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Nick's keto-friendly ice creams. Image credit: Nick's

The Week in Agrifoodtech: Nick’s raises $100m; Bezos pledges $2b against climate change

November 4, 2021

Swedish foodtech company Nick’s, known for its keto-friendly ice cream, brought the biggest funding news of the week with its $100 million Series C round. Meanwhile, Twiga Foods closed a $50 million round while billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos  pledged $2 billion to fight climate change at COP26.

Foodtech startup funding

🇸🇬 TurtleTree raises $30 million in Series A funding. VERSO Capital led the round. TurtleTree will use the money to move closer to commercialization of its cell-based dairy products through B2B partnerships. (AFN)

🇮🇳 LoveLocal gets $18 million. Vulcan Capital led the round, which brings hyper-local retail startup LoveLocal’s total funding to date to $30 million. (The Economic Times

🇸🇪 Nick’s announces $100 million The new funds will go towards growth in the US and Europe, as well as developing new products beyond its sugar-free snacks and ice creams. (Reuters)

🇮🇳 CloudEats raises $5 million in Series A funding for its cloud kitchens. Singapore-based Vulpes Investment Management and Gobi-Core PH fund led the round, which also saw participation from Alibaba-backed BAce Capital, Intera Investments, GMA Ventures, and other angel investors. (Tech in Asia

🇮🇳 Zepto nabs $60 million for its grocery delivery app. The 10-minute grocery delivery app was started in 2021 by two Stanford University dropouts, and is currently valued at “between $200 million and $300 million,” according to the company’s CEO.  (India Times

🇮🇳 Vilcart Solutions raises $2 million in pre-Series A funding. Nabventures led the round for Vilcart, which connects rural Kiranas/customers with consumer brands and manufacturers. (VCCircle

🇺🇸 Martie gets $3 million to rescue pantry staples. Food waste mitigation startup Martie officially entered the US market with its food rescue e-commerce platform. (TechCrunch

🇮🇳 TTSF Cloud One raises $5.3 million. The multi-brand cloud kitchen’s seed round was led by Brand Capital and will go towards tech infrastructure and building out more food brands. (VCCircle

🇰🇪 Twiga Foods raises $50 million for Africa expansion. The food distribution startup hopes to help in fixing fragmented retail food markets across the continent. (NASDAQ

🇺🇸 Robo-delivery startup Nuro raises $600 million from Google, Kroger. Nuro and Google said their new relationship will allow them to “explore opportunities together to strengthen and transform local commerce.” (AFN)

Agtech startup funding

🇮🇩 Aquatech startup DELOS announces undisclosed seed funding. The Indonesian company’s software can forecast and make recommendations for shrimp farm productivity and profitability. (The Fish Site

🇦🇪 UAE indoor farmer Pure Harvest nets $65 million to fund Asia expansion. The company also announced the formation of a joint venture with PlanTFarm, a South Korean provider of tech solutions to the vertical farming industry that has also received investment from IMM.

🇺🇸 Shenandoah Growers rebrands as Soli Organic. The company struck a million financing arrangement with real estate development firm Decennial build more indoor soil-based farms. (AFN)

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇬🇧 🇦🇺 University of Nottingham expands its International Flavour Research Centre (IFRC) to Australia. The new $2.5 million facility will be at the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus in South Australia and develop new sustainable food options. (University of Nottingham

Funds & accelerators

🇺🇸 Byron Bay VC fund ReGen Ventures closes a $50 million fund. The global fund is aimed at early-stage companies working on “restoring the planet and restoring human health.” (SmartCompany)

🇹🇭 Insect protein company Orgafeed secures Thai Union funding. Orgafeed – which participated in the Thai Union-backed SPACE-F foodtech accelerator in 2019 – will collaborate with company’s pet care division, i-Tail. (AFN)

Other news

🇺🇸 Hero Labs launches its first alt-bread product. The foodtech company has unveiled a sandwich roll the company says looks and tastes like real bread but has an improved nutritional profile. A partnership with sandwich chain Subway is in the works. (BusinessWire)

🇸🇬 🇯🇵 Foodtech company CRUST Group expands to Japan. New strategic partnerships will focus on developing upcycled products in Japan and joining forces with more retail and foodservice businesses. (CRUST Group) [ Disclosure: CRUST Group participated in the GROW accelerator. GROW is backed by AFN’s parent company, AgFunder.]

🇺🇸 Nature’s Fynd is building 200,000-square-foot production facility in Chicago, Illinois. The alt-protein company also plans to start selling its cream cheese and sausage analogues in select Chicago grocery stores. (Food Dive)

🇺🇸 Imperfect Foods becomes Certified B Corp. Food rescue/redistribution platform Imperfect Foods says it is one of the first grocers to become certified B Corp. (Food Navigator

🇺🇸 Jeff Bezos pledges $2 billion to the environment. The Amazon founder said at COP26 that the funding, which will come from the Bezos Earth Fund, will help restore nature and strengthen food system. (CNBC

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