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Image credit: Pacto

The Week in AgriFoodTech: ClimateAI raises $22m, Legit Group cooks up $13m, Farm.One reopens

April 13, 2023

This week, climate forecasting platform ClimateAI landed Series B funding and cloud kitchen startup Legit Group snagged Series A funds. Elsewhere, struggling Farm.One secured investment and reopened its farm in Brooklyn, and eGrocery startup Milkrun shut down after 18 months.

Image credit: Vytelle

Agtech funding

🇺🇸 Carbon Robotics lands $30 million Series C for its precision weed-control system for specialty crops. New investor Sozo Ventures led the round. (AFN)

🇩🇪 Silk biopolymers producer AMSilk raises additional €25 million ($27 million) in Series C funding. The round brings the total Series C to €54 million ($59 million). (Tech.eu)

🇺🇸 ClimateAI snags $22 million Series B round for its climate risk forecasting platform for the supply chain. Four Rivers Group led the round. (Global Newswire)

🇺🇸 Precision livestock startup Vytelle raises $20 million Series B. The round, led by Forage Capital Partners, will help Vytelle expand global operations. (KC Inno)

🇨🇱 🇺🇸 Biotech startup Andes lands $15 million Series A extension. Andes aims to capture carbon and convert it into minerals in the soil for agricultural uses. (Latamlist)

🇵🇷 🇺🇸 Biomaterials startup Carbonwave closes $5 million in Series A funding. Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers, led the round. (PR Newswire)

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 SOLASTA Bio raises £4 million ($5 million) to scale up development of its biopesticides. The Yield Lab Europe led the pre-Series A round. (FinSMEs)

🇸🇬 TablePointer bags $3 million in seed funding for energy efficiency SaaS (software as a service) subscription. Wavemaker PartnersAgFunder and ENGIE led the round. (AFN) [Disclosure: AFN’s parent company is AgFunder.]

🇨🇭 Xilva secures €1.6 million ($1.8 million) for its digital marketplace for forest investments. Brainforest, Bloomsbury Natural Capital and others participated in the pre-seed round. (FinTech Global)

🇧🇩 Fashol raises $1 million to address the fragmented agri-supply chain for farmers. Orbit Startups, South Asia Tech Partners and others participated. (Tech in Asia)

Image credit: Pacto

Foodtech funding

🇺🇸 Liberation Labs secures $30 million in equipment financing. The new capital will support the company’s first commercial-scale precision fermentation facility in the US. (AFN)

🇮🇩 Cloud kitchen startup Legit Group cooks up $13.7 million. MDI Ventures led the Series A round, which will fuel expansion outside Jakarta. (Nikkei Asia)

🇮🇳 Cold chain technology platform Celcius Logistics secures $12 Series A. IvyCap Ventures led the round along with existing investors. (Deal Street Asia)

🇲🇽 Pacto bags $4 million for its point-of-sale (POS) system for bars & restaurants. DILA Capital led the round with participation from FEMSA Ventures and others. (Latamlist)

Image credit: Careem

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇦🇪 Emirates Telecommunications Group acquires a 50.3% stake in Uber’s MENA unit Careem for $400 million. Careem will expand its core food, grocery and fintech services with the investment. (Tech in Asia)

🇫🇷 🇺🇸 Babybel and Laughing Cow maker Bel Group teams up with AI-powered startup Climax Foods. The two will develop plant-based versions of Bel’s iconic cheese brands for launch in Europe and the US. (AFN)

🇺🇸 🇮🇱 ADM has teamed up with Israeli startup Believer Meats to accelerate the R&D process for cultivated meat. Their non-exclusive memorandum of understanding also explores ways Believer can tap into ADM’s processing footprint to commercialize new products. (Businesswire)

Funds, grants & accelerators

🌍 Climate-tech VC firm Equator makes initial $40 million close of first fund. LPs to the sub-Saharan Africa-focused firm include BII, the Shell Foundation and others. (TechCrunch)

🇬🇧 The UK government pumps £12m ($15m) into a Cellular Agriculture Manufacturing Hub. The hub, led by the University of Bath, will conduct research into precision fermentation and cultivated meat. (myScience)

Inside Singrow’s farm. Image credit: Angela Tay/AgFunder

Other news

🇸🇪 Mycorena debuts fungi-based fat, Mycolein. The product will launch in retail under the company’s mycoprotein brand Promyc, available in select European stores. (Green Queen)

🇺🇸 Frito-Lay, Quaker open learning center for compostable packaging. The PepsiCo subsidiaries will test biodegradation properties of compostable materials to speed up packaging innovation. (Food Dive)

🇦🇺 Milkrun shuts down after 18 months in operation. The eGrocery startup cited “economic and capital market conditions” as ongoing challenges leading to the closure. (The Guardian)

🇺🇸 Chipotle pilots “sustainable” restaurant design with all-electric equipment. The quick-serve restaurant chain aims to halve its greenhouse emissions by 2030. (CNBC)

🗺️ FAO and WHO release first global report on cell-based food safety. The report is part of a plan to build science-based regulatory frameworks that ensure food safety. (FoodBev Media)

🇮🇱 Steakholder Foods closes alt-fat subsidiary Peace of Meat. The closure is expected to reduce Steakholder’s expenses by $4.5 million annually. (Vegconomist)

🇺🇸 Kalera receives notice of Nasdaq delisting. The vertical farming company recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and fired its CEO. (Vertical Farm Daily)

🇬🇧 Quick-serve restaurant Nando’s trials automated chip fryer from robotics startup Karakuri. The latter says its “/FRYR” bot can make as many as 550 portions of chips per hour. (UKTN)

🇺🇸 Farm.One announces new investment, re-opening in Brooklyn. DK-Bell Holding Company committed long-term capital aimed at reviving the indoor farm startup, which closed its facility in 2022. (PR Newswire)

🇸🇬 Agri-genomics startup Singrow opens new indoor farm to serve as its main R&D hub. The company will also expand to Malaysia and Thailand via franchise farm partnerships. (AFN) [Disclosure: AFN’s parent company,  AgFunder, is an investor in Singrow.]

🇺🇸 CH4 Global launches the “Methane Tamer (™) Beef Feedlot.” The new formulation will aid in reducing methane emissions from cattle by up to 90%, the company claims. (PR Newswire) [Disclosure: AFN’s parent company,  AgFunder, is an investor in CH4 Global.]

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