The team behind Colombia's Muncher. Image credit: Muncher

The Week in Agrifoodtech: Muncher grabs $27m for ghost kitchens, Freight Farms lands $17.5m

November 17, 2022

Besides a major milestone for cultivated meat, this week’s news also includes new fundraising for Colombian ghost kitchen startup Muncher and a Series B round for vertical farming startup Freight Farms. Meanwhile, it’s more bad news for food delivery, with a quick-commerce startup shutting down and a major service leaving Australia.


Foodtech funding

🇨🇴 Ghost kitchen operator Muncher secures $27 million Series B round led by Glisco Partners. Muncher will add “hundreds more kitchens” in Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Brazil with the new funding. (LatamList)

🇺🇸 Tyson Ventures leads $26m Series C for Soft Robotics. Funding will go towards more commercial deployment of Soft Robotics’ mGripAI™ robotic picking machines for food production. (PR Newswire)

🇦🇺 Vow secures $49.2 million in Series A funding to bring cultivated quail to Singapore. PeakBridge participated in the round alongside BlackbirdProsperity7 VenturesToyota Ventures and others. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Gradient Ventures leads $9 million Series A for Butter. The latter aims to digitize the supply chain process for food distributors selling to restaurants and retail. (TechCrunch)

🇦🇹 Hospitality SaaS platform Orderlion raises a $4 million pre-Series A led by undisclosed investor.  Rockstartseed + speed Ventures and Gateway Ventures, among others, also participated. (Tech.eu)

🇩🇪 Big Idea Ventures, ProVeg International, and Realum.cloud back Cultimate’s €700,000 pre-seed round. Cultimate is developing cultivated fat for meat alternatives and will scale up production. (Green Queen)

Agrolend
The Agrolend team. Image credit: Agrolend

Agtech funding

🇺🇸 Freight Farms raises $17.5 million Series B3 round to expand its container vertical farming operation. Aliaxis SA and Ospraie Ag Science co-led the round. (Vertical Farm Daily)

🇬🇧 BeZero Carbon captures £42.4 million ($50 million) for its voluntary carbon market scoring platform. Quantum Energy Partners led the Series B raise. (UKTN)

🇧🇷 Ag fintech platform Agrolend raises $27 million to help small and medium farmers access credit. Lightrock led the Series B round. (Fintech Futures)

🇺🇸 Peptyde Bio raises $1.2 million pre-seed round for its biofungicides. Danforth Technology Company, St Louis Arch Angels, BioGenerator Ventures, and QRM Capital participated. (Eurekalert)

🇩🇪 Constellr raises $10 million to develop satellites and a processing platform for crop water monitoring. Lakestar and VSquared Ventures co-led the seed round. (Geospatial World)

Image credit: Land Innovation Fund

Funds, grants & accelerators

🌎 The Cargill-funded Land Innovation Fund seeks innovations in climate-tech and sustainable farming in South America. Funding amounts will range from $500,000 to S$2 million. (Land Innovation Fund)

🇮🇳 Biomimicry Institute awards its 2022 Ray of Hope Prize to GreenPod Labs. The latter will receive $100,000 in support of its food waste solution for developing countries. (3BL Media)

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇩🇪 Bayer acquires German biotech startup Targenomix. The latter will contribute to Bayer’s crop science R&D pipeline for innovative crop protection. (Bayer)

🇫🇷 Babybel parent company Bel Group partners with precision fermentation startup Standing Ovation. Bel will incorporate Standing Ovation‘s dairy-free casein protein into its own alt-cheese offerings. (Food Ingredients First)

🇬🇧 🇺🇸 🇧🇷 Bunge & Advanta Seeds UK each acquire 20% stake in Brazilian seed supplier SEEDCORP|HO. The deal will enable Bunge and Advanta to expand their respective portfolio’s. (World Grain)

A chicken taco made with UPSIDE Foods’ cultivated meat. Image credit: UPSIDE Foods

Other news

🇦🇺 🇬🇧 UK-based food delivery service Deliveroo shuts down in Australia. The company said it can’t reach profitability without increased investment. (Startup Daily)

🇺🇸 Upside Foods gets “No Questions” letter from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Upside is the first cultivated meat company in the world to get such a letter. (AFN)

🇰🇪 B2B food e-commerce platform Twiga lays off 21% of staff. The move, which eliminated the company’s in-house sales staff, is part of a larger restructuring. (TechCrunch)

🇮🇱 🇺🇸 Future Meat rebrands as Believer, eyes the US as its first market. The cultivated meat company says there are “no big challenges left” with its regulatory approval process, though no date is yet named. (Food Navigator)

🇳🇱 Infarm “successfully” grows wheat on an indoor farm without soil. First trials suggest vertical farming could produce the 26 times the yield of open-field farming for wheat. (AFN)

🇦🇺 Quick-commerce startup Voly is “closed until further notice.” The food delivery service also recently cut staffing for the second time in six months. (Startup Daily)

🇺🇸 Soli Organic announces a new soil-based vertical farm in Texas. The forthcoming 100,000 square foot farm will add 40,000 square feet of processing via six vertical layers. (San Antonio Express-News)

🇺🇸 Sandwich chain Subway unveils automated vending fridges. The smart fridges use AI and natural language processing to conduct contactless, cashless transactions with customers. (Restaurant Dive)

🇺🇸 PepsiCo starts service to help its restaurant partners run ghost kitchens. The new service is part of PepsiCo Foodservice Digital Lab, which helps restaurants digitize various aspects of their business. (AFN)

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