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Image credit: Traceless Materials

The Week in AgriFoodTech: Paine Schwartz launches $1.7bn agrifood fund, Cricket One unveils new plant, Infarm ‘declared bankrupt’

September 28, 2023

Agrifood’s biggest news this week is PE firm Paine Schwartz closing its $1.7 billion food- and agribusiness-focused fund. Fund VI is “exclusively focused on sustainable investments” in food and agribusiness, and the firm has already deployed 40% of the capital to the likes of AgroFresh, Costa Group and others.

Elsewhere, Tikehau Capital invested in a biologicals startup, vertical farming company Infarm was declared bankrupt, and agrifoodtech layoffs continued.

Image credit: BioLumic

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇺🇸 Paine Schwartz raises $1.7 billion fund for food and agriculture. Fund VI is now the largest fund dedicated to investing across agrifood the food system. (Wall Street Journal)

🇦🇺 The Agtech and Logistics Hub launches a new accelerator for plant-health startups. The program is done in conjunction with industry body Meat & Livestock Australia (Startup Daily)

🇺🇸 Ag biotech startup BioLumic receives grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The capital will use BioLumic’s UV light seed treatment technology on rice. (Yahoo Finance)

🇺🇸 Danone Institute North America awards $250,000 to five university teams. Teams each received $50,000 to advance solutions around local food security. (PR Newswire)

🇺🇸  ADM and Syngenta Group sign MOU to support low-carbon oilseeds. The new varieties such as Camelina will meet growing demand for biofuels and other products. (Feedstuffs)

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇺🇸 Harpe Bioherbicide Solutions signs agreement with the Broad Institute and Corteva. The partnership will focus on CRISPR and other gene-editing tools to further develop Harpe’s herbicide-tolerant crop systems. (PR Newswire)

🇺🇸 Food-as-Medicine benefits platform Tangelo acquires digital health platform Diet ID for an undisclosed sum. (PRNewswire)

Defatted cricket powder (70% protein) from Cricket One
Defatted cricket powder (70% protein). Image credit: Cricket One

Foodtech funding

🇦🇹 Kern Tec bags €12 million ($12.6 million) for alt-dairy products made from upcycled fruit pits. Telos Impact led the Series A, which Kern Tec will use to expand its product lineup. (Vegconomist)

🇬🇧 Microbiome data science platform Eagle Genomics raises £3 million (USD $4 million) from existing investors. The company also has a new CEO, Dr. Victoria Kimonides. (Cambridge Network)

🇳🇿 Scentian Bio raises $2.1 million seed round to develop biosensors for food quality control. Finistere Ventures and Toyota Ventures led the seed round. (AgFunderNews)

🇬🇧 MarraBio scoops up £500,000 ($606,000) to develop a protein alternative for biomed research and cultivated meat. Maven Capital Partners, Northstar Ventures & others backed the seed round. (UKTN)

🇻🇳 Edible insect startup Cricket One secures undisclosed “seven-figure” series A led by investor Robert Alexander Stone. Cricket One has opened “Asia’s largest” cricket-processing facility for human and pet food. (AgFunderNews)

Image credit: Traceless Materials

Agtech funding

🇫🇷 PE firm Tikehau Capital commits €120 million ($128 million) to biologicals company Biobest. This is Tikehau Capital’s private equity regenerative agriculture strategy’s first investment in regen ag. (MarketScreener)

🇩🇪 Traceless Materials lands €36.6 million ($38.4 million) series A for plastic alternative. Helskinki-based private equity firm United Bankers and France’s Swen Capital Partners. (Tech.eu)

🇬🇭 Agbiz marketplace Complete Farmer raises $10.4 million series A. The Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund and Alitheia Capital co-led the round. (TechCrunch)

🇨🇭 🇺🇸Atinary Technologies secures $5 million seed round led by AgFunder. Atinary deploys machine learning (ML) to accelerate the materials discovery process. (AgFunderNews)

🇮🇹 Evja secures €4.2 million ($4.4 million) pre-series A to scale up its precision ag for the horticulture market. Cdp Venture Capital, SEFEA Impact and others participated. (Evja LinkedIn)

🇺🇸 Sentinel Fertigation lands $2.5 million from Homegrown Capital, Grit Road Partners & others. The startup will use the funding to expand market reach of its nitrogen management software. (Fertilizer Daily)

🇨🇭 Pymwymic makes undisclosed investment in precision ag startup Vivent. Vivent will use the funds to further develop its “wearable” devices to improve plant signaling (Pymwymic)

Image credit: Getir

Other news

🇩🇪 Vertical farming startup InFarm “declared bankrupt” according to official documents. The company is reportedly focusing solely on the Middle East. (Sifted)

🇻🇳 Baemin Vietnam, the joint venture between Delivery Hero and Woowa Brothers, slashes jobs. The delivery firm cited “intense competition” and high consumer expectations” as reasons. (Tech in Asia)

🇸🇬 Foodpanda slashes its workforce to “become leaner.” Parent company Delivery Hero is considering selling the company, with Grab as a possible buyer. (CNBC)

🇺🇸 Kellogg launches new plant-based burger to attract more omnivores. The company claims its new MorningStar item includes “beefy flavor and a texture similar to real meat.” (Food Dive)

🇸🇬 Plant-based foods maker TiNDLE starts production in North America. The TiNDLE Breakfast Sausage product will be entirely developed and manufactured on the continent. (Vegconomist)

🇬🇧 Cultivated meat company Extracellular opens “Europe’s largest” pilot facility. The facility will provide development, scale-up and contract manufacturing services. (Alt-Meat)

🇺🇸 🇪🇺 Uber Eats, Getir strike deal for speedy grocery delivery in Europe. The partnership will start in the UK and expand to other European markets where the two services co-exist. (The Grocer)

🇺🇸 HowGood announces sustainability software for food companies. The new platform will help businesses measure carbon emissions to align with new SBTi FLAG guidance. (GlobalNewswire)

🇮🇩 EdenFarm ends B2B produce distribution outside Jakarta, lays off 300. The company will pivot to sell its brand of packaged seasonings instead. (Tech in Asia)

🇧🇪 The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) launches framwork for regenerative agriculture. Major CPGs including PepsiCo, Unilever and others are participating. (GreenBiz)

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