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VFC cofounders Matthew Glover and Adam Lyons
VFC cofounders Matthew Glover (left) and Adam Lyons (right). Image credit: VFC

The Week in AgriFoodTech: Cosucra raises $49m, Carbon marketplace Supercritical raises $13m, Cox launches $300m fund, Getir exits France

June 22, 2023

This week plant-based ingredients specialist Cosucra raised €45 million ($49 million); Los Angeles-based Omeat emerged from stealth armed with $40 million to expand its ‘simple and elegant’ solution to scaling cultivated meat; and Berkeley-based UPSIDE Foods and Eat Just (GOOD Meat) cleared the final regulatory hurdles to launch cultivated meat in the US. In agtech, meanwhile, one big check went to drone startup Guardian Agriculture, which will begin commercial operations this summer, while carbon removal marketplace Supercritical raised $13 million in a Series A round.

Omeat plans to launch with cultivated ground beef products such as burgers.
Omeat plans to launch with cultivated ground beef products such as burgers. Image credit: Omeat

Foodtech funding

🇧🇪 Plant-based ingredients specialist Cosucra raises €45 million ($49 million) from  Sofiprotéol, Wallonie Entreprendre and the Société Fédérale de Participations et d’Investissement. The capital will be used to increase the production of chicory root fibers and fund renewable energy initiatives. (Nutraceutical Business Review)

🇺🇸 Los Angeles-based startup Omeat emerges from stealth, raises $40 million. The firm plans to scale cultivated meat production via humane extraction of growth factors and other components from “healthy, living cows.” (AFN)

🇸🇬 Singapore-based alt meat (TiNDLE) and dairy (Mwah!) startup Next Gen Foods has struck a ‘media-for-equity’ deal with SevenVentures, the investment arm of German media company ProSiebenSat.1. Under the deal, SevenVentures will invest a ‘EUR eight-figure’ sum on media advertising in exchange for an equity stake in the startup. (Vegconomist)

🇺🇸 Oregon-based BranchOut Food raises $7.1 million after listing on Nasdaq, secures distribution deal with Walmart. The capital will help expand its fruit snacks operation, which uses a combination vacuum chamber and radiant energy to gently dry fresh produce. (Market Screener)

🇺🇸  BetterBrand—a Los Angeles-based startup making high-protein, ultra-low-carb bagels—raises $6 million series A round. The company is on track to break even by the fourth quarter of this year following dramatic growth in retail accounts such as Whole Foods. (AFN)

🇬🇧 British food tech startup Adamo Foods raises £1.5 million ($1.9 million) in pre-seed funding from SFC Capital and two grants from government agency Innovate UK to bring its whole-cut mycelium steaks to market. (Vegconomist)

 Skytree's on-site carbon capture unit at Growy vertical farm in the Netherlands
Skytree’s carbon capture unit at Growy vertical farm in the Netherlands

Agtech funding

🇺🇸  The Audacious Project awards $60 million to Global Fishing Watch to create a map tracking fishing vessels in a bid to tackle illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. This will combine GPS data with satellite imagery and artificial intelligence to make the fishing industry more transparent. (Veg News)

🇺🇸 Guardian Agriculture raises a $20 million Series A round led by Fall Line Capital to expand its autonomous drone technology to farms across the US. The raise brings Guardian’s cumulative funding to $35 million. (AFN)

🇬🇧 Carbon removal marketplace Supercritical raises $13 million in Series A financing led by Lightspeed Venture Partners Its marketplace allows companies to purchase carbon removal credits meeting Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) industry standards. (ESG Today)

🇳🇱 Carbon capture startup Skytree raises $6 million in a seed round led by Horticoop and Yield Lab Europe. The company is rolling out its technology at indoor farming companies such as Growy. (Vertical Farm Daily)

🇪🇪 Estonian carbon removal startup 1MT Nation closes a €1 million ($1.3 million) investment round. 1MTN develops carbon removal projects by planting native bamboo species in Africa. (EU Startups)

