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Future Meat's new facility for producing cell-cultured protein, Rehovot, Israel. Image credit: Future Meat / PR Newswire

Midweek Digest: Stryve SPACs, Future Meat’s first factory opens

June 30, 2021

What’s the worth of a company which sells gluten-free biltong? Read on to find out – and for more foodtech news from around the web this week.

Stryve set to complete latest agrifood SPAC deal with Andina merger (US). Stryve sells ‘better-for-you’ biltong – a jerky-like snack from South Africa made of dried meat. The SPAC deal — which was first announced in February, valuing Stryve at $170 million — has now obtained preliminary approval from the US Securities & Exchange Commission. (Stryve)

‘Digital food hall’ Local Kitchens banks $25 million Series A funding (US). The San Francisco-based cloud kitchen operator brings multiple local restaurant brands onto a single platform so users can make mix-and-match orders. General Catalyst led the round. (Local Kitchens)

Soft Robotics scores $10 million in Series B extension (US). The round saw participation from meat processing major Tyson Foods and industrial equipment giant ABB. The startup’s robotic arms are designed to have a light touch, making them well-suited to settings involving foodstuff. (TechCrunch)

Future Meat opens “world’s first industrial cultured meat facility” (Israel). The Rehovot-based company says its new factory will initially produce 500 kilograms of cultured meat per day – the equivalent of 5,000 hamburgers. (Future Meat)

Indoor ag startup BrightFarms establishes R&D hub (US). The company said that BrightLabs — which will be located at its Wilmington, Ohio headquarters — will work on improving the flavor, texture, and yield of crops it grows in its five greenhouses. (The Spoon)

Sodexo commits to 20% plant-based protein purchases (Canada). In partnership with Humane Society International/Canada, the foodservice giant said it will transition a fifth of its protein purchases for its locations across the country to plant-based products. (Sodexo Canada)

Didi raises $4.4 billion in New York IPO (China/US) valuing the Uber-backed Chinese app, which is mainly known for ride-hailing but also offers food delivery and e-grocery services, at $67.5 billion… (Reuters)

…while Dingdong Maicai rakes in $95.7 million from downsized debut (China/US). The Shanghai-based e-grocer secured a quarter of its original $357 million target, having re-priced its New York IPO after countryman competitor Missfresh faltered in its own float last week. (TechNode)

Shopee expands new on-demand food delivery offering (Malaysia). Job ads posted for roles in Kuala Lumpur suggest that ShopeeFood is set to launch in the kingdom, following its initial rollout in Indonesia earlier this year. Shopee is the e-commerce business of Singapore-based, New York-listed tech giant Sea Group. (Tech in Asia)

E-commerce player Tiki secures $43.5 million funding through bond sale (Vietnam). The multi-vertical platform added an on-demand delivery service for fresh groceries, TikiNgon, last year. (DealStreetAsia)

Syngenta partners with Enko on pesticide discovery (Switzerland/US). Enko, which uses drug discovery techniques from the pharmaceutical industry to develop crop health solutions, is backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (Enko)

Bioheuris and GDM to gene-edit soybeans for higher yields (Argentina). The partnership follows Bioheuris’ link-up last month with another Argentine company, Gensus, to develop herbicide resistance in cotton plants using CRISPR technology. (Bioheuris)

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