After a pretty dry spell, agrifood investors were throwing around the big bucks this week, with the launch of two sizeable funds ($384m from Astanor Ventures and $312m from Humble Growth), while Flagship led a $250m round into Indigo Ag and JOKR bagged $50m to expand its food-e-commerce platform.There was also big news from MycoWorks, which opened a huge mycelium production facility in South Carolina, and Hoxton Farms, which opened a pilot plant for cultivated fat.
🇩🇪 JOKR secures $50 million series D at $800 million valuation. This is down from the eGrocery company’s $1.3 billion post-money valuation that followed its series C earlier this year. (TechCrunch)
🇬🇧 Oceanium snags $2.6 million to scale seaweed processing operations for innovative ingredients. Impact investor Builders VC led the round. (Vegconomist)
🇫🇷 AI-powered restaurant tech startup Retail Robotics Solutions raises €0.5 million ($0.53 million) from Ariel Investments Corp. The firm’s ‘robot cashiers’ can instantly identify meals on a tray in self-service restaurants or corporate canteens. (RSS)
🇺🇸 Flagship leads $250 million round for sustainable agriculture platform Indigo Ag. The latter plans to reach breakeven point in about one year. (Memphis Inno)
🇦🇪 Pure Harvest bags $150 million strategic round from greenhouse solutions company Richel Group. The exclusive partnership will focus on deploying Pure Harvest’s smart farms to the Middle East and Asia. (HortiDaily)
🇸🇬 RegenX secures $500,000 pre-seed from Wavemaker Impact. The RegenX “Flywheel” platform enables buyers to find and procure toxic-free traceable ingredients from regenerative farming regions. (Deal Street Asia)
M&A, IPOs & partnerships
🇩🇪 🇸🇬 Delivery Hero mulls partial sale of its Asia brand foodpanda. Singapore’s Grab, a heavyweight in delivery, may pay over €1 billion ($1 billion) for foodpanda, according to reports. (The Straits Times)
🇯🇵 🇲🇾 🇮🇩 Terra Drone buys precision ag startup Avirtech for undisclosed sum. Terra Drone will operate under a new business brand, Terra Agri, in Malaysia and Indonesia. (TechNode Global)
🇺🇸 Shake Shack & Zero Acre Farms partner for frying oil made by microalgae. Two of the burger chain’s NYC locations will test making fries with Zero Acre’s oil. (CNBC)
Funds, grants & accelerators
🇧🇪 Impact investor Astanor Ventures closes second agrifoodtech fund on €360 million ($384 million). It will continue to invest in early- and later-stage agrifood startups “and some adjacent sectors.”(AgFunderNews).
🇺🇸 Humble Growth closes $312m growth equity fund for disruptive CPG brands. It will write checks of around $10-40 million. (AgFunderNews).
🇺🇸 FoodShot global announces its FoodShot: Water, The Essential Input competition. The $500,000+ GroundBreaker Prize will be awarded to early-stage entrepreneurs. (FoodShot)
🇨🇦 Nàdarra Ventures launches with C$20 million ($15 million) biotech fund. The fund will make seed and series A investments into biotech startups working in food, agriculture and materials. (Venture Capital Journal)
🇺🇸 MycoWorks starts production at ‘world’s first’ commercial scale mycelium plant. The 136,000 sq. ft. facility will produce MycoWorks’ mycelium-based leather alternative. (PR Newswire) [Disclosure: AgFunderNews’ parent company AgFunder is an investor in MycoWorks.]
🇬🇧 Hoxton Farms opens cultivated fat pilot facility, targets alt meat. The 14,000-sq ft site in Old Street, central London, will have a capacity of up to 10 tons/year. (AgFunderNews) [Disclosure: AgFunderNews’ parent company AgFunder is an investor in Hoxton Farms.]
🇺🇸 Mondelez closes down brands in its SnackFutures VC division. The CPG giant said it is shifting its venture capital focus to investing in “already established” startups. (Food Dive)
🇺🇸AeroFarms emerges from Ch. 11 with new CEO. The company has “eliminated spending” on all projects not related to its Danville, Virginia farm, a move it says will accelerate its path to profitability. (AgFunderNews).
🇺🇸 Food companies aren’t all walking the talk on regenerative agriculture, says FAIRR. There’s a lot of talk, but rather less action on regen ag from some publicly listed agrifood companies, according to a report from the FAIRR investor network. (AgFunderNews)
🇺🇸 Delieverect partners with Uber to launch Deliverect Dispatch. This enables restaurants to offer white-label delivery powered by Uber Direct as a preferred partner. (PRNewswire)