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Fundings in Brief: Cargill Makes Major Plays, Indian E-Grocery Continues to Nab Funds, and M&A Action

August 20, 2015

Norwegian Fish-Feed Producer EWOS Sells to Cargill for $1.49bn

Cargill has purchased EWOS, one of the world’s largest suppliers of feed and nutrition for farmed fish, from private equity firms Equity Partners and Bain Capital Partners for $1.5 billion in a deal that is anticipated to close by the end of the year. The acquisition allows Cargill to gain entry into the salmon market, which has seen an increase in global demand as consumption in emerging economies increases. According to Rabobank International, completion of the deal will make Cargill, currently the globe’s largest grain trader, one of the top three aqua-feed producers.

Cargill Announces Major Billion Dollar Investment in Mexico Agriculture

Ag-giant Cargill announced a $170 million direct investment to expand its agribusiness in Mexico over the next few years. The company plans to provide another $1.1 billion in financing between now and 2018 to support local producers and intends to purchase roughly $4.5 million Mexican crops. Both plays are part of the company’s clear goal of increasing its presence in agriculture and supply chains throughout the country.

Westland Horticulture Acquires Fertilizer and Chemical Maker William Sinclair

Gardening products manufacturer Westland Horticulture acquired English company William Sinclair, which producers products under the labels Arthur Bower’s, New Horizon, Growing Success, and Deadfast, in a multi-million pound deal backed by Danske Bank. As part of the deal, William Sinclair will be delisted from the AIM market on the London Stock Exchange. Westland Horticulture picks up a number of trading premises and a state of the art manufacturing facility in Ellesmere Port, England.

Indian Grocery Delivery Service BigZop Nabs $600,000 Seed Round

Online grocer BigZop, operating out of Gurgaon, India, closed a $600,000 seed round with an undisclosed group of investors. The company began its business in 2015 delivering hand picked farm fresh fruits and vegetables and has expanded its product offerings to include dry goods and household care products. According to the company, the business has processed over 100 orders per day during the past two months.

Indian Hyperlocal Delivery Service Shadowfax Raises $300,000 in Angel Funding

Shadowfax, another Gurgaon-based hyperlocal delivery service startup for retailers and restaurants reported raising $300,000 in angel funding from Snapdeal co-founders Rohit Bansal and Kunal Bahl. Powai Lake Ventures’ Zishaan Hayath and Limeroad co-founder Prashant Malik also participated in the raise. The company will use the new funding to branch out into 10 new cities by the end of 2015.

USDA to Invest $5m to Improve Water Quality in Lake Erie

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) announced last Friday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest an additional $5 million in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana to help combat Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms, which occur in part due to high levels of dissolved phosphorous from animal livestock running into local tributaries that lead to the lake. The funds are sourced from the 2014 Farm Bill and awarded through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Big Data Company Datameer Closes $40m Raise with Multiple Investors

Big data analytics platform provider Datameer closed a $40 million round led by ST Telemedia in addition to Top Tier Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Redpoint, Next World Capital, Software AG, and Citi Ventures. This raise doubles Datameer’s previous investments, bringing the company’s total VC funding to $76 million. Founded in 2009, Datameer aims to combine the power of Hadoop with a spreadsheet interface, enabling users to run analytics against massive data sets with ease–and without programming required. The company will use the funds to develop teams across its business unites and accelerate global expansion.

Meal Replacement Maker Soylent Faces Legal Pressure from Enviro Watchdog

Environmental watchdog group As You Sow filed a notice of intent to file litigation against meal replacement drink maker Soylent alleging that the company’s meal replacement products contain levels of lead and cadmium in excess of California Proposition 65’s safe harbor provisions. In a statement released this week, Soylent denied the allegations, ensuring consumers that its products comply with Prop 65’s requirements and that the group’s additional claim that Soylent does not properly display the required Prop 65 notice is misguided.

Agribotix Names New CEO

Colorado-based Agribotix, a broad scale drone-tech developer, announced that Lou Faust has joined the company as CEO. Faust brings 30 years of management experience and ten years on Wall Street as managing director with Salomon Brothers (Citigroup) to the team. According to Agribotix COO Paul Hoff, Faust’s  expertise raising capital and leading start-ups to successful exits will help Agribotix take its business to the next level.


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