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Fundings-in-Brief: Agrilyst Scores $1m Seed Round During a Busy Week for M&A

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Agrilyst Raises $1m Ahead of Cannabis Platform Roll Out

Disrupt SF 2015 winner Agrilyst has raised $1 million in seed funding in a round led by New York seed stage investors Brooklyn Bridge Ventures with participation from NYC early-stage tech investors Metamorphic Ventures as well as a group of angel investors. The company offers a Software-as-a-Service platform to help indoor agriculture operations maximize their efficiency. Now, the platform offers workflow management tools, inventory tracking, and pest and nutrient management. The company analyzes data about these metrics to provide growers with recommendations on the best way to fine-tune their growing plans. Starting in July, the company will offer a platform geared toward cannabis growers.

Till Mobile Raises Pre-Seed Round from Kirchner

Kirchner Food Fellowship, the agricultural impact investment arm of merchant bank Kirchner Group, has invested in Till Mobile, a supply chain communications company. The investment is ahead of Till’s $2 million seed round, which it expects to complete next month. Till aims to connect smallholders farmers with the big name brands and grocery chains purchasing their produce using mobile phone voice and SMS. Find out more about the fellowship and Till over on AgFunderNews.

Vegan Meal Delivery Service Purple Carrot Raises $5m in Debt

Purple Carrot, a plant-based meal kit delivery service, has raised a $5 million debt financing round from WindSail Capital, a Boston-based investment firm focused on energy innovation and sustainability. With the new financing, the company hopes to increase consumer awareness for the brand and continue to cultivate the discussion regarding the value of a plant-based diet for health and environmental reasons. Last year, Purple Carrot raised $3.8 million in seed capital from investors including disruptive food tech investors New Crop Capital, early stage vegan investors Stray Dog Capital, world-famous chef Mario Batali, and others. To make plant-based eating even more accessible, Purple Carrot will be working with a number of culinary experts in the coming months as the company unveils a new Guest Chef series. The program will feature notable chefs and influencers who will create customized plant-based recipes that will be incorporated in Purple Carrot’s weekly menu offerings.

Also this week, former New York Times columnist Mark Bittman announced that he is leaving his post as Purple Carrot’s chief innovation officer after just six months in the position. Sources report that Bittman will retain his ownership interest in the company. At this time, it is unclear what Bittman plans to do next.

And from last week…

BiOWiSH Raises $5m Series B

BiOWiSh Technologies, a company developing microorganisms that can increase the efficiency of fertilizers, boost drought resistance, and extend the shelf-life for fresh fruit and vegetables, has raised a $5 million Series B funding with existing investors. The company plans to use the funding to expand and commercialize its product with an eye toward increasing growth across markets and regulatory schemes. AgFunderNews recently caught up with BiOWiSH founder Rod Vautier to learn more about the company’s investors and plans for the future. Click here to read more.


TinyOwl and Logistics Firm Carthero to Merge

TinyOwl, a Mumbai-based food delivery ordering app, and logistics firm Carthero are merging and will operate under the name Runnr by the end of May. International emerging technology multi-stage investors Sequoia Capital and India-focused venture firm Nexus Venture Partners, who reportedly helped arrange the merger, are investors in both companies. Sources indicate that the alliance is intended to help the companies compete with other big operations in the Indian food e-commerce sector, like Swiggy and Zomato Order.

Frutarom Acquires Extrakt Chemie for $6m

Israel-based Frutarom, one of the major players in the global flavors and natural specialty fine ingredients market, has acquired German-based Extrakt Chemie for $6 million, its 30th acquisition in five yearss. Extrakt Chemie develops, produces, and markets specialty solutions for natural extracts, some including plant-sourced enzymes for use as raw materials in the pharmaceuticals market. The company is also active in other Western European countries such as Denmark, Switzerland, France and Austria as well as in the Australian market. The purchase agreement includes a mechanism for future consideration conditional on the business performance of Extrakt Chemie during 2016 and 2017.

Aemetis Signs Agreement to Acquire Edeniq

Aemetis, a fuels and renewable chemicals company, is set to acquire Edeniq, a cellulosic ethanol technology company. Edeniq has developed patented innovations that unlock cellulosic and starch sugars through a combination of mechanical and biological processes. According to the companies, Edeniq’s capital light and operationally efficient solutions can be easily integrated into existing corn ethanol plants. Edeniq, a private company founded in 2008, has raised approximately $100 million from  venture capital firms including Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, as well as US Department of Energy (DOE) grant funding. Upon completion of the transaction, Edeniq will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aemetis. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur during the second quarter.

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Acquires German Meat and Poultry Casings Supplier Kalle

European and US-based business investors Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has entered into an agreement to acquire Kalle GmbH, an industrial manufacturer of artificial casings for the meat processing industry. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Kalle manufactures and supplies casings for the protein-processing industry, including pork, beef, poultry and vegetarian protein categories.  Based in Wiesbaden, Germany with operations across nine countries, the company generated 2015 revenues of more than €281 million from customers in 100 countries, producing more than 850 million meters of casings for a wide range of meat, poultry, and other protein products.

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