Fundings in Brief: Grocery Delivery Continues to Shine as Farmland Fund Targets $70m

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Indonesia’s HappyFresh Nabs $12m Series A to Boost Grocery Delivery Business

Grocery delivery app developer HappyFresh has closed a $12 million Series A round led by Vertex Ventures, which represents the fundraising arm of Temasek Holdings and Sinar Mas Digitial Ventures. 500 Startups also participated in the round alongside Asia Venture Group, Beenext, Ardent Capital, and Cherry Ventures. Launched in October 2014, the company is looking to expand its “next-hour” delivery platform into Thailand and Taiwan, with existing markets in Indonesia and Malaysia. HappyFresh’s delivery service partners with well-known supermarkets and uses personal shoppers to choose products from partners’ stores.

Indian Food E-Commerce Company Bueno Foods Raises $600k pre-Series A

Gurgaon-based food tech startup Bueno Foods has raised $600,000 in pre-Series A funding. The company will use the new funding to hire new talent, upgrade the business’ technology, and expand its data analytics. Founded in 2013, the company has branded itself as a premium food-tech firm providing roughly seven cuisines encompassing 30 different menu items through an in-house kitchen and delivery team. In a press release, co-founder Rohan Arora said that the company is hoping to achieve sustainable business growth as opposed to growth for growth’s sake.

LandFund Partners Closes Fund II, Eyes Fund III

Nashville-based LandFund Partners recently announced the closing of its Fund II after fully deploying the $7.5 million investment vehicle across some 2,500 acres of irrigated farmland in eastern Arkansas. The move brings LandFund Partners to total farmland holdings of roughly 4,800 cultivated acres in the lower Mississippi River Valley farmland region. The firm is now eyeing Fund III, which will target as much as $70 million, according to Agri InvestorIn a recent press release, founder and president John Farris referred to private farmland ownership as “an excellent choice for investors seeking to diversify, hedge against inflation, and anchor their portfolio.” LandFund buys farms and leases them back to farmers in what’s called a buy-and-lease strategy.

USDA to Commit $2.5m to Expand New Farmer Education

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced this week that the federal agency is offering $2.5 million in grants for projects to educate new and underserved farmers about the complex network of farm programs offered through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Enacted by the 2014 Farm Bill, these programs provide everything from financial and disaster assistance to afflicted farms, in addition to technical assistance in the broader agricultural community. Even for seasoned farmers, navigating the Farm Service Programs and staying on top of cyclical Farm Bill modifications to the programs, can create headaches. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with the first deadline falling on November 20, 2015, and the last deadline falling on May 27, 2016.

And in other news…

Blue Apron Expands Fresh Ingredient Delivery Service to Include Wine Pairings

Meal kit delivery service Blue Apron has launched Blue Apron Wine, a monthly service available to Blue Apron customers, which delivers wines selected to pair with their Blue Apron meal selections. According to the company, out of the $38 billion in wine sales that occurred in 2014, less than $2 billion were direct-to-consumer. Blue Apron has launched its new wine delivery option in response to customers’ overwhelming demand for the service. Clients who opt to include wine in their delivery will receive six custom 500ml bottles designed to pair with the company’s meals for two.

Oscar Meyer Launches Dating App Designed to Unite Bacon Lovers

Pork and meat product producer Oscar Meyer has launched a dating app called Sizzl, designed to match singles based on their mutual love of bacon. “In love, as it is in bacon, it’s important to be discerning when selecting your perfect match and to never settle for less than the best,” said Oscar Meyer’s director of marketing in a recent press release. Last year, the company handed out almost 5,000 bacon-scented smartphone attachments that emitted a bacon scent whenever the alarm sounded.

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Image: Dan4th Nicholas on Flickr

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