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Inside the Remilk labs. Image credit: Remilk

The Week in Agrifoodtech: Remilk raises $120m; ‘world’s first plant-based salmon fillet’ unveiled

January 13, 2022

There were multiple fundings above or near the $100 million mark this week in agrifoodtech, led by Estonian ride-hailing and food delivery app Bolt with its $709 million round.

Elsewhere, alt-dairy startup ReMilk raised $120 million, while several Indian companies also scored big-ticket investments.

Foodtech startup funding

🇪🇪 Bolt raises $709 million in Sequoia Capital, Fidelity-led round. The on-demand transportation and food delivery app will use the funds to expand into new geographies and add new business lines, such as 15-minute grocery delivery. (TechCrunch)

🇮🇳 B2B e-commerce player Udaan banks $250 million in convertible note and debt funding. The Bengaluru-based startup helps ‘mom and pop’ grocers to buy inventory and secure financing online. (TechCrunch)

🇮🇳 Reliance Industries pumps $200 million into ‘quick commerce’ startup Dunzo. The conglomerate will acquire a 25.8% stake in the Google-backed on-demand delivery company. The investment — part of a broader $240 million fundraise — will complement Reliance’s own e-grocery platform JioMart. (Nikkei Asia)

🇬🇧 Gousto raises $150 million, bumping its valuation to $1.7 billion. The mealkit subscription service will use the new funding to build an automated fulfillment center in the UK. (UKTN

🇮🇱 Remilk raises $120 million for animal-free milk and dairy products. The Series B investment will be used to expand manufacturing capacity for the company’s products, which are made via fermentation. (Times of Israel) 

🇺🇸 Foxtrot raises $100 million to “modernize” the convenience store. The Series C funding will go towards opening new brick-and-mortar stores in the US while also building out the digital shopping component of the brand. (Food Navigator

🇨🇳 Starfield scores $100 million in China’s biggest alt-protein round to date. The startup is building its first commercial-scale factory which will produce “hundreds” of different plant-based products from ground meat and patties to steaks and hams. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Liquid Death to expand with $75 million fundraise. The Los Angeles, California-based water brand’s Series C round will help fuel expansion to new regions and new products that boast names like Berry It Alive and Mango Chainsaw. (TechCrunch)

🇮🇱 Tipa raises $70 million for biodegradable plastic packaging. Millennium Food-Tech and Meitav Dash led the round for the circular economy startup. (ImpactAlpha

🇬🇧 Food delivery startup Sessions raises $10 million. The company, founded in 2020 by former employees of Deliveroo and Soho House, will use the new funds to expand to 500 more kitchens and two food halls in 2022. (Evening Standard

🇮🇳 Amasia leads Living Food’s $7.5 million Series A round. The funds will be used to bring Living Food’s fresh food marketplace to new regions around India, make hires, invest in tech development, and launch new brands. (Business Insider)

🇮🇳 ‘Natural’ instant foods brand iD Fresh Food closes $68 million Series D round. It will develop new products and expand to key markets across India, the UAE, and the US. (LiveMint

🇮🇳 Bambrew bags $2.3 million in pre-Series A funding. The ‘green packaging’ startup will use the capital to build a tech platform through which companies can source more sustainable packaging. (Inc42

🇺🇸 Alt-protein startup AuraPea closes $1.5 million fundraise. Launched in 2021, the company uses chickpeas and other “clean” ingredients to recreate meat crumbles, such as chorizo. (RichmondInno

🇮🇱 Plantish emerges from stealth with release of “world’s first plant-based salmon fillet.” The Rehovot-based startup raised $2 million in pre-seed funding from TechAviv Founder Partners, Michelin-starred chef José Andrés, and Nuseir Yassin of the Nas Daily vlog. (Plantish) 

A closeup of Plantish’s plant-based ‘salmon’ fillet. Image credit: Plantish

Agtech startup funding

🇺🇸 Bowery secures $150 million credit facility led by private equity giant KKR. The vertical farming company also announced that it will build two new farms in Atlanta, Georgia and Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. (Bowery Farming

🇮🇩 Startup eFishery nets $90 million in Sequoia, SoftBank-led Series C round. The funds will be deployed to expand eFishery’s digital platform and to launch into new geographies including China and India. (AFN)

