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The Week in Agrifoodtech: Bayer backs high-protein chickpeas, Qwick lands $40m, vertical farms shut down

November 3, 2022

Bayer’s investment arm, Leaps by Bayer, invested in high-protein chickpeas startup NuCicer and hospitality staffing platform Qwick picked up $40 million. In agtech, Ostara closed a $70 million round for fertilizer from water treatment plants.

Foodtech funding

🇨🇦 Restaurant management platform TouchBistro raises CAD$150 million ($110 million). New capital comes from global investment firm Francisco Partners. (AFN)

🇺🇸 On-demand staffing company Qwick lands $40 million Series B to match hospitality works with food and beverage shifts. Tritium Partners led the round, which will go towards expansion and new hires. (FinSMEs)

🇦🇹 Orderlion picks up €4 million ($3.9 million) for its B2B food supply chain software. A European restaurant technology investment firm “currently in stealth mode” led the pre-Series A round. (EU Startups)

🇺🇸 Craft Ventures leads $11.5 million Series A round for meez, a recipe management tool for chefs. New funds will go towards hiring product and engineering personnel as well as building new features. (TechCrunch)

🇺🇸 🇰🇷 Animal-free dairy producer New Culture snags undisclosed investment from Korean conglomerate CJ CheilJedang. New Culture will use the money to launch its animal-free mozzarella in 2023. (PR Newswire)

Agtech funding

🇨🇦 Ostara closes $70 million Series C round from Carica Sustainable Investments & others. Ostara leverages nutrients from water treatment plants to make fertilizer and will use the funds to expand to St. Louis. (St. Louis Inno)

🇺🇸 Leaps By Bayer invests $7 million in seed funding into high-protein chickpea producer NuCicer. Lever VC, Blue Horizon, and Trellis Road also participated in the round. (Axios)

🇩🇪 Satellite startup Constellr raises $10 million for its space-based water monitoring system for agricultural production. Lakestar and VSquared co-led the seed round. (

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇰🇪 The Good Food Innovation Fund (GFIF) unveils the seven companies participating in its first cohort. The fund aims to make sustainable, healthy foods more available and affordable in Sub-Saharan Africa. (AFN)

M&A, IPOs and partnerships

🇦🇪 KKR and UPL Limited make $300 million investment in global seed company Advanta. The latter will operate as a standalone business and will collaborate with KKR on expansions and acquisitions. (FinSMEs)

🇹🇷 🇬🇧 Getir signs rapid delivery deal with Co-op in London. The move comes at a time when quick-commerce startups like Getir are seeking additional revenue streams to counter an unprofitable model. (UKTN)

Starting in Singapore, the partnership will develop a hybrid greenhouse production and climate technology R&D facility that will be used to develop the integrated solutions suitable for large-scale production in different SE Asia c

Other news

🇺🇸 Vertical farming startup Fifth Season ceases operations. The shutdown also spells the end of a pricy expansion the company was planning for Columbus, Ohio next year. (AFN)

🇳🇱 Glowfarms ceases all activities, unable to find sufficient funds. The vertical farming company cited “uncertainty regarding the efficient production of crops, mainly due to rising energy prices” as a key reason for its closure. (VerticalFarm Daily)

🇺🇸 Kroger will add ghost kitchens to three Ohio stores. The new “Mix Food Hall” locations are part of a continued partnership between the grocery retailer and Kitchen United. (Food Dive)

🇺🇸 IFF unveils shelf-stable, textured protein. SUPRO TEX is designed to “provide a texture much closer to whole muscle meat, in a quality level not achievable by existing low-moisture textured proteins today.” (Food Navigator)

🇺🇸 Apeel announces “freshness detection technology” for avocados. The system uses hyper-spectral imaging and AI to detect freshness and predict shelf life. (The Spoon)

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