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Image credit: Grassa

The Week in AgriFoodTech: GrainChain raises $29m, Brigad bags $30m, AeroFarms & iFarm head to MENA

February 16, 2023

This week, US-based GrainChain announced a $29 million raise for its ag supply chain platform, and hospitality tech startup Brigad landed $30 million. More vertical farming startups are headed to the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, and Funga is “rewilding” forest microbiome to grow more trees.

GrainChain CEO and co-founder Luis Macias & chief strategy officer Jaime Lopez. Image credits: GrainChain

Agtech funding

🇺🇸 GrainChain nabs $29 million from and others. GrainChain will use the funding to expand its platform that digitizes the ag supply chain. (EINPresswire)

🇦🇺 Carbon farming startup Loam Bio raises A$105 million ($73 million) Series B. Lowercarbon Capital and Wollemi Capital co-led the round. (AFN)

🇦🇺 SwarmFarm raises A$12 million ($8.3 million) Series A for its autonomous farming platform. Conexus Venture Capital‘s Emmertech fund led the round (AFN)

🇲🇦 B2B food logistics platform Terraa raises $1.5 million to connect farmers with urban markets. The company hopes to improve the food supply chain in Africa for “hundreds of millions” of people. (Food Navigator)

Brigad’s co-founders Jean Lebrument & Florent Malbranche. Image credit: Brigad

Foodtech funding

🇫🇷 Brigad bags €33 million ($30 million) in a Series B to connect restaurant/hospitality industry workers to short-term gigs. Balderton Capital led the round. (

🇺🇸 Elo Life Systems closes $24.5 million Series A to support new high-intensity sweetener. The financing was led by existing investors including AccelR8Novo Holdings and DCVC Bio, (AFN)

🇨🇦 Homemade food delivery marketplace Cookin grabs $17 million CAD ($12.8 million) to expand to the US. Relay Ventures led the round with support from Mistral Ventures. (PR Newswire)

🇺🇸 Beverage brand Roar Organic closes $6 million round. The functional drink brand has also announced a partnership with US grocery retailer Publix. (FoodBev Media)

🇮🇱 Pigmentum secures $6 million for its functional milk proteins. Kibbutz Yotvata, Arkin Holdings and others participated in the seed round. (CTech)

🇺🇸 Planetarians raises $6 million to bring plant-based protein to hospitality outlets. Mindrock led the Series II investment with participation from Traction Fund, Techstars and others. (TechCrunch)

🇺🇸 Azolla Ventures leads $4 million seed round for Funga. The latter is using DNA sequencing and machine learning to “rewild” forest microbiome and accelerate tree growth. (GlobalNewswire)

🇺🇸 Seafood traceability platform BlueTrace catches $3.2 million seed round. The round was led by York IEMaine Venture Fund and Coastal Enterprise Ventures. (FinSMEs)

Image credit: Grassa

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇳🇱 Schouten Europe and Grassa partner to make vegan meat from grass proteins. Their efforts are also exploring how grass-fed protein could potentially outperform plant-based meats. (VegNews)

🇨🇳 CellX announces China’s first cultivated meat factory. The startup has signed a strategic agreement with manufacturing specialist Tofflon. (Protein Report)

🇰🇷 🇸🇬 Biotech company Seawith & biomanufacturing Esco Aster form partnership. The deal will use Seawith’s microalgae technologies in cultivated meat projects. (Vegconomist)

🇸🇬 Food & bev operations platform OrderEZ buys invoicing platform FoodRazor for undisclosed sum. OrderEZ will integrate FoodRazor’s tech into its own offerings. (Deal Street Asia)

🇺🇸 CEA solutions manufacturer HYVE Indoor Farming Systems partners with AI monitoring platform AGEYE. The two aim to bring a “comprehensive” plant-monitoring system to vertical farming. (HYVE)

Image credit: AeroFarms

Other news

🇨🇭 Mirai Foods debuts “world’s first” cultivated tenderloin steak. The company’s technology addresses the complex process of cultivating different cell types to get slaughter-free fillet. (Green Queen)

🇺🇸 AeroFarms opens R&D farm in Dubai. With support from the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, AeroFarms AgX will focus on indoor agriculture for arid and desert environments. (GlobalNewswire)

🇫🇮 🇦🇪 Helsinki’s iFarm relocates global HQ to UAE. The indoor agriculture startup plans to extend its base into the MENA and Asia-Pacific regions. (Silicon Canals)

🇺🇸 Farmers Business Network (FBN) adds Bridge Loan offering to its FBN Finance platform. The new tool will help to expedite farmland financing for small- and medium-sized farms. (AFN)

🇩🇪 McDonald’s debuting plant-based McNuggets in Germany. The nuggets were developed in partnership with Beyond Meat. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

🌏 Alt-protein funding in Asia-Pacific is up 43%, says Good Food Institute. Cultivated meat, dairy and seafood tech companies saw the biggest growth. (Green Queen)

🌍 Nine startups create a new trade association, the Precision Fermentation Alliance.  Remilk, The EVERY Co and others are among the companies participating. (AFN)


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