A selection of greens from Little Leaf Farms. Image credit: Little Leaf Farms

The Week in Agrifoodtech: Little Leaf Farms bags $300m, Wonder lands $340m to cook meals curbside

June 16, 2022

Mega-rounds this week went to controlled environment agriculture (CEA) company Little Leaf Farms and food delivery concept Wonder. Magic Spoon, best known for its “high-protein, low carb” cereal, finally landed in retail (and raised more funds), while several companies made announcements around plant-based cheese, delivery robots, and coffee tech.


Foodtech funding

🇺🇸 Mobile restaurant delivery service Wonder secures $340 million Series B. Bain Capital Ventures led the round for the platform that features chefs cooking meals curbside from a food van. (Food Dive)

🇺🇸 Magic Spoon lands $85 million Series B round led by High Post Capital. Magic Spoon will also launch its “better-for-you” cereals in retail outlets beginning with Target stores in the US. (WSJ)

🇸🇬 Fraser and Neave lead $3 million Series A for food robotics company Ross Digital. Ross has developed a robotic arm that serves coffee as well as an automated barista. (Tech in Asia)

🇰🇷 Korea Development Bank leads $23 million round for Armored Fresh. Alt-cheese maker Armored Fresh will use the pre-Series B funding to move into the US, where it will debut a variety of almond milk-based cheeses. (Green Queen)

🇩🇰 Reduced scores €2.9 million ($3 million) to upcycle food and fight waste. The startup produces ingredients, flavor enhancers, and food products from waste side streams and excess produce. (EU Startups)

🇺🇸 Hella Cocktail Co. raises $5 million from premium whiskey-maker Uncle Nearest. BIPOC-founded Hella Cocktail Co. produces premium non-alcoholic cocktails that are available across the US. (Forbes)

🇸🇬  IoT coffee-tech startup Morning snags $5 million Series A. East Ventures led the round, which Morning will put towards product development and diversification as well as international expansion. (Tech in Asia)

🇺🇸 Another coffee startup, equipment-maker Fellow, brews up $30 million Series B. Growth equity firm NextWorld Evergreen led the round. (Daily Coffee News)

🇬🇧 Opply raises $4 million to fix supply chain woes for food and beverage companies through AI. Lead investors to the round included Chalfen Ventures and Anthemis Group. (Tech.eu)

🇺🇸 Fermented food brand Cleveland Kitchen announces $19 million Series A. Amberstone led the round, which Cleveland Kitchen will use to grow its products and complete its acquisition of pickle manufacturer Sonoma Brinery. (PR Newswire)

🇨🇦 Plant-based cheese company Nuts for Cheese closes $5.35 million round. The company will expand its line of fermented cashew-based cheeses and butters. (Food Engineering)

Agtech funding

🇺🇸 Little Leaf Farms raises $300 million for CEA-grown greens. The Rise Fund led the equity financing round for the CEA company. (PR Newswire)

🇺🇸 Moleaer grabs $40 million to fight water scarcity with nanobubbles. Apollo led the Series C round that Moleaer will use to make its water treatment systems for agriculture, aquaculture, and other industries more widely available. (AFN)

🇧🇷 Ag marketplace Clicampo raises $7.5 million seed round co-led by Valor Capital Group and MAYA Capital. Funding will go towards further developing Clicampo’s digital platform that connects the country’s farmers and food producers directly with retailers and restaurants. (AFN)

🇱🇹 Vertical farming company Leafood secures $6.75 million. The seed round will finance a partnership with Taiwanese indoor ag giant YesHealth Group to bring more vertical farming to Lithuania and the greater Baltic region. (AFN)

🇺🇸 🌍 Accord Capital leads $5.5 million Series A round for Virridy. Funding will accelerate Virridy’s development of “satellite-connected sensors for managing water, energy, and agricultural resources,” as well as expand further across Africa and North America. (Space in Africa)

M&A, IPOs & Partnerships

🇸🇪 🇩🇪 IKEA partners with InFarm to grow greens inside stores. Three IKEA locations in Germany will feature InFarm’s vertical farming units growing greens to supply to the chain’s restaurants. (Vertical Farm Daily)

🇩🇰 🇩🇪 Aquaculture startup Billund Aquaculture teams up with agtech company Aquapurna. The two aim to develop more sustainable land-based shrimp farming using existing and novel technologies. (Ag Reads)

🇬🇧 Moolec Science to go public with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) LightJump Acquisition Corp. Moolec has developed a “molecular farming” platform in which plants express animal proteins. (Food Navigator)

🇺🇸 Mars partners with Perfect Day for its first-ever animal-free chocolate. The CO2COA bar is part of Mars’ “Sustainable in a Generation” plan. (Food Dive)

Other news

🇺🇸 Water pollution, supply chain hamper corporate sustainability progress. A new report from investor network FAIRR and nonprofit Ceres highlights progress as well as new challenges for six of the world’s major fast food brands. (AFN)

🇨🇳 JD.com wants to launch a food delivery business. The Chinese e-commerce company hasn’t actually launched such a business yet but says it will first operate in pilot cities such as Zhengzhou. (Pandaily)

🇺🇸 Grubhub is going back to school . . . with delivery ‘bots. Via a new partnership with Cartken, the food delivery service will offer robot deliveries on college campuses beginning with the Ohio State University before expanding to other schools this fall. (Restaurant Business Online)

🇺🇸 Picnic‘s pizza-making robot is also headed to college. The company has expanded its pilot program with foodservice giant Chartwells Higher Education to include five schools in the US. (The Spoon)

🇺🇸 The pandemic changed the way we eat. Eater has compiled a timeline of the biggest trends, news, and “oddies” in home cooking since the Covid-19 pandemic started, from food shortages to the at-home fermentation craze. (Eater)

🇿🇦 McCain Foods launches regenerative farm project in South Africa. “Farm of the Future” will grow 125 hectares of potatoes each year for use across the country using regenerative agriculture practices. (AFN)

🇺🇸 In a blow to Uber, DoorDash, et al., Massachusetts rejects a ballot to define gig workers as contractors. A court ruled in favor of defining gig workers, including food delivery drivers, as employees, which requires companies to pay workers’ benefits and protections. (TechCrunch)

🇺🇸 Mission Barns says its cultivated fat products are ready for market. The company must still gain regulatory approval from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration before it can sell its wares. (Vegconomist)

🇸🇬 Delivery app Grab acquires then relaunches HungryGoWhere platform. The newly revamped site will feature food reviews and recommendations as well as longer feature content. (Tech in Asia)

🇸🇬 Shopee cuts staff across Southeast Asia, including cuts at ShopeeFood. Shoppe, the e-commerce arm of Singapore’s Sea Group, is also shuttering operations in Spain. (Deal Street Asia)

 

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