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MeliBio co-founders Aaron Schaller (L) and Darko Mandich (R). Image credit: MeliBio

Friday Foodtech Digest: Animal-free fat, bee-free honey & fish-free fish get funding

April 2, 2021

Nourish Ingredients banks $11 million to make animal-free fats (Australia). Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures and CSIRO-affiliated Main Sequence Ventures invested in the Canberra-based startup, which is using bacteria to produce fats and oils for use in alt-protein products. (TechCrunch)

Li’s firm also invested in AlgiKnit’s $2.4 million bridge round (United States). The New York startup is making biodegradable yarns from seaweed in an effort to replace synthetic materials such as nylon. (Green Queen Media)

Food testing startup Allergy Amulet raises $4.1 million seed funding (United States). Madison, Wisconsin-based startup has developed a handheld sensing device to test food for allergens. AllerFund and Lightship Capital were among the investors to join the round. (Wisconsin Inno)

Meat producer Hanegal says it’ll be 85% plant-based by 2030 (Denmark). The firm — best known for its bacon and sausages — recently crowdfunded a plant-based test kitchen and acquired plant-based ready meal maker Fairdig. (Vegconomist)

Bluu Biosciences raises $8.25 million seed funding for cell-cultured fish (Germany). The startup is working on cellular versions of freshwater food fish including carp, salmon, and trout. Manta Ray Ventures, Norrsken VC, Be8, CPT Capital, and Lever VC were among the investors to take part in the round. (TechCrunch)

Deep Branch banks $9.41 million Series A funding for CO2-to-protein platform (United Kingdom). Novo Holdings, DSM Venturing, and Barclays were among those to invest in the Nottingham-based startup, which is creating animal feed from waste carbon dioxide and hydrogen. (Deep Branch)

Vegan fried chicken brand VFC scores $3.4 million seed funding (United Kingdom). The startup, which sells its products in the UK and Spain, received investment from Veg Capital and Johnson Resolutions. (FoodBev)Ag marketplace Waycool raises $20 million from existing investors (India). The Chennai-based startup helps farmers sell their produce to grocers, restaurants, and other retailers. (Entrackr

‘Shelf-stable’ plant-based meat maker Deliciou gets seed funding (Australia). US-based Stray Dog Capital led the round, with participation from former McKinsey Australia and New Zealand managing director Adam Levis, former Blackmores Asia managing director Peter Osborne, and Aconex co-founders Leigh Jasper and Rob Phillpot. (Stray Dog Capital)

Pulmuone makes move into plant-based protein (South Korea). Over the next few years, the Seoul-based food giant will launch over 20 plant-based protein products in three categories: high protein, low-carb vegan, and meat analogs. (Pulmuone)

Israeli venture builder OurCrowd partners US’s Waterfund to invest in water-focussed and agtech startups (Israel/US). Waterfund is committing $50 million to the vehicle, which made its first investment in Californian vertical farming startup Plenty. (NoCamels)

MeliBio raises $850,000 seed funding to make bee-less honey (United States). Backed by investors such as Big Idea Ventures, Joyance Partners, and Sparklabs Cultiv8, the Berkeley, California-based startup is producing a plant-based honey analog.

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