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Image credit: MycoWorks

The Week in AgriFoodTech: MycoWorks opens mycelium plant, Flagship et al pump $250m into Indigo Ag, Pure Harvest bags $150m

September 21, 2023

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.

Hoxton Farms cofounders Max Jamilly and Ed Steele. Image credits: Hoxton Farms
Hoxton Farms founders Max Jamilly and Ed Steele have opened a pilot facility in London to make cell-cultured (a.k.a. ‘cultivated’) fat. Image credits: Hoxton Farms

Foodtech funding

🇩🇪 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)

🇺🇸 Superorder bags $10 million Series A for its generative AI platform for restaurant order management. Foundation Capital led the round. (Restaurant Technology News)

🇰🇷 HN Novatech raises $4 million for to produce heme-based meat alternatives extracted from seaweed. Logan Ventures led the Series A bridge round. (The Future of Protein Production)

🇬🇧 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)

Pure Harvest greenhouse
Pure Harvest has just bagged $150 million strategic round from greenhouse solutions company Richel Group. Image credit: Pure Harvest

Agtech funding

🇺🇸 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)

🇩🇪 Lightspeed leads $27 million Series A extension for carbon accounting startup Plan A. Deutsche Bank and Opera Tech Ventures also participated. (Sifted)

🇮🇪 Micron Agritech raises £2.3 million ($2.8 million) for its on-site parasite testing for animals. Act VC, Atlantic Bridge and Yield Lab Europe (The Irish Times)

🇸🇬 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)

Delivery Hero
Delivery Hero is mulling a partial sale of its foodpanda brand. Image credit: Max Threlfall

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)

Peter Rahal managing partner Humble Growth
Humble Growth managing partner and RXBAR founder Pater Rahal explains why having people that have been there and done that on investment teams is pretty important : “I remember thinking, ’You have never done this, what the f**k do you know?” Image credit: Humble Growth

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).

🇺🇸 Unfold Ventures launches $300 million fund to invest in vitamins, skincare and spices. FMR LLC, the parent company of Fidelity Investments, is backing the new fund. (Bloomberg)

🇺🇸 FoodShot global announces its FoodShotWater, 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)

This 136,000 sq. ft. facility will produce MycoWorks’ mycelium-based leather alternative. Image credit: MycoWorks

Other news

🇺🇸 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).

🇬🇧 Distressed plant-based brand Meatless Farm is back on shelf in the UK. The brand, which was acquired by VFC in June, is returning to shelves at Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Ocado. (Vegconomist)

🇺🇸 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)

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