇧 Allplants gets $52 million in Series B funding. The plant-based food maker will use the funds to increase output from its kitchen in Walthamstow, London, to six times its current size. Draper Esprit led the round. (Food Ingredients 1st)

🇺🇸 Shiru gets $17 million in Series A funding to scale up its novel ingredients business. The biotech startup has closed a Series A round that will help it grow its business of identifying and developing novel ingredients for food items. (AFN)

🇩🇪 QOA raises $6 million for lab-grown chocolate. The German startup has raised a round of seed funding that will help it bring its first products to market in 2022. (Green Queen)

🇺🇸 California Cultured raises $4 million for cocoa-less chocolate. In another piece of cocoa-less chocolate news, California Cultured uses cell-culture tech to recreate the confection. (Private Equity Wire)

🇺🇸 Online grocery startup Fresh Street raises $4 million. The Chicago, Illinois-based startup is launching physical “ghost” grocery stores where customers pick up the goods they’ve ordered digitally. (Chicago Inno)

🇺🇸 Aqua Cultured Foods closes $2.1 million pre-seed round for fungal alt-seafood. Investors in the round included Supply Change CapitalBig Idea VenturesAera VCSustainable Food Ventures, among others. (AFN)

🇩🇪 Kitchenful raises $1.9 million for meal kit planning tool. VentureFriends, Goodwater Capital, and Jabbar Internet Group participated in the round for the Y Combinator graduate. (TechCrunch)

Agtech startup funding

🇮🇳 Farmer marketplace DeHaat scores $115 million in India’s biggest-ever agtech round. The Series D raise was co-led by Belgium’s Sofina and Indian branch of the UK’s Lightrock. [Disclosure: AFN‘s parent company AgFunder is an investor in DeHaat.] (AFN)

🇮🇳 Agtech SaaS platform FarMart raises $10 million. Matrix Partners India led the funding, which will be used to expand FarMart’s distribution network across India, scale its product capabilities, and further build out its team. (VC Circle)

🇺🇸 Gencove raises $10 million to scale its whole-genome sequencing platform. The Series A round, led by Lewis & Clark AgriFood, will be used to further product development and build out key business functions. (Gencove)

🇮🇳 Stellapps completes the first close of its pre-series C round. The dairy tech startup is targeting a Series C total of $18 million. Animal nutrition giant Nutreco led the tranche. (Agriculture Post)

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇺🇸 Sweetgreen files to go public. The ‘grab-n-go’ salad chain’s IPO filing indicates it will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker SG. It hopes to double its footprint in terms of number of stores within five years. (CNBC)

🇺🇸 Indigo Ag acquires Soil Metrics to boost carbon measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) capabilities. In a statement, Boston-based Indigo said that the acquisition will “further enhance and scale the premier carbon MRV system powering its industry-leading carbon farming program.” (AFN)

🇺🇸 Mission Barns partners with Silva Sausage for plant-based chorizo. The product will use Mission Barns’ cultivated fat, which the companies say can more genuinely mimic the properties of animal-based meat. (Food Dive)

🇺🇸 Square Roots and Gordon Food Service open latest farm. The New York-based vertical farming company and the food distributor cut the ribbon on a new farm in Michigan, further building out the two parties’ ongoing partnership. (The Packer)

Funds & accelerators

🇩🇪 World Fund comes out of stealth with €350 million ($409 million) close. The Berlin-based, climate-focused VC says it plans to make 40 investments – 30 at seed and Series A, and 10 at Series B. (Sifted)

🇫🇮 Nordic FoodTech VC a closes €42 million ($49 million) fund. The firm invests in early-stage companies based in the Nordic and Baltic countries developing new technologies to improve the food system. (PitchBook)

Other news

🇮🇱 Seed-X and Petkus to develop next-gen seed and grain sorting machines. The two companies will build AI-powered sorters with higher benchmarks for germination, usability, and purity. (Seed-X)

🇪🇸🇬🇭 Spanish food delivery service Glovo to invest €3.5 million ($4.09 million) in Ghana. The company sees the African nation as a rising market when it comes to demand for food e-commerce. (Nairametrics)

🇺🇸 Upside Foods appoints pharmaceutical executive. Robert Kiss, formerly of Genentech and Sutro Biopharma, has joined the cultivated meat company as executive vice president of technical operations. (Food Business News)

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