🇸🇪 Ljusgårda raises $19 million to expand its vertical farming operation. The company claims to be the largest indoor farming operation in the Nordic countries and aims to become one of the largest in Europe within a year. (Horti Daily)

🇻🇳 Agtech e-commerce platform FoodMap nabs $3 million. Vulpes Ventures and Beenext led the Series A round with participation from existing investor Wavemaker Partners. FoodMap connects Vietnamese farmers to buyers so that they can sell their produce more efficiently. (Cafebiz

🇮🇳 Pepper Farms raises $1 million. The platform helps farmers manage the production lifecycle of vegetables from growing to harvesting through to sales. (Business Standard

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇺🇸 Benson Hill acquires soy processor ZFS Creston for $102 million. The acquisition will help Benson Hill “convert its proprietary soybeans into value-added soy protein ingredients for the underserved human and pet food categories.” (AFN)

🇺🇸 Emergency food brand ReadyWise acquired by private equity firm Goode Partners. ReadyWise offers ready-to-eat meals and snacks for outdoors, disaster preparedness, and everyday situations. (ReadyWise)

🇨🇭🇳🇱 COFRA Holding acquires greenhouse tech company Dalsem. The latter is known for developing high-tech greenhouse projects including some of those operated by AppHarvest. (Horti Daily)

🇺🇸 PowerPollen closes $7 million Series B round for on-demand pollination tech. The funding will enable PowerPollen to continue to scale its technology and enter new markets in the next few growing seasons. (PowerPollen)

Other news

🇺🇸 US Department of Agriculture (USDA) aims aims to double the country’s cover crops by 2030. The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) will spend $38 million to help farmers in 11 states plant cover crops. (Reuters

🇺🇸 Farmers Business Network (FBN) launches $25m regenerative ag pilot fund. FBN and nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) have teamed up to launch a new credit facility to reward growers who implement sustainable farming practices. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Walmart will expand in-home delivery to 30 million US households this year. As competition with Amazon continues, Walmart plans to quintuple availability of its in-home service where associates leave grocery orders inside customers’ homes or garages. (Supply Chain Dive

🇺🇸 Uber Eats gearing up for autonomous delivery in 2022. Uber and driverless tech company Motional plan to deliver meal kits and select restaurant items to customers in Santa Monica, California via autonomous robo-taxis this year. (Supply Chain Dive

🇺🇸 Imperfect Foods adds Amazon, Target veteran as new CEO. Dan Park, a vet of retail and tech companies, joined the surplus e-grocer at the start of January and arrives after a string of layoffs and c-suite resignations at Imperfect last year. (Grocery Dive

🇸🇪 Oatly co-founder leaves the company for good. Bjorn Oste left the oat-milk company at the end of 2021, less than one year after Oatly’s debut on the public markets. (The Deep Dive

🇺🇸 US President Biden earmarks $1 billion for independent meat processors. In an effort to boost competition and as part of the American Rescue Plan, the US Department of Agriculture will offer $375 million in grants and funds to improve financial options for small producers. (Food Dive

🇮🇳 On-demand delivery startup Swiggy increases plant-based options via GoodDot partnership. GoodDot’s plant-based meat products are now available through Swiggy’s Instamart channel in 11 cities across India. (Green Queen)

🇮🇳 Tata-owned e-commerce shop Big Basket testing a group-buying model. The online grocer joins retailers like Flipkart, Udaan, and DealShare in offering value-conscious consumers a social commerce option. (Economic Times)

🇬🇧 Deliveroo will open its own restaurant to better understand the business. The on-demand food delivery service plans to run a single-location pizza shop to get a better feel for restaurateurs’ pain points in the food delivery process. (WSJ

🇬🇧 Grocery retailer Morrisons to ditch “use by” dates on 90% of its milk. In a first for UK supermarkets, the chain says it is instead encouraging customers to use a “sniff test” and in the process help reduce food waste at home. (Dairy Reporter

🇳🇴 Online grocer Oda prints carbon footprint of red meat on receipts. Norwegian customers responded by ceasing to buy the meat, opting for plant-based options instead, according to Oda. (Green Queen

🇮🇩 The Indonesian government is planning a network of sustainable aquaculture farms. The country’s fisheries ministry said it had established six of these in December and plans to launch 130 more by the end of 2022. (Eco-Business

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