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Image credit: Liberation Labs

The Week in Agrifoodtech: Liberation Labs’ $20m seed round, Deere unveils robotic fertilizer system

January 5, 2023

This week, precision fermentation company Liberation Labs announced the final close of a large seed round and John Deere introduced more autonomy into its farming equipment. Elsewhere, food waste startup Alterpacks raised $1 million while greenhouse grower AppHarvest entered a sale-leaseback deal for one if its Kentucky facilities.

Foodtech funding

🇺🇸 Liberation Labs closes $20 million seed round led by Agronomics and Siddhi Capital. The startup will use the new funds to build out a 600,000 liter production facility for novel proteins. (Global Newswire)

🇬🇧 BlakBear, maker of quality-control sensors for food, lands £2.3 million ($2.7 million) seed round. Ada Ventures led the round with participation from Green Circle Food Tech Ventures and others. (LinkedIn)

🇸🇬 Alterpacks bags $1 million to address food waste through upcycling. Plug and Play APAC and Seeds Capital led the pre-seed round. (Tech in Asia)

🇸🇬 Food ingredient discovery and manufacturing platform Reelli closes undisclosed pre-seed round from Denis Asia Pacific. Reelli recently rebranded from Lohas Foods (LinkedIn)

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇸🇪 🇨🇦 Plant-based brand Oatly strikes hybrid manufacturing deal with Ya Ya Foods in North America. The partnership is part of Oatly’s pivot to what it says will be a more asset-light supply chain. (Food Navigator)

🇺🇸 COFRA Holding and Mastronardi Produce acquire AppHarvest‘s Berea, Kentucky greenhouse. The sale-leaseback deal was finalized at just over $127 million. (HortiDaily)

🇺🇸 🇮🇱 Relationshop acquires grocery e-commerce startup The combined companies will blend the former’s analytics and personalization tech with’s digital retail business. (Grocery Dive)

Other news

🇺🇸 John Deere unveils robotics-based fertilizer system and electric excavator at CES. The company wants to speed up repetitive processes on the farm while making them more efficient and less wasteful. (TechCrunch)

🇪🇸 Plant-based meat startup Heura makes a splash in the plant-based fish market. The company, which is currently expanding across Europe, recently unveiled its F’sh Fillet and F’sh Fingers. (The Grocer)

🇸🇬 Surplus food reseller UglyFood shuts down. The company said it has failed to raise enough funds to keep operations going. (Channel News Asia)

🇬🇧 Moolec Science starts trading on the Nasdaq. The foodtech company, which uses genetically modified plants to recreate proteins found in animals, merged with LightJump Acquisition Corporation. (Food Dive)

🗺 The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is assessing food safety & regulatory aspects of cultivated meat. FAO is examining language and terminologies, production processes, and regulatory frameworks. (Vegconomist)

🇺🇸 Agritecture readies farm-planning platform for controlled environment agriculture (CEA). The Agritecture Designer platform will officially launch on Jan. 9. (Agritecture)

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