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Image credit: Arbonics

The Week in AgriFoodTech: HUNGRY bags $10m, USDA greenlights cultivated chicken labels, making leather from beer

June 15, 2023

Funding rounds continue to be slow and on the low side. Catering tech startup HUNGRY raised new capital, as did alt-meat startup Higher Steaks, which rebranded as Uncommon. In agtech, agribusiness platform Unnati Agri and alt-leather startup Arda Biomaterials announced new fundraises.

Image credit: HUNGRY

Foodtech funding

🇬🇧 Higher Steaks rebrands to Uncommon, raises $30 million Series A to scale production of cultivated pork. Balderton Capital and Lowercarbon Capital led the round. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Catering tech startup HUNGRY closes $10m Series C1. Existing investors Sands Capital Ventures, Motley Fool Ventures and others participated along with several athletes and chefs. (Technical.ly)

🇫🇷 Plant-based cheese startup Jay&Joy bags €2 million ($2.2 million) round led by High Flyers Capital. The company will hire new talent and increase R&D and production with the new capital. (Business Leader)

Image credit: Croptix

Agtech funding

🇮🇳 Agribusiness & fintech platform Unnati Agri lands Rs 28.5 crore ($3.5 million) pre-Series B led by IPL Biologicals. Unnati Agri will use the funding to expand its product line. (VC Circle)

🇦🇺 Synbio startup Number 8 Bio bags A$1.8 million ($1.2 million) pre-seed round to cut methane emissions in animal ag. Main SequencePossible Ventures & others participated. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Advancing Eco Agriculture leads seed round for precision ag startup Croptix. The Croptix platform aims to revolutionize the way farms analyze and manage plant health. (AFN)

🇬🇧 Arda Biomaterials raises €1.3 million ($1.4 million) to make leather from beer byproduct. Clean Growth Fund led the round. (EU Startups)

Image credit: Arbonics

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇺🇸 Bunge agrees to buy grain company Viterra in deal valued at $34 billion. The deal, if approved, would create an agricultural giant in the grain-trading space. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Sam Nazarian, founder of virtual restaurant platform C3, buys virtual restaurant network Nextbite. The sale comes shortly after Nextbite made three rounds of layoffs. (Restaurant Dive)

🇺🇸 FreshRealm acquires fellow meal kit maker Blue Apron for $50 million. The latter transferred its fulfillment centers, equipment, know-how and other infrastructure to FreshRealm. (Winsight Grocery Business)

🇪🇪 🇱🇻 Climate tech/carbon credits startup Arbonics partners with Swedbank to launch an “afforestation loan program” for landowners. Loans will initially be offered to landowners in Estonia and Latvia. (Arctic Startup)

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇸🇬 Ross Digital is developing robots that can to cook, make coffee and clean dishes at restaurants. The Singapore government has invested S$3.5 million (US$2.6 million) into the company. (Tech in Asia)

🇬🇧 Broccoli upcycling startup Upp secures £800,000 ($1 million) UK government grant. Upp upcycles waste collected from the broccoli-harvesting process into “sustainable proteins.” (UKTN)

A noodle bowl made with Upside’s chicken. Image credit: Upside

Other news

🇺🇸 Indoor ag company AppHarvest‘s largest farm faces foreclosure. Equilibrium Capital filed a lawsuit claiming “significant concerns” about the Richmond, Kentucky farm. (Produce Bluebook)

🇺🇸 Instant Pot & Pyrex parent company Instant Brands files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company cites high-interest rates, decreased access to credit, and dwindling cash as reasons. (The Spoon)

🇬🇧 AGRIVI launches an AI-based agronomic advisor named Ed. Ed is available to all agriculture-related companies through AGRIVI’s fully managed platform. (AGRIVI)

🇺🇸 Climax Foods debuts “world’s first” alt-casein. The plant-based ingredient mimics the flavor, texture, melt, and stretch of the dairy protein casein. (Green Queen)

🇬🇧 Extracellular to offer license-free cell banks to cultivated meat startups. The contract development & manufacturing organization (CDMO) will make these banks available to UK developers. (The Spoon)

🇬🇧 Vegan “mince” startup Meatless Farm facing closure. The company has stopped trading and made its workforce redundant. (AFN)

🇺🇸 UPSIDE Foods gets USDA approval for its “cultivated chicken” label in the US. GOOD Meat says it has also obtained USDA approval for its own cultivated chicken labels. (AFN)

🇹🇬 Togo breaks ground on “one-stop-shop” for sustainable ag. The Agricultural Services Centre is a joint initiative of the Togolese government & fertilizer giant the OCP Group, with support from the World Bank.

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