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The Aquarech team. Image credit: Aquarech

The Week in AgriFoodTech: AgroSpheres nets $25m, ex-Motif CEO joins MycoTechnology, Kitchen United shuts ghost kitchens

November 30, 2023

All eyes are on COP28 this week, where agrifood looks to be a central point of discussion. Elsewhere in the industry, AgroSpheres raised new funds for its novel crop protection tech and Motif FoodWorks former CEO moved over to MycoTechnology. Also, more bad news for ghost kitchens as Kitchen United, one of the trailblazers of the concept, said it would close up its brick-and-mortar locations and pivot in a new direction.

The Soplaya team. Image credit: Soplaya

Foodtech funding

🇺🇸 Plant-based milk producer Ripple Foods bags $49 million. The raise comes from a total offering of $55.4 million via a combination of equity, debt, and securities, according to an SEC filing. (AgFunderNews)

🇺🇸 Liberation Labs secures a $25 million government-backed loan for its first precision fermentation facility. The startup aims to address capacity bottlenecks in biomanufacturing. (AgFunderNews)

🇳🇱 🇨🇭 AI and biotech startup Cradle bags $24 million to design proteins. Index Ventures led the Series A round, which Cradle will use to expand its team and add research facilities. (Bloomberg)

🇮🇹 Milan-based foodtech Soplaya secures €12.5 million ($14 million) for its digital platform for restaurant supplies. Sinergia Venture Fund led the round. (EU Startups)

The Aquarech team. Image credit: Aquarech

Agtech funding

🇺🇸 Ag biotech startup AgroSpheres completes $25 million Series B for crop protection technology. FMC Ventures, Lewis and Clark AgriFood, Ospraie Ag and others participated. (Virginia Bio)

🇮🇩 Jala nets $13 million Series A for its end-to-end aquaculture management system. Intudo Ventures led the round with participation from Sinar Mas Digital Ventures and others. (The Fish Site)

🇰🇪 Aqua-Spark leads $1.7 million equity round for Aquarech. The latter will expand the team and infrastructure for its mobile agribusiness platform for fish farmers. (Disrupt Africa)

🇮🇪 NanobOx secures €900,000 from The Yield Lab and others. Funding will support production of NanobOx’ nanobubble aeration technology and field trials in the aquaculture industry. (Aquaculture Magazine)

🇳🇱 Vesper raises undisclosed Series A from Keen Venture Partners and Piton Capital. Funding will support further development of Vesper’s intelligence platform for agricultural commodities. (Tech.eu)

Image credit: iStock

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇨🇦 Protein Industries Canada expands call for AI projects. The call will invest up to $20 million in AI-based solutions across the entire agrifood value chain. (GlobalNewswire)

🇨🇭Danone invests undisclosed sum in Global Methane Hub‘s Enteric Fermentation R&D Accelerator. The program will scale solutions that reduce enteric fermentation (aka cow burps) to mitigate methane emissions. (Just Food)

🇧🇩 Bangladesh government commits $56.2 million to establish agtech center. The center will focus on crop research and training graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. (iGrow News)

🇺🇸 Cornell University’s Dairy Runway entrepreneurship now taking applications. Run by the university’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement, the program looks for dairy food innovators at the ideation stage. (PR Newswire)

People moves

🇺🇸 Former Motif FoodWorks exec Michael Leonard is MycoTechnology‘s new CEO. Leonard left Motif earlier this month as the firm announced it was creating a “leaner organizational structure.” (MycoTechnology)

🇧🇪 Agrifood impact investor Astanor Ventures welcomes Thomas Nagy to its team as an “operational partner.” Nagy brings over 30 years of agrifood industry experience, including 16 years at biotech company Novozymes. (Agri Investor)

 

Image credit: Kitchen United.

Other news

🇺🇸 Kitchen United to “sell or close” all physical ghost kitchen units. The company, which has already shuttered many locations, says it is pivoting to focus on its proprietary software. (Restaurant Dive)

🇺🇸 🇸🇬 TurtleTree secures self-GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status for animal-free lactoferrin. The precision fermentation startup aims to commercialize its product in the US. (Newprotein.net)

🇺🇸 Winners announced for Seeding the Future Global Food System Challenge. Circular economy, sustainable fish production and insect farming are among the winning solutions. (IFT)

🇺🇸 Sustainability certification company FoodChainID partners with carbon credit certifier ReSeed. The partnership aims to improve measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) for regen ag carbon credits. (PR Newswire)

🌎 Agriculture greenhouse gas emissions grew 14% in 20 years, says new report from FAO. Livestock accounted for “slightly more than half” of the growth from 2000 to 2021. (Successful Farming)

🇺🇸 Tyson unveils $300 million, ‘highly automated’ chicken plant. The 325,000-square-foot factory is expected to crank out 4 million pounds of protein per week at full capacity. (Food Dive)

🇮🇱 🇬🇧 🇳🇱 Plant-based meat maker Redefine Meat enters the European market. The company has announced partnerships with major supermarket retailers in the UK and the Netherlands. (European Supermarket News)

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