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Kernza lager from Patagonia Provisions and partners. Image credit: Patagonia Provisions

The Week in AgriFoodTech: Matsmart-Motatos grabs $43m to save food waste, RED Horticulture bags $18m, TômTex makes leather from fish

November 23, 2023

This week, Matsmart-Motatos scored new funding for its e-commerce business that sells overstock dry goods to stop food waste. RED Horticulture raised capital for its LED greenhouse lighting tech, and alternative leather startup TômTex bagged a seed round. Plus, sugar refiner Nordzucker will invest more than $100 million into plant-based proteins.

Foodtech funding

Image credit: Matsmart-Motatos

🇩🇪 Sugar refiner Nordzucker will invest €100 million ($109 million) in plant-based proteins. The company is setting up a production plant for the new business segment in Germany. (European Supermarket Magazine)

🇸🇪 Circularity Capital leads €40 million ($43.5 million) growth capital round for Matsmart-Motatos. The D2C e-commerce retailer of overstock goods including food will grow its business in Germany and the Nordics. (Tech.eu)

🇫🇷 “AI-powered restaurant platform” Malou raises $10 million to expand across France & internationally. Investors in the round included henQ, Bleu Capital Management and others. (Silicon ANGLE)

🇫🇮 Solar Foods secures €8 million ($8.8 million) B round led by Springvest. Solar Foods makes a yellow, protein-packed ingredient called Solein by feeding microbes elements from the air. (AgFunderNews)

🇺🇸 Pet food company Grubbly Farms secures undisclosed Seres A round. The company uses black soldier fly grub protein to produce specialty pet food products. (PR Newswire)

Leather alternative from TômTex. Image credit: TômTex

Agtech funding

🇫🇷 RED Horticulture secures €17 million ($18.5 million) Series A for greenhouse LED tech. The European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF), Demeter IM, and Unigrains led the round. (Silicon Canals)

🇺🇸 TômTex closes $2.25 million seed round led by Happiness Capital. TômTex makes a leather-like textile from chitosan, a biopolymer in seafood shells and mushrooms. (Fashion United)

🇹🇷 Precision ag company Doktar Technologies lands undisclosed Series A led by Diffusion Capital Partners. Doktar plans to grow its operations to include Southern Europe and Northern Africa. (Global Ag Tech Initiative)

Image credit: Flash Coffee

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇹🇭 Turn Capital acquires Flash Coffee‘s Thailand business. The VC firm says it aims to get the coffee chain’s troubled Thailand business to profitability and open 100 new stores by the end of 2025. (World Coffee Portal)

🇳🇱 DSM Firmenich & Sustained collaborate to capture animal lifecycle assessment (LCA) impacts. The LCAs aim to help food manufacturers assess and communicate their products’ environmental footprints. (Food Navigator)

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇨🇦 Protein Industries Canada to invest $4.5 million in wild-caught salmon analogs. New School Foods, Liven Proteins and NuWave Research will work together on the project. (Green Queen)

🇦🇺 Queensland University of Technology researchers awarded $2.1 million for exotic mushroom tech. Future Food System CRC and mushroom producer Kenon Corporation will fund the project. (Vertical Farm Daily)

🇳🇿 Zespri launches $2 million fund for kiwifruit projects. The Zag initiative will support “innovative” projects solving issues in the production and delivery of kiwifruits. (Axios)

🇺🇸 Amazing Ice Cream, Arbo’s Cheese Dip, Petit Pot and WonderCow win California Milk Accelerator competition. Winners each receive $30,000 to scale their products in California and will compete for $100,000 more. (PR Newswire)

People moves

🇺🇸 Biotech company Micropep Technologies appoints Jeff Bell as chief financial officer. Bell, an accomplished veteran of the biosciences industry, will lead the company’s financial strategy. (Business Wire)

🇨🇦 Alt dairy co Daiya Foods appoints Hajime Fujita as new CEO. Fujita joins from Daiya’s parent company, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, where he held the role of vice president, financial planning. (PR Newswire)

Kernza lager from Patagonia Provisions and partners. Image credit: Patagonia Provisions

Other news

🇺🇸 Miyoko’s Creamery preparing for “potential sale.” The beleaguered plant-based dairy brand is raising $12 million in the wake of heavy losses and falling sales. (Bloomberg)

🇪🇺 EU antitrust regulators raid two more food delivery services’ headquarters. Two unnamed companies are suspected of breaches of competition laws around forming cartels. (TechCrunch)

🇺🇸 PepsiCo announces third year of its global agriculture program. The Positive Agriculture Outcomes Accelerator will back eight new projects addressing urgent challenges in agriculture today. (Specialty Food)

🇩🇪 Biotech company MicroHarvest opens pilot plant for its protein. The facility will produce samples of the company’s single-cell protein made through microbial fermentation. (Vegconomist)

🇺🇸 Patagonia Provisions launches a project to brew beer with “regenerative organic certified” Kernza. Kernza is a perennial grain said to be more environmentally friendly than others used in beer making. (Hop Culture)

🇺🇸 Restaurant drive-thru automation company Presto lays off 17% of global workforce. The reduction will impact about two dozen employees and is part of the company’s strategy to reduce costs. (Restaurant Dive)

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