Meatless Farm is best-known for plant-based beef and pork products, while VFC specializes in plant-based chicken
Meatless Farm is best-known for plant-based beef and pork products, while VFC specializes in plant-based chicken

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇬🇧 Alt meat brand VFC acquires distressed meat-free brand Meatless Farm. The latter laid off most of its staff earlier this month after a key investor expected to provide a capital injection backed out. (AFN)

🇮🇱 Israeli startup More Foods enters strategic collaboration with Osem-Nestlè Group subsidiary Tivol. The two will launch clean label meat alternatives made from pumpkin and sunflower seeds. (Green Queen)

🇺🇸 🇨🇦 Toronto-based food e-commerce platform Local Line has acquired Portland, Maine-based food procurement startup Forager for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2014, Forager connects local food producers and retailers via a digital platform. (Maine Biz)

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇬🇧 Research & funding agency UKRI invests £318 million ($406 million) into a plant and microbial research hub. The plan is to complete it before 2030. (UKTN)

🇺🇸 Cox Enterprises has launched Socium Ventures. The $300 million fund will write checks for $3-$25 million in “early-stage businesses that are solving big problems and leaving the world in a better place for the next generation.” (The Atlanta Journal Constitution)

🇬🇧 Virgin StartUp, the non-profit entrepreneurship hub at Virgin Group, will distribute £36 million in loans to startups over the next two years. Virgin is a business support partner of the British Business Bank’s StartUp Loan scheme.  Loans (up to £100k per business) must be paid back within five years, at a fixed annual interest rate of 6%. (Virgin)

🇪🇸 Insurance company MAPFRE launches biomethane fund. The goal is to raise €100 million ($109 million) in its first phase for the construction and development of 20-25 plants in Spain over five years. (ESG Today)

UPSIDE Foods' Cultivated Chicken
UPSIDE Foods’ Cultivated Chicken. Image credit: UPSIDE Foods

Other news

🇺🇸 UPSIDE Foods and Eat Just (GOOD Meat) get the go-ahead to launch cultivated meat in the US. Both cleared the final hurdle required by regulators: a grant of inspection from USDA for their production facilities in California. (AFN)

🇺🇸 The US Patent Trial and Appeal Board will review a patent granted to Impossible Foods. The news follows a petition by Motif FoodWorks, which is being sued by Impossible for patent infringement. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Jon Blair is stepping down as interim president at Miyoko’s Creamery. The plant-based dairy company has not yet announced a replacement. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Impossible Foods unveils a new ‘indulgent’ version of its signature plant-based patty. The 151g burger has 380 cals, 22g protein and 17g sat fat vs 230 cals, 19g protein and 6g fat in its flagship patty. (QSR Magazine)

🇸🇬 🇫🇮 Finland’s Solar Foods debuts gelato in Singapore featuring its Solein alt-protein. Solein is made by microbes fed on carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, rather than sugars. (Green Queen)

🇸🇬 Singapore-based ride-hailing and food delivery app GrabFood will cut 1,000 jobs or 11% of its workforce. CEO Anthony Tan cited the need to manage costs and ensure more affordable services long term. (Reuters)

🇺🇸  Spain introduces new dietary guidelines. It is recommending citizens eat zero to three portions of meat per week. (Plant Based News)

🇬🇧 QSR robots company Karakuri is closing down. In a social media post, founder and CEO Barney Wragg said he had been “unable to find the funding we need to move to the next level.” (LinkedIn)

🇹🇷 Express delivery platform Getir is exiting the French market and seeking a buyer for “all or part of the group in France.” (TechCrunch)

🇪🇸 Spain’s HEVO Group launches Ouvegg, a powered vegan egg alternative made with chickpea and flax flour. (Vegconomist)

🇺🇸 Restaurant ordering software startup Olo cuts 11% of its workforce. The layoffs follow cuts at several other restaurant tech companies as well as some major QSR chains. (Restaurant Dive)

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