A selection of Bira 91's premium products. Image credit: Bira 91

The Week in Agrifoodtech: a $60m raise for Modern Milkman, ‘ultrasonic’ snack bars & food delivery layoffs

November 24, 2022

This week, craft beer company Bira landed new funding to expand its geographic reach while Torr FoodTech grabbed $12 million for its unusual and tech-centric approach to snack bars. In agtech, Clarifruit also raised $12 million while more layoffs struck the food delivery sector.


Foodtech funding

🇮🇳 Craft beer maker Bira 91 lands $70 million round led by beer company Kirin. Bira will use the funding to build more breweries and expand geographical reach of the Bira line of beverages. (Deal Street Asia)

🇬🇧 Sustainable grocery startup Modern Milkman raises £50 million ($60 million) after Series C close. Insight Partners and ETF Partners and Praetura Ventures are among the company’s backers. (UKTN)

🇮🇱 Torr FoodTech lands $12 million for snack bars made with ultrasonic energy. The startup’s technology eliminates the need for sugary binders to weld ingredients together. (Food Navigator)

🇬🇧 Bright Biotech lands $3.2 million seed round to commercialize cultivated meat growth factors. FoodLabs led the round, which also included Big Idea Ventures, FoodHack and others. (Tech.eu)

🇳🇿 Opo Bio emerges from stealth with $1.5 million seed round. The startup is developing cell lines for the cultivated meat industry from New Zealand livestock. (Protein Report)

🇺🇸 Prado, an e-commerce platform for local food, raises $5.75 million seed round. Bonfire Ventures led the round, which Prado will use to scale its platform and support more merchant partners. (PR Newswire)

🇬🇧 SynBioVen leads £1 million ($1.2 million) seed round for Eden Bio. The latter uses machine learning to increase protein yield and will expand its platform thanks to the raise. (Protein Report)

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Seaweed producer New Wave Foods raises “six-figure sum” from shareholders. Funding will go towards increasing production and expanding the company’s SHORE range of seaweed-based products. (Vegconomist)

🇺🇸 San Francisco’s BioFluff closes $500,000 pre-seed round for plant-based fur. SOSV/IndieBio fund, Joyance Partners and Ataraxia Partners Limited participated, among others. (Green Queen)

Agtech funding

🇮🇱 Clarifruit raises $12 million Series A led by Champel Capital and Firstime Ventures. Funds will help the startup scale sales for its automated quality control platform for produce. (FinSMEs)

🇬🇧 Robotic pest control startup BigSis closes over-subscribed £4.5 million ($5.4 million). Regenerate Ventures led the Series A round. (AgReads)

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇳🇱 Delivery service Eat Just Takeaway sells 33% stake in Brazil’s iFood to Prosus for €1.5 billion ($1.5 billion). Eat Just Takeaway is under pressure from investors to “consolidate loss-making operations.” (Silicon Canals)

Other news

🇺🇸 Quick-grocery startup JOKR shuts down operations in Santiago, Chile and Medellin, Colombia. The service let go of 22 employees and 19 employees, respectively, in those markets. (TechCrunch)

🇨🇭 Nestlé’s Nespresso will debut paper-based compostable capsules. The new capsules will launch as a pilot in 2023 in France and Switzerland before heading to other geographies. (FoodDive)

🇫🇮 Food delivery platform Wolt launches tech hubs in Israel and Sweden. The company will hire dozens of experts across software engineering, product management and design and data. (Tech.eu)

🇮🇳 Zomato lays off 3% of its workforce. The food delivery giant cited “regular performance evaluations” as the reason for the layoffs. (Tech in Asia)

🇵🇹 Burger King Portugal opens fully vegan restaurant. The pop-up location, which follows similar restaurants in the UK, will serve vegan takes on BK classics like the Whopper and Big King. (Vegan Food and Living)

🌍 Governments around the world sign off on the “Koronivia joint work on agriculture package at COP27. The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems called the deal “disappointing” for leaving out smallholders. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Nuro axes 20% of its staff. The autonomous delivery company laid off about 300 employees to preserve cash, admitting it had over-hired in 2021. (The Robot Report)

🇺🇸 Research firm How Good launches measurement SaaS platform for scope 3 emissions. The platform analyzes more than 33,000 ingredients and can help companies evaluate the carbon in their supply chains. (Food Dive)

🇸🇬 Cultivated meat startup Meatable to invest $60 million to establish a hybrid meat innovation center. Meatable is working with plant-based meat startup Love Handle on the venture. (OneGreenPlanet)

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