Microbiome-focused Indigo Closes $100m Series C for Cotton Seed Coating
Indigo has raised a $100 million Series C round as it launches its first commercial product, a seed coating promoting water efficiency in cotton. The round was led by the $54 billion Alaska Permanent Fund, with participation from previous investors, including incubation-style VC Flagship Ventures and members of the company’s management and board. The funding comes only four months after the company closed a $56 million Series B. Indigo taps microbiome research to develop products that help promote efficient water use in crops. According to Indigo, modern agricultural technologies offering yield gains have plateaued, generating collective yield increases of just over one percent per year. Find out more about where Indigo’s product is being used today, and what’s up next for the Boston-based startup over on AgFunderNews.
Cultivation Capital Leads $1.2m Round in Data Analytics Startup S4
S4, a data gathering and analytics company that provides risk management solutions to financial, agribusiness, and farming players, has closed a $1.2 million seed round with Cultivation Capital, a St. Louis-based venture capital firm, Syngenta Ventures, St.Louis-based evergreen investor BioGenerator, early-stage FinTech investor Six Thirty Accelerator, agtech accelerator The Yield Lab and other private investors. The new capital will be used to improve and expand the company’s database processing capabilities, develop sales in Argentina and Brazil, and migrate part of the founding team from Argentina to St. Louis, MO to consolidate its US expansion. S4 participated in the inaugural cohort of The Yield Lab in 2015 and just completed the SixThirty Spring 2016 FinTech accelerator. “This round of financing is a critical milestone in S4’s history,” said S4’s CEO Diego Steverlynck in a press release. “We are very happy to have found such a great team of institutional investors, and we feel very much at home in St. Louis.”
New Wave Foods Closes Seed Round for Seafood Alternative
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New Wave Foods, which uses algae and other ingredients to create a replacement for shrimp, has closed a seed round with early-stage investor Efficient Capacity and alternative foods-focused venture fund New Crop Capital. With a prototype product that has been served in Google cafeterias, the current round of investments follows investments from SOSV via the IndieBio accelerator. To learn more about the funding and New Wave Foods’ mission to replace conventional seafood production, read our recent interview with CEO Dominique Barnes on AFN.
Innit Raises $18m for Connected Food Platform
California-based Innit has raised an additional $18 million in financing from founders and strategic investors to accelerate company growth, bringing its current funding total to $43 million. In May 2016, the company debuted its Connected Food platform that helps kitchen appliances operate like smartphones. The company also recently announced partnerships with big names like Good Housekeeping, Pirch, and Whirlpool Corporation. This new funding will build on the company’s momentum since launch last year and further establish its leadership in the emerging smart kitchen market. Founded in 2013 by senior executives from the food and technology sectors, Innit’s team of chefs, nutritionists, and engineers is using cutting-edge food science and technology in an effort to help people manage and prepare their food more efficiently. The Innit platform identifies and measures food using advanced technologies in the kitchen, recommends recipes based on inventory, and executes expert cooking techniques through connected kitchen appliances to produce amazing results every time.
Vietnamese Online Food Delivery Platform Hellomam Raises Seed Round
SSI Asset Management’s investment arm has made an investment in Hellomam, a Vietnamese food delivery service. The amount of the investment was not disclosed. Founded in 2015, the online-to-offline platform provides organic food delivery to customers. The founding members include Le Thi Thu Thuy, who is the former CEO of Vingroup, a Vietnamese property company that also dabbles in the agribusiness and retail spaces. According to SSIAM CEO Le Thi Le Hang, Hellomam is a perfect example of the type of company that suits their investment thesis for agribusiness startups. Hellomam is being slated as a likely distributor for PAN Food, an agriculture firm led by Hung.
Italian Online Food Delivery Service Supermercato24 Closes $3.31m Series A
With a network of 1,800 couriers servicing some of Italy’s largest cities and provinces, Supermercato offers grocery and home-essential delivery services sometimes as quickly as the day the order is placed. The company recently closed a $3.31 million Series A with global ICT/Digital and Medical field investor Innogest leading the round along with existing investor European early-stage investor 360 Capital Partners. The company now turns its attention to improving its business structure, strengthening its current markets, and achieving price parity between its online sales platform and other brick and mortar sales points. A number of industry leaders will join the board of directors, including Bain & Company Italy partner Andrea Petronio, who has deep industry experience in retail.
Kenyan Startup WeFarm Nabs $200k Prize for Farmer Connectivity Platform
Offering a peer-to-peer network for smallholder farmers in developing nations, WeFarm won $200k at the recent Chivas Regal’s The Venture competition. The platform helps farmers in these regions access critical information regarding farming, weather, and crop yields using an SMS and online methodology. The peer-to-peer service helps growers in each region share their knowledge in a communal system while also providing them with a chance to tap into the global agriculture knowledge network. The company closed a $2.9 million venture round in January 2016.
Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners Invests in Texas-Based Nurturme
Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, one of the USDA-approved Rural Business Investment Companies, has invested $3.7 million investment in NurturMe, which produces organic quinoa-based baby food and toddler snacks. According to a recent press release, ACAP selected NurturMe – a startup founded by Austin, Texas-based entrepreneurs Caroline Freedman and Lauren de la Rosa – as the first company within the baby food category to receive support from the fund. The investment will help NurturMe accelerate its rapid growth as it attempts to become the first brand to offer pure organic quinoa products for babies and toddlers, as well as expanding its line of gluten-free, organic ancient grain-based baby and toddler foods.