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Neat Burger.
Neat Burger. Image credit: Ben Slater

The Week in AgriFoodTech: Neat Burger raises $18m, Debut bags $34m to expand cell-free biomanufacturing platform

June 1, 2023

This week, Neat Burger raised $18m to take its plant-based restaurant chain into new markets, synthetic biology startup Debut raised $34 million to expand its cell-free biomanufacturing platform, and biofertilizer startup Anuvia Plant Nutrients suspended operations.

Neat Burger, New York City
Neat Burger, New York City. Image credit: Vito Oliva

Foodtech funding

🇬🇧 Neat Burger, a plant-based restaurant chain backed by Lewis Hamilton and Leonardo DiCaprio, raises $18 million in a Series B led by B-Flexion. The capital will fund expansion  in the US, Italy and the Middle East. (Restaurant Dive)

🇺🇸 Debut, a synthetic biology startup developing high-value ingredients for beauty, personal care and other industries via novel cell-free biomanufacturing techniques, has raised $34 million in a Series B round led by BOLD, the venture capital fund of L’Oréal.  (PR Newswire)

🇦🇺 Earthodic secures A$1.85 million ($1.2 million) in a pre-seed round co-led by Tenacious Ventures and Investible. The capital will help expand its bio-based water-resistant coating Paperbarc for paper-based food packaging. (Business News Australia)

🇺🇸 A vascular surgeon invests $1 million into vegan jerky company Y’alls Foods. Rizwan H. Bukhari, MD also joins the company as a medical advisor. (Vegconomist)

🇺🇸 Powdered breastmilk startup BBy raises $3 million in seed funding. Pioneer Fund led the round with participation from Y Combinator and others. (Crunchbase News)

🇮🇩 JumpStart Coffee completes undisclosed Series B round to expand its smart vending machine network. Cool Japan Fund and Living Lab Ventures led the round. (Inside Retail Asia)

Picketa Systems
Image credit: Picketa Systems

Agtech funding

🇬🇧 Google Ventures leads a £5.3 million ($6.6 million) seed round for carbon removal startup CUR8. The climate tech startup also sells carbon credits on its platform. (UKTN)

🇨🇦 Picketa Systems closes a C$1.4 million ($1 million) seed round for its real-time plant tissue analysis technology. New Brunswick Innovation Fund led the round. (Betakit)

🇬🇧 Regenerate Asset Management launches a regenerative agriculture fund to support the transition to regenerative farmland practices in Europe. It is backed by a cornerstone investment of €150 million ($160 million) from M&G, through its Catalyst strategy. (Agri Investor)

🇬🇧 The Radicle Natural Plant Protection Challenge by UPL will invest $1.75 million in startups advancing natural and biological solutions to protect crops from biotic stresses such as bacteria, fungi, nematodes, insects, arachnids, and weeds. (Gurufocus)

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇦🇺 Woolworth’s buys shuttered delivery startup Milkrun. Woolworth’s relaunched the brand under its Metro60 banner. (Startup Daily)

NASA Deep space food challenge
Image credit: NASA

Other news

🇺🇸 Biofertilizer company Anuvia Plant Nutrients is suspending operations and liquidating assets. The startup, which has raised more than $300 million in recent years from backers including Riverstone Holdings and Piva Capital,has not issued a statement, but explains on its website that “After eight years in business, Anuvia Plant Nutrients has closed its doors effective May 15, 2023.” (AgWeb)

🇺🇸 NASA announces finalists for last phase of its Deep Space Food Challenge with the Canadian Space Agency. Air protein, cultivated mushrooms and cooking in space are among the solutions. (The Spoon)

🇺🇸 Indoor farming co Little Leaf Farms will open a new greenhouse in McAdoo, Pennsylvania, this fall. The 10-acre site will enable the firm to harvest more than 20 million pounds of leafy greens annually across its five US facilities. (Hortidaily)

🇧🇪 EIT Food announces a new cohort of 63 agrifood startups for its entrepreneurship programs: EIT Food Accelerator Network (FAN) and RisingFoodStars. (EIT Food)

🇨🇭 HackCapital emerges from stealth with climate finance platform. The platform has already facilitated pooling of capital into rounds for more than 30 startups. (Green Queen)

🇺🇸 Serve Robotics will deploy 2,000 delivery ‘bots via the Uber Eats platform. The two companies will expand their partnership across the US. (Techcrunch)

🇦🇺 Dairy tech startup Made By Cow enters voluntary administration. The company’s website says it has now ceased operations. (Startup Daily)

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