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Fundings in Brief: Japan’s Farmnote Raises Seed Capital and Indian Animal Healthcare Companies Merge

September 3, 2015

This week’s fundings include animal healthcare M&As, a Japanese farm management startup, IoT investment and food e-commerce deals.

Japanese Livestock-Wearable Sensor Provider Farmnote Closes $1.7m Seed Round

Japanese pasture management tech provider Farmnote closed a $1.7m seed round with a number of investors, including Daiji Hirata, Kotaro Chiba, GREE, and Kanematsu Agritech. Launched in 2013, the company aims to optimize the “Internet of Animals” business through its handheld, tablet, and laptop compatible cloud-based app, and a new line of sensors that livestock can wear.

Indian Animal Healthcare Product Maker Lyka Labs to Merge with Alivira

Mumbai-based Lyka Labs has announced the sale of its animal healthcare division to Alivira Animal Health for an undisclosed amount. Housed under Lyka Exports, the company’s animal healthcare unit encompasses feed supplement, antibiotics, and other products. Alivira Animal Health is a joint venture between integrated pharma player SeQuent Scientific and Chennai-baesd Shasun Pharmaceuticals. The JV develops, manufactures, and sells veterinary products in the global market.

Indian PE Firm to Acquire Herbal Animal Health Company

Private equity firm Lighthouse Funds has unveiled plans to invest in Saharanpur-based Indian Herbs Specialties, a company that focuses on research and manufacturing of herbal animal health care products. The deal marks Lighthouse Funds’ second play of the year, following a partial exit in Dhanuka Agritech, according to VCCircle.

IoT Network Technology Provider LinkLabs Lands $6m Series A

Providing low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) tech for Internet of Things applications, LinkLabs announced the close of a $6m round led by TCP Venture Capital, including investment from Maryland Venture Fund, Blu Venture Investors, and a number of individual and existing investors. In a press release announcing the investment, the company indicated that roughly 14 billion devices are connected to the internet each day and this number is expected to reach 50 billion by 2020. An estimated 5 billion of these devices will be sensor-based devices using LPWAN networks for connectivity. LinkLabs plans to use the funding for additional tech development and to implement a more aggressive marketing strategy. Agriculture is a key market for the company.

Yummly Dishes Up $15m Series B and New Partnership

Providing a comprehensive recipe search engine for the culinary curious, Yummly has closed a $15 million Series B round with Bauer Venture Partners and will use the proceeds to partner with food-to-consumer company Instacart. Touting 10 million registered users and roughly 700 thousand new users each month, the company’s mission is to help the hardworking and hungry figure out what’s for dinner. This round of founding will also be used to expand the company’s partnership with search engine DuckDuckGo and to potentially help facilitate new partnerships with analytics platform Mixpanel and app link-provider URX.

Zomato Invests in Two Food E-Commerce Companies and Partners with Delhivery

Zomato, which provides restaurant listings and reviews, has invested in hyperlocal delivery startups Pickingo and Grab and has also announced a new partnership with e-commerce logistics provider Delhivery. These moves now equip Zomato to offer customers home-delivery from restaurants and eateries that previously lacked a delivery service option. In May 2015, the company released its new app, Order, which allows customers to place their orders from a handheld or tablet device.

And in industry news…

Colorado Cannabis Tech Company Surna Appoints New President and CEO

Providing controlled environment agriculture equipment to Colorado’s burgeoning cannabis industry, Surna’s Board of Directors recently announced their appointment of Stephen Keen as president and CEO. Keen’s background includes founding Hydro Innovations, a company that provided liquid cooled tech for hobby cultivators and acquired by Surna in 2014. Until the announcement, Keen served as Surna’s VP of research and development, helping drive Surna’s cutting-edge innovation.

BIO’s Food and Agriculture Section Hires new VP

Brian Baenig, former chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, announced that he will be joining Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) as executive vice president for BIO’s Food and Agriculture Section. BIO represents one of the largest biotech trade associations in the world, representing companies, institutions, state biotech centers, and related organizations across the U.S. and 30 other nations.

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