SVG's new fund will support agriculture in Australia and New Zealand. Image credit: iStock

The Week in Agrifoodtech: String Bio raises $20m, SVG heads south with $50m agtech fund

July 22, 2022

Indian biotech company String Bio landed Series B funding this week and announced plans to turn methane into alternative protein. California’s SVG Ventures announced a new fund specifically supporting the ag sectors in Australia and New Zealand, and Canadian indoor farming company Fieldless Farms raised Series A funding. Plus, more foodtech layoffs and stylish hats made from mushroom roots.


Foodtech funding

🇺🇸 Meati bags $150 million for mushroom root-based meat analogues. The round was led by growth capital firm Revolution Growth. Cultivate Next, the venture fund of QSR brand Chipotle, also participated. (AFN)

🇺🇸 “Optimization platform” Hivery Bags $30 million to help stores with product placement. The Series B round, led by Tiger Global, will go towards developing new software products. (TechCrunch)

🇩🇪 Coefficient Capital leads €5.9M ($6M) round for Milano Vice. the latter has also officially launched out of stealth mode with its virtual pizza franchising concept that uses data analytics to clean users’ pizza delivery preferences. (EU Startups)

🇨🇦 Big Mountain Foods secures over $1.4 million in Canadian federal funding. It will increase the production capacity of its alternative proteins and commercialize a new soy-free, chickpea-based tofu. (Vegconomist)

🇮🇳 Shaka Harry lands $2 million seed round for vegan meat. Better Bite Ventures, Blue Horizon, and others participated in the round, which Shaka Harry will use to expand into retail sales. (Green Queen)

🇬🇧 Premium food delivery app GoGetters raises £350,000 ($419,000). Company founders describe their startup as the “Waitrose of delivery apps” that delivers from mainly independent restaurants in the UK. (UKTN)

🇮🇳 String Bio nabs $20 million Series B from Woodside Energy Group, Ankur Capital, and others. The Indian biotech startup also signed a strategic development agreement with Woodside Energy to turn methane into alternative protein. (Economic Times)

Agtech funding

🇧🇪 Eclo nabs €4.7 million ($4.8 million) from Noshaq and others to build a high-tech factory for mushroom substrate in 2023. The urban farming company also grows micro-greens, herbs, and various types of “exotic” mushrooms. (Tech Funding News)

🇨🇦 Fieldless Farms lands $17.5 million Series A round to expand operations and introduce new products. Agriculture and food fund Forage Capital Partners led the financing. (BetaKit)

🇯🇵 🇺🇸  Fine chemicals company DIC Corporation makes undisclosed investment in biotech startup Back of the Yards Algae Sciences. The latter will use DIC’s proprietary technology for the extraction of algae and mycelia from biobased materials.

🇦🇷 Blockchain startup Ucrop.it raises $3.1 million pre-series A to help farmers prove sustainable practices. Yugen Partners and existing investor The Yield Lab LATAM led the round. (AFN)

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇮🇱 🇺🇸 Stor.ai, a digital commerce platform for grocers, partners with Southern California’s Vallarta Supermarkets. Vallarta will use stor.ai’s platform to advance online shopping, delivery and fulfillment solutions at its stores. (Supermarket News)

🇲🇾 🇺🇸 The Live Green Co. and Malaysia-based pharma company Duopharma Biotech sign agreement. Their collaboration will involve developing plant-based products and functional foods for Duopharma Biotech’s consumer healthcare product range. (TheStar)

🇺🇸 🇦🇪 Crop One & Emirates Flight Catering open ‘world’s largest’ vertical farm in Dubai. The farm will produce more than 2 million pounds of leafy greens annually and also be served to passengers on Emirates flights. (TechCrunch)

🇩🇪 🇮🇱 Israeli startup Better Juice and Germany’s GEA Group launch a “sugar-reduction innovation center.” The companies invite other juice manufacturers to test out the pilot facility’s sugar-reduction technology on their products and ideas. (AgReads)

🇮🇳 🇮🇱 🇦🇪 🇺🇸 India, Israel, the UAE, and the US will establish “integrated agricultural parks across India” to address the escalating food security crisis. The UAE is investing $2 billion into the project. (AFN)

🇺🇸 🇲🇽 ProducePay & ALLCOT announce a carbon offset program for produce growers. ProducePay hopes to help growers generate residual income and make them more resilient to the impacts of climate change. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Re-Nuble partners with CruzFoam to create indoor farm nutrients from seafood. The circular economy startups are on a mission to upcycle at least a portion of the 1.3 billion metric tons of food wasted annually. (AFN)

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇦🇺 SVG Ventures sets up $50 million fund in Australia to back local agtech companies. The firm hopes to give Australian and New Zealand startups better access to new technologies and opportunities through the THRIