Tao Capital Leads Final Agtech Fundings of 2015 with $8m Investment in Cannabis Tracking Software

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Tao Capital Partners Invests in $8m MJ Freeway Series B

Legal cannabis seed-to-sale tracking software provider MJ Freeway closed an $8 million Series B round with commitments from family office Tao Capital Partners and Elevation Partners’ co-founder Roger McNamee. The company intends to use the funding to make aggressive investments in product development while expanding its sales team and business services. MJ Freeway was founded in 2010 by a team of career software and IT professionals, and provides patent-pending inventory control and grow management applications, with unlimited remote technical support, according to its website. The startup is the second tracking software to raise private capital in recent months; in October 2015, BioTrackTHC, a Florida-based company using a barcode system, raised $5 million. MJ Freeway received some awards in 2015, including a spot on INC 5000’s list of Fastest Growing Companies in America.

PepperTap closes $4m Series B as Grofers Shuts Down in 9 Cities

Indian hyperlocal grocer, PepperTap has raised a further $14 million towards its Series B funding round after getting investment from Innoven Capital. The company began its Series B bid in September 2015, raising $36 million from the likes of Indian online shopping platform Snapdeal, early-stage investment fund Sequoia India, multi-stage and multi-sector investment firm SAIF Partners, early stage technology investment firm Ru-Net, founder-focused investment firm Beenext, and Asian tech investment firm JAFCO Asia. The round brings PepperTap’s total funding to $51.2 million in external capital. The company also announced that it acquired Bangalore-based hyperlocal grocery delivery services Jiffstore for an undisclosed amount. The Series B funding comes in the same week that Grofers, a similar hyperlocal grocery delivery app closed operations the nine cities of Bhubaneswar, Ludhiana, Bhopal, Kochi, Mysore, Nashik, Rajkot, Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam. This is despite raising $120 million in November last year and halting operations in Delhi in October citing last-mile delivery issues.

Benlai Life closes $30m Series C with Joyoung Co.

Beijing’s fresh produce e-commerce company Benlai Life closed a $30 million Series C round after getting commitments from Chinese kitchen appliance maker Joyoung Co. The deal values the company at around $785 million. Founded in 2012, Benlai Life has three warehouses in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, in addition to a climate-controlled logistics chain covering 22 of China’s most important cities.

Indian E-Grocer Town Essentials Closes $1m Seed Round

Bengaluru-based online grocery startups Town Essentials closed a $1 million seed round from a group of angel investors, including Infosys’ first employee Sharad Hegde, former Workday executive Girish Reddy, Twitter’s head of data science for TellApart Siddharth Patil, and existing investor Shrikant Patil. The online platform, which supplies both wholesalers and individuals, provides a variety of grocery goods in addition to ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat options. This round brings Town Essentials’ total angel investment to roughly $1.8 million, according to CrunchBase. The company will use the proceeds to launch its new Morning Drop subscription-based service that delivers products like bread, eggs, and milk to users’ doorsteps while boosting its customer base to 10,000. It also has plans to release a mobile app for placing orders.

MM Local Food Partners Closes $540k Round

Partnering with local family farmers to can and preserve produce, MM Local Food Partners recently boosted its funding with a $540,000 capital raising round, according to CrunchBase.

Also at the end of December…

Syngenta Ventures Invests in Phytech, the ‘FitBit for Irrigated Crops’

Ag Data Sector Raises Further $6.7m in Farmobile and S4 Funding Rounds

Public Sector Pension Leads Craigmore Dairy’s $50m First Close Despite Low Price Environment

French Agribot Maker Naïo Tech Raises €3m in Seed Funding from CapAgro

Blue River Tech Raises $17m Series B to Build 4th Generation Robot for Production Ag

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