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The Mewery team. Image credit: Mewery

The week in agrifoodtech: JOKR’s back with $50m, Plenty nabs $20m indoor ag grant, Mewery debuts microalgae meat

February 9, 2023

Despite ongoing setbacks for the instant grocery sector, JOKR returned to the headlines this week with new funding. Vertical farming startup Plenty was also in the news with a new grant for R&D. Czech startup Mewery put a new spin on the concept of cultivated meat, and The Ugly Company raised funds for upcycled fruit snacks.

Upcycled fruit snacks from The Ugly Company. Image credit: The Ugly Company

Foodtech funding

🇺🇸 G Squared leads $50 million round for instant grocery startup JOKR. The fundraise and JOKR’s $1.3 billion post-money valuation come after months of upheaval for quick commerce startups. (TechCrunch)

🇺🇸 Upcycled fruit snack company The Ugly Company bags $9 million Series A to scale production. Fruit grower and distributor Sun Valley Packing led the round. (Supermarket News)

🇦🇺 Mushroom meat startup Fable secures $8.5 million to expand globally. Singapore’s VC 3 Ventures led the round with participation from Better Bite Ventures and others. (Startup Daily) [Disclosure: AFN’s parent company, AgFunder, is an investor in Fable.]

🇩🇰 Reshape Bio raises $8.1 million to digitize microbiology experiments for food & ag. ACME Capital led the round with participation from FundersClub, Y Combinator and others. (FinSMEs)

🇮🇱 Functional protein startup Meala FoodTech closes $1.9 million pre-seed round. The Kitchen FoodTech Hub, part of The Strauss-Group and DSM Venturing led the round. (AgReads)

🇳🇱 QR-based restaurant menu startup Orderli lands €875,000 ($938,000) in new funding. The Y Combinator participant will use the funds to develop its ordering app. (Silicon Canals)

Image credit: Napiferyn Biotech

Agtech funding

🇵🇱 NapiFeryn BioTech closes €2.5 million ($2.7 million) round led by Icos Capital. The round will enable the startup to launch its canola/rapeseed protein from large oil pressing side streams. (Icos Capital)

🇻🇳 Agribusiness platform Koina raises $1 million seed round. VinaCapital Ventures led the round, which Koina will put towards tech development and expanding its sales channels. (HiveLife)

🇺🇸 The USDA‘s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to invest $70 million in sustainable ag. This investment is made under NIFA’s Sustainable Agricultural Systems program. (USDA)

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇮🇱 Haifa Group and SimpliiGood partner to optimize the SimpliiGood spirulina supply chain. The alliance aims to enhance sustainability and reduce the environmental footprint of both companies. (PR Newswire)

Funds, grands & accelerators

🇺🇸 The USDA plans $7.5m grant for urban ag and innovative production. The grand is through USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. (iGrow News)

🇺🇸 Plenty harvests $20 million grant to build indoor agriculture research center. The grant, from the State of Wyoming, will significantly scale Plenty’s R&D capabilities, the company said. (FoodBev Media)

The Mewery team. Image credit: Mewery

Other news

🇨🇿 Mewery debuts “world’s first” cultivated meat made from microalgae cells. The startup says its cultivated meat is made from 75 percent pork cells and 25 percent microalgae cells. (Green Queen)

🇮🇳 Zomato shutters operations in Philippines after 10 years. The food delivery service gave no reason for exiting the market, which was its first in Southeast Asia. (Deal Street Asia)

🇺🇸 Chipotle is testing robotic makelines in its restaurants. The quick-service chain will test automated makeline technology from Hyphen in the first half of 2023. (Restaurant Business Online) [Disclosure: AFN’s parent company, AgFunder, is an investor in Hyphen.]

🇮🇱 Remilk hits pause on plans to build a large-scale precision fermentation facility in Denmark. Instead, the company is ramping up production of whey protein to hit production goals more rapidly. (AFN)

🇪🇸 Barcelona bans dark stores, the distribution hubs used by quick-commerce startups. These facilities are under increasing scrutiny because of their impact on surrounding neighborhoods. (Reuters)

🇺🇸 Motif FoodWorks to offer fermentation and bioprocessing services to other startups. Motif will share its knowledge, experience and equipment with others via this new business line. (Food Dive)

🇺🇸 Instacart debuts Scan & Pay system in New York. The move into two Foodcellar Market stores is part of the company’s strategy to offer more in-store experiences to customers. (Grocery Dive)

🇬🇧 Deliveroo cuts 350 jobs or almost one in ten staff. The food delivery service said had over-hired and now grapples with a staff that’s too big for the current cost of living crisis. (The Telegraph)

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