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Agrifoodtech Digest: Cargill, Microsoft & Rabobank get in on the ag carbon game

August 25, 2021

Two of the past week’s biggest stories were AFN exclusives from the ag carbon market, both involving Microsoft: verification platform Regrow’s $17 million Series A round, and agroforestry startup reNature’s successful ‘harvest’ in Brazil. In other news, there was an agtech acquisition involving Canada’s Semios – while a trademark filing from Beyond Meat provided clues about the company’s next steps.

🇺🇸 Cargill, Microsoft join $17 million round for carbon verification platform Regrow. The New Hampshire startup was formed in February following the merger of Australian crop science company FluroSat and US soil health startup Dagan. (AFN)

🇧🇷🇳🇱 Microsoft, Rabobank announce first round of carbon credits with reNature. The Dutch-Brazilian agroforestry startup partnered with Rabobank’s Acorn marketplace and farmer co-op CAMTA, with Microsoft purchasing the carbon credits they generated. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Sound Agriculture closes $45 million late-stage round led by Bayer. Syngenta also invested in the Californian startup, which uses “rapid epigenetics” to stimulate crops’ root zones and enhance the performance of synthetic fertilizer. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Beyond Meat files trademark application for ‘Beyond Milk’ in the US. The application stated products with the trademark could include everything from milk substitutes to shakes and coffee. (Fox Business Network)

🇨🇦🇦🇺 Precision ag platform Semios acquires Australian counterpart Agworld. The Vancouver-based company said the buyout will create “one of the largest independent agtech solutions providers in the world.” (Semios)

🇺🇸 Sweetgreen to acquire robotic restaurant Spyce. Grab-n-go salad chain Sweetgreen said its purchase of the Boston-based company would allow it to “improve customer and employee experience.” Financial details were not disclosed. (Sweetgreen)

🇺🇸 Food delivery service Trifecta closes a $20 million Series B round. It offers gluten-free and organic ready-to-eat meals featuring sustainably sourced ingredients, delivering across all 50 US states. (Food Business News)

🇺🇸 Mealworm producer Beta Hatch scores $10 million for expansion. Lewis & Clark AgriFood led the round with participation from Wilbur-EllisCavallo Ventures and Innova Memphis. Beta Hatch produces insect protein for livestock and pets. (TechCrunch)

🇮🇳 FMC co-leads $5 million investment in Indian ag robotics startup TartanSense. Founder and CEO Jaisimha Rao said the startup — which is targeting smallholder farmers — will have “the world’s largest fleet of agriculture robots in the next 18 months.” (AFN)

🇸🇬 Ai Palette raises $4.4 million to help brands predict the food trends of the future. The Singapore-based predictive analytics platform secured the Series A funding from investors including Exfinity Venture Partners, pi Ventures, and AgFunder. (AFN)

🇬🇧🇵🇹 Arborea raises €3.6 million ($4.23 million), expands to Portugal. The Imperial College London spin-out will also scale up its BioSolar Leaf technology, which produces commercial-grade, high-value functional ingredients and proteins. (Imperial College London)

🇺🇸 The US Department of Agriculture is investing $26 million to build infrastructure that will boost renewable biofuel production. The agency’s goal is to increase the availability of higher-blend renewable biofuels by 822 million gallons annually in 23 states. (GrainNet)

🇺🇸 Consumer-driven food startup Starday raises $4 million. It tracks data around food and beverage trends to create new brands, and claims to cut the average time-to-market from 18 to six months. (TechCrunch)

🇸🇬 Inseact raises $1.3 million in seed round to produce aquaculture feed. The funding will help the Singapore-based startup build a pilot production facility to raise and process black soldier flies. (Inseact)

🇺🇸 Taylor Farms backs indoor ag startup Pure Green Farms. Taylor Farms said its investment in the greenhouse operator will complement its 22,200 acres of open-field leafy green production, as well as its 16 salad-producing facilities across North America. (Taylor Farms)

🇳🇱 Food waste reduction startup Orbisk scores seed funding. The startup claims its camera-based food waste monitor can help hotels, restaurants, and industrial kitchens reduce food waste by up to 70%. FoodSparks By PeakBridge led the round; financial details were not disclosed. (Orbisk)

🇦🇪 Land-based fish farmer Pure Salmon to establish headquarters in UAE. The Abu Dhabi Investment Office has partnered with the company to boost sustainable food production in the Middle East. Pure Salmon plans to expand its presence in France, Japan, Poland, and the US. (The Fish Site)

🇮🇳🇹🇭 India’s CropIn teams up with Thai telco True Digital to bring its digital ag tools to Southeast Asia. The duo aims to cover nearly 10,000 acres and 6 million farmers in Thailand with crop management, financial, and other tools. (The Economic Times)

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