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Futura Gaïa's soil-based vertical farms. Image credit: Futura Gaïa

The Week in AgriFoodTech: Shef cooks up $75m, Futura Gaïa lands $11m, Asuene closes $22.8m

March 2, 2023

This week, US-based Shef, which runs an online marketplace for home-cooked meals, announced new funding, as did France’s Futura Gaïa, for its soil-based vertical farms. Climate tech startup Asuene closed a $22 million round and several companies, including Bushel, Topcon and Afresh Technologies, launched new tools.

Image credit: Shef

Foodtech funding

🇺🇸 Home-cooked meals marketplace Shef cooks up $73.5 million Series B to expand. CRV led the round with participation from Andreessen Horowitz & others. (Food Dive)

🇬🇧 Cacao-free chocolate maker WNWN Food Labs nets $5.6 million Series A amidst European ban on products linked to deforestation. The funding will boost manufacturing capacity and team expansion. (

🇪🇸 Väcka lands €1.1 million ($1.17 million) to make vegan cheese from olive oil & melon seeds. Capital V, Big Idea Ventures and others participated. (Vegconomist)

🇪🇸 Grin Grin Foods raises €1.1 million ($1.17 million) through a crowdfunding campaign. With the new financing, the plant-based foods company plans to expand. (Vegconomist)

Futura Gaïa’s soil-based vertical farms. Image credit: Futura Gaïa

Agtech funding

🇺🇸 Realty Income tp invest “up to $1 billion” towards indoor farm space for vertical farming company Plenty. The latter will kick off the partnership with a multi-farm campus in Virginia in the US. (AFN)

🇯🇵 Climate tech startup Asuene closes $22.8 million Series B to assist corporates with ESG. Sony Innovation Fund and others participated in the round. (Tech in Asia)

🇺🇸 Energy company Enbridge commits $1 billion to help Divert expand food waste processing facilities in North America. Divert has also raised $100 million. (AFN)

🇫🇷 Futura Gaïa raises €11 million ($11.7 million) for automated soil-based vertical farm system. UI Investissement, Sofilaro and others participated. (EU Startups)

🇫🇷 AI-powered crop analysis platform Inarix gets $3.1 million seed to scale analysis capabilities. Ankaa ventures, Label Investment, Newfund, Alliance for impact, Resiliance participated in the round. (PR Newswire)

🇮🇳 Saffron Tech lands $2 million investment to grow saffron via vertical farming. The investment comes via a partnership with Dreamtech Co. (Vertical Farm Daily)

🇮🇹 Ittinsect scoops up €625,000 to for insect-based fish feed. CDP Ventures, Katapult Ocean and others participated in the pre-seed round. (

Cultivated Steak courtesy of Aleph Farms. Image credit: Aleph Farms

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇸🇬 🇺🇸 Umami Meats & TripleBar partner on cell line development for cultivated fish. The cultivated meat and biotech companies will start with Japanese eel. (The Spoon)

🇮🇱 Aleph Farms strikes “asset light” deal with ESCO Aster to scale up cultivated meat production in Israel and Singapore. The startup says it should now be able to start production in Singapore in 2025. (AFN)

🇺🇸 🇨🇦 Vertical farming input provider Unfold, partners with vertical farming company GoodLeaf to commercialize spinach and other leafy greens. This comes as GoodLeaf opens up two new facilities in Canada. (Businesswire)

🇺🇸 🇯🇵 Chemical producer Celanese Corporation and general trading company Mitsui & Co. add two joint ventures to their longstanding strategic partnership. One is to create a standalone food joint venture, the other is to extend their methanol producing venture. (Businesswire)

🇺🇸 Barcelona Food processor Cargill and Spanish foodtech Cubiq Foods team up on product development and commercial go-to-market agreements. Cargill to add Cubiq’s plant-based alt fats to its offerings. (Food Dive)

🇺🇸 Corteva closes on Symborg & Stoller acquisitions. Corteva says these deals will accelerate the company’s work in the biologicals space. (PR Newswire)

🇳🇱 Mosa Meat & Nutreco partner to reduce cost of cell feed and scale up production. The companies hope to bring down the cost of cultivated beef by optimizing the components of cell feed. (Mosa Meat)

The Bushel team.

Other news

🇺🇸 Plant-based foods company Merit Functional Foods placed into receivership. Co-CEO Ryan Bracken cited cashflow and profitability issues. (LinkedIn)

🇺🇸 Anonymous petitioner challenges Perfect Day  patent. The issue at hand relates to dairy substitutes, how they are manufactured and what comprises animal-free proteins and fats. (AFN)

🇺🇸 General Mills pulls plug on animal-free dairy brand Bold Cultr. The animal-free cream cheese product launched in a handful of stores in Minnesota in late 2021. (AFN)

🇸🇪 Ikea to “remove or replace” dairy items on cafe menus. The company aims to make 50% of its menus plant based by 2025. (VegNews)

🇦🇺Farm software provider Topcon launches transplanting control. The solution helps farmers with elaborate planting patterns and could boost crop production by 15%. (Businesswire)

🇦🇷 Ingredient company Moolec Science debuts on Nasdaq. The move had been planned since last year’s SPAC merger with LightJump Acquisition Corp. (Food Dive)

🇺🇸 Eat Just cuts staff in its plant-based egg division by 18%. CEO says this will reduce costs and make the division profitable without external capital. (Vegconomist)

🇨🇦 Alt-dairy company Daiya unveils new fermentation tech, launches new fermentation site. Daiya claims the new tech creates cheese that surpasses other brands in various capacities. (Vegconomist)

🇺🇸 Bushel launches new farm management software, Bushel Farm. The new tool lets farmers collaborate with grain buyers, among other features. (AgWeb)

🇺🇸 Afresh takes its food waste software beyond produce. The inventory system for food retailers now works with meat, seafood, deli and foodservice stations. (Grocery Dive)

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