Fundings-in-Brief: Eaze Closes $8m Series B for Cannabis Delivery, Monsanto Leads Resson Series B, more

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Ag Analytics Platform Resson Closes $11m Series B

Resson, a global ag data analytics startup, has raised $11 million in a Series B round led by Monsanto Growth Ventures. Other investors in Resson’s Series B round include Canadian early stage investor Build Ventures, Canadian tech investor Rho Canada Ventures, independent non-profit investor New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, New England-based BDC Capital, and Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurial community East Valley Ventures. Resson provides services for a broad range of clients including large and small agriculture companies, agricultural service providers, and individual growers. Its technology is marketed as helping to boost productivity and profits with near real-time predictive analysis for crop management. The company’s Resson Agricultural Management and Analytics System (RAMAS) integrates large-scale cloud-based data analytics with sensor fusion and robotic platforms to assess crop status and health, providing operators with the information required to optimize agricultural operations. Resson is currently expanding its product development, sales and marketing efforts, and adding staff to its technical development team in Fredericton, while also opening a new business office in San Jose, California.

Cannabis Delivery Service Eaze Raises $8.32m Series B 

Providing a mobile app delivery service for medical marijuana products, Eaze has raised an $8.32 million Series B round from an undisclosed group of investors, bringing the company’s total funding to nearly $20 million. The San Francisco, CA-based company promises users delivery within 20 minutes or less and offers a variety of products that it describes as high quality and lab-tested. It also assures users that the platform is safe to use.

EpiBiome Receives $1m in Debt Financing

EpiBiome, a precision microbiome engineering company, has secured $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing will allow EpiBiome to ramp up automation and to advance its drug development efforts, as well as purchase additional lab equipment for its new facility. The startup is hoping to curb the growing threat of multi-drug-resistant superbugs by eliminating the use of shared-class antibiotics, those shared between humans and animals, from agriculture. This financing announcement follows the January close of EpiBiome’s $6 million Series A funding round. Additionally, the company was a graduate from the inaugural class of Illumina Accelerator, the world’s first business accelerator that focuses on helping genomic companies launch.

goPuff Closes Series A Round on $8.25m

goPuff, an on-demand convenience store delivery service, has raised an additional $5 million in venture funding, led by existing disruptive technology investor Anthos Capital. This latest investment closes goPuff’s Series A round total on $8.25 million, which will be used to propel goPuff’s expansion into new markets. This new capital will be used to support new market entry, marketing initiatives, and operational expansion, including goPuff’s new 40,000-square-foot warehouse headquarters in Philadelphia. The company is launching in Portland, OR, and Houston, TX, in June, and Minneapolis, MN, and Nashville, TN, over the next few months, with future plans to roll out in at least seven additional cities by the end of 2016. The Philadelphia-based company warehouses more than 3,000 products ranging from snacks, drinks and ice cream to home goods, beer and electronics. It offers delivery in 30 minutes or less.

Food Waste Startup Obeo Raises $395.8k Seed Round

Providing a mess-free and convenient way to recycle food waste, Dublin-based startup Obeo has raised a $395k seed round. Part of the funding was provided by a UK-based seed fund and two Irish investors, as well as a portion from Enterprise Ireland’s high potential start-up unit. The company provides a caddy or bioplastic bag that collects vegetable peelings, food scraps, and other discarded edibles that can quickly turn into rotting, stinking, bug-attracting messes in normal trash cans. The company plans to use the infusion of capital to help it gain entry into the UK market and to create new products for food waste management applications. Representing a collaboration between the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) graduate Kate Cronin, a product designer, and Liz Fingleton, an accountant, Obeo was the first company to come from Origin8, the design innovation and commercialization gateway at NCAD, in 2014.

New Zealand Local Food Company Ooooby Raises $285k 

Fair-food business Ooooby has raised a $285k venture round from an undisclosed group of investors. Some sources suggest that this marks the first crowdfunded impact investment for the island nation of New Zealand. The startup combines consumer demand to access local food with a digital customer sales and delivery service that brings those goods right to consumers’ doorsteps. The company also established a forum website that serves as an online community for growers, consumers, and a network for sharing stories and experiences.

Italian Meal Kit Delivery Company Quomi Closes Round

Quomi, which delivers Italian recipe kits that customers can prepare at home, has raised an undisclosed venture capital round from undisclosed investors. The recipes rotate each week and users are not required to sign up for a subscription or order a minimum number of meals each week. Orders must be placed by Friday evening for delivery on the following Tuesday. Each portion costs a little less than $5, delivery included. The company guarantees the freshness of the ingredients, using isothermal containers and refrigerant gel.

Flowerplus Closes $10.7m Series A with NewMargin Ventures

Shanghai-based Flowerplus has closed a $10.7 million Series A round with Chinese venture capital management firm NewMargin Ventures. The company provides regular flower delivery services to homes and businesses. Guanghe Ventures, technology platform and marketing solutions provider Telescope Investment, and commercial and industrial real estate investors Harmony Investment also participated in the round. Launched in 2015, the company’s mobile app allows subscribers to choose a monthly flower delivery plan with a range of prices. The flowers come from farms located in the Yunnan province. According to the company, it wants to target middle class families and working-class individuals.

SaaS Catering provider Spoonfed Raises $833k in Seed Round

Scottish software-as-a-service start-up Spoonfed has closed a second round of funding worth roughly $833,000 from angel investment syndicate Equity Gap, private US and Channel Islands investors and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise. Launched in 2013, Spoonfed provides end-to-end drop off catering software to customers throughout the UK including high-street chains, independent sandwich retailers and contract catering businesses and has also won contracts in USA, Canada and Australia. According to the company, the technology has enabled clients to unlock new markets with automated business processing of office catering orders. The investment will be used to drive additional sales of the disruptive technology in the UK and internationally, further enhance its functionality, create new jobs and establish a foothold in the Far East and mainland Europe.


Land O’Lakes Acquires Ag Biotech Company Ceres

Member-owned cooperative Land O’Lakes is set to acquire Ceres, an agricultural biotechnology company that develops and markets seeds and traits to produce crops for animal feed, sugar and other markets, for roughly $17.2 million. Upon completion of the transaction, Ceres will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O’Lakes and will complement Forage Genetics International (FGI), a Land O’Lakes subsidiary, and bring new advanced plant breeding and biotechnology to FGI’s research and development pipeline. The company’s advanced plant breeding and biotechnology platforms, which can increase crop productivity, improve quality, reduce crop inputs and improve cultivation on marginal land, have broad application across multiple crops, including food, feed, fiber and fuel crops. Ceres markets its seed products under its Blade brand. The company also licenses its biotech traits and technology to other life science companies and organizations.

Pacific Ag Acquires Calagri

Pacific Ag, which operates one of the largest crop residue supply chains in the US, has acquired Calagri, a regional agricultural residue and hay harvesting company. Calagri was founded in 1987 and operates as a forage and crop residue harvest company in the Pacific Northwest with operations in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. As a result of the transaction, Pacific Ag will manage the harvest and logistics of more than 300,000 tons annually of forage and residue in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. As a builder and operator of supply chains for agricultural residue, Pacific Ag services dairies and feedyards, mushroom operations and erosion control industries, as well as biorefineries. With 20 years of experience and operations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Iowa and North Carolina, the company touts relationships with hundreds of growers representing nearly half a billion tons of agricultural residue.

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