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The team at HappyVore. Image credit: HappyVore

The Week in Agrifoodtech: WayCool bags $40m, Rohlik raises $231m despite e-grocery woes

June 23, 2022

Indian farmer-to-business marketplace WayCool landed another round of funding this week, as did Czech e-grocery startup Rohlik. Elsewhere, France’s HappyVore secured nearly $40 million to open a facility for plant-based meat, and cereal giant Kellogg’s split into three independent companies.

Foodtech funding

🇨🇿 “Instant” delivery startup Rohlik raises $231 million in Series D round led by Sofina. The funding comes despite turbulence in the instant grocery space that has seen mass layoffs and consolidation. (Forbes)

🇫🇷 Plant-based meatmaker HappyVore banks €35 million ($36.8 million). It will use the funds to scale up as well as open France’s largest production facility for vegan meat. (Green Queen)

🇬🇧 Delivery-only restaurant network Peckwater Brands nabs £15 million ($18 million). The Series A round, supported by Stonegate Group and SoftBank amongst others, will fund new tech and operational developments. (Retail Tech Innovation Hub)

🇺🇸 Saltalk closes $8 million Series A led by Foothill Ventures to expand across California. Saltalk’s virtual kitchen and e-commerce platform helps aspiring chefs launch virtual restaurants. (TechCrunch)

🇺🇸 Miyoko’s Creamery bags another $7 million. The sum will go towards product development and “aggressively” expanding the company’s vegan butter and cheese business. (Vegconomist)

🇨🇦 Ingredients company Chinova Bioworks lands $6 million in Series A co-led by DSM Venturing and Rhapsody Venture Partners. Chinova uses upcycled white button mushroom stems to create a clean-label preservative for food and beverage items [disclosure: AFN‘s parent company, AgFunder, is an investor in Chinova Bioworks.] (Chinova Bioworks)

🇺🇸 PlantBaby scoops up $4 million in seed funding. Big Idea Ventures and The Fund LA led the round, which will go towards research and development of more PlantBaby clean-label products for infants and children. (Food Business News)

🇮🇳 Chaayos raises $53 million Series C led by Alpha Wave Ventures. Customers at Chaayos’ chai cafes can use a patented IoT-enabled ‘tea bot’ to personalize their chai beverage. (Tech in Asia)

Agtech funding

🇺🇸 Danone Manifesto Ventures leads $7 million round for Symbrosia. The Series A funds will go towards scaling production of its seaweed-based feed additive that reduces methane emissions in cattle. (Reuters)

🇮🇳 Farmer-to-business digital marketplace WayCool Foods raises another $40 million. US investor 57 Stars Global Innovation Fund led the round. (VC Circle

🇳🇿 BioLumic raises $13.5 million. OurCrowd led the Series B round. BioLumic offers ultraviolet lighting tech for horticultural and cannabis growers. (BioLumic)

🇨🇦 Vision Greens scores $7 million for its vertical farming operation. “Purpose-driven business leaders” including several from the Canadian grocery segment contributed to the round. (Private Capital Journal

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇺🇸 Mondelēz International to buy Clif Bar for $2.9 billion to expand its reach in snacks. The acquisition of the snack bar marker is expected to close in the third quarter. (Food Dive

Other news

🇨🇿 Private equity firm McWin launches €250 million ($263 million) foodtech fund. The new vehicle will invest in 15-20 companies up and down the food value chain, in areas such as alternative protein, traceability, and the circular economy. (Private Equity Wire)

🇺🇸 US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gives District of Columbia grant for food waste program. The EPA granted $152,000 to the federal district’s Department of Public Works for “training and certification to divert food waste.” (Agri Pulse

🇺🇸 New US legislation aims to ban M&A in food and ag. The Food and Agribusiness Merger Moratorium and Antitrust Review Act of 2022 is an attempt to crack down on monopolies in the food and agriculture system. (Civil Eats)

🇺🇸 Instant grocery delivery startup Jokr will exit the US. The company says it plans to focus on Latin American markets. (Grocery Dive)

🇺🇸🇦🇺 CH4 Global makes first commercial sale of its Asparagopsis seaweed-based feed additive. Ingredients processor CirPro will use the product, which reduces methane emissions from livestock, at its feedlots in Australia [disclosure: AgFunder is an investor in CH4.] (AFN)

🇺🇸 Kellogg’s splits into three separate public companies. The consumer goods giant is spinning out its cereal and plant-based foods brands to focus on its snacks business. (Food Navigator)

🇺🇸 Bel Brands USA and Land O’Lakes expand program for sustainable farming and animal feed. The program will grow to five additional farms ranging in size from 450 to 2,000 dairy cows in 2022. (Successful Farming

🇺🇦 Ukraine’s farmers start harvest, but with few places for grain storage. Ukrainians are running out of space with millions of tons of older grain stuck in warehouses and normal export routes blocked by Russia. (The Wall Street Journal)

🇩🇪🇺🇸 Vertical farmer InFarm builds third grow center in the US. This latest facility, located in Maryland, will supply the Northeast US with greens. (Vertical Farm Daily

🇰🇪 Cloud kitchen Kune Food shuts down. The Kenya-based company, formed in 2020, cited an “economic downturn” that impacted its ability to raise funds to continue operations. (TechCrunch

🇳🇱 Insect Engineers to open ‘world’s first’ insect-farming school. The project, which includes a website and testing facility, will act as a knowledge hub and meeting place for the insect industry as it works to become part of the global food system. (The Fish Site)

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