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The Carbon Maps team. Image credit: Carbon Maps

The Week in AgriFoodTech: Cropnosys raises $45m, Rockstart’s second agrifood fund, Dave Friedberg’s new role

December 7, 2023

This week, India agrochemical company Cropnosys scored an investment to help bring biofertilizers to market. Other rounds for the week include a $9 million raise for pizza delivery startup Milano Vice (which also wins points for its name) and a $7 million seed round for a cultivated meat startup. Meanwhile, Rockstart VC has launched its second agrifoodtech fund and The Production Board’s Dave Friedberg assumes a new CEO role.

The Meatiply team and A*STAR collaborators
The Meatiply team and A*STAR collaborators. Image credit: Meatiply

Foodtech funding

🇩🇪 Coefficient Capital leads €8.3 million ($9 million) Series A for Milano Vice. The latter, founded by two ex-Deliveroo employees, will use the funding to scale its digital pizza delivery business. (PYMNTS)

🇺🇸 Clever Carnivore bags $7 million seed round to commercialize cultivated pork products. Lever VC led the round with participation from McWin Capital Partners, Stray Dog Capital and others. (Green Queen)

🇳🇱 Fermentation startup Farmless secures €4.8 million ($5 million) in seed funding to build a protein brewery. World Fund and Vorwerk Ventures co-led the round. (TechCrunch)

🇸🇬 Cultivated meat startup Meatiply lands $3.75 million seed round. AgFunder and Wavemaker Partners led the round supported by SEEDS Capital, the venture arm of Enterprise Singapore. (AgFunderNews[Disclosure: AgFunder is AgFunderNews’ parent company.]

The Carbon Maps team. Image credit: Carbon Maps

Agtech funding

🇮🇳 Kotak invests $45 million into agrochemical firm Cropnosys via its alternative investment fund. Cropnosys will use the funding to scale up and also introduce biofertilizers to the market. (VC Circle)

🇫🇷 Carbon Maps secures €3 million ($3.2 million) pre-seed round from Back Market and Daphni. Carbon Maps helps food companies measure their carbon footprint, biodiversity impact and other environmental factors. (Tech.eu)

🇦🇹 Biomaterials startup Lignovations closes €2.2 million ($2.4 million) seed round led by biorefinery Borregaard. The startup uses lignin, a a polymer found in plant cell walls, to create alternative packagings, adhesives and other products. (Chem Europe)

ReFarm partner companies sign the deal to begin construction of first-of-its-kind GigaFarm in Dubai Food Tech Valley.

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇦🇪 ReFarm & the FoodTech Valley to build a circular, closed-loop “GigaFarm” to boost UAE food security. Vertical farming technology company Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) will provide the infrastructure for the farm. (AgFunderNews) [Disclosure: AgFunderNews’ parent company AgFunder is an investor in Intelligent Growth Solutions.]

🇮🇩 Plant-based protein company Improved Nature partners with animal health company Nutricell. The two companies say they will tackle food insecurity in Indonesia through the partnership. (AgriFoodTech Expo)

🇮🇱 CropX scoops up digital irrigation management startup Green Brain. This is the fifth acquisition for CropX’s growing portfolio of farm management tools and marks the company’s move into Australia. (CropX)

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇳🇱 Rockstart launches second agrifood fund targeting a final close of €50 million ($54 million). The firm says it plans to invest in up to 50 startups within the next five years. (Silicon Canals)

🇮🇩 Wavemaker Impact closes debut fund at $60 million. The firm will expand its portfolio of climate-focused startups and aims to help reduce global emissions 10% by 2035. (Tech in Asia)

🇺🇸 Big Idea Ventures launches third portfolio company through the Generation Food Rural Partners Fund. Nexture Bio develops novel technologies for alt meat including scaffolding. (Vegconomist)

People moves

🇺🇸 Dave Friedberg becomes CEO of agriculture gene editing company Ohalo. Friedberg said the company is “creating new plant varieties in major crops that were not previously feasible.” (Dave Friedberg on X)

🇺🇸 Enhanced rock weathering startup Eion appoints Anastasia Pavlovic as CEO. Former CEO Adam Wolf will transition to a chief innovation officer role focused on Eion’s architecture. (Business Wire[Disclosure: AgFunderNews’ parent company AgFunder is an investor in Eion.]

Oishii’s Rubi Tomato growing inside the company’s vertical farm. Image credit: Oishii

Other news

🇨🇦 McCain Foods launches digital ag business unit. Presia Ag Insights stems from McCain’s 2022 acquisition of a “predictive crop portfolio” from Resson and will assist potato growers. (The Packer)

🇺🇸 Tyson Foods opens “high-tech” chicken facility. The new plant is one of Tyson’s “most highly automated facilities” the company says will increase operational efficiency by 20-30%. (Food Navigator)

🇺🇸 Ex-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is building a restaurant robotics company. Lab37 is currently developing a bowl-making robot aptly named Bowl Builder. (The Spoon)

🇺🇸 Vertical farming company Oishii launches the Rubī Tomato in select Whole Foods stores in the US. Oishii is also expanding availability of its products across the Northeastern US for the first time. (AgFunderNews)

🇺🇸 Guardian Agriculture starts commercial operations. The electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) company recently began with spraying crops in the Salinas Valley. (Drone Life)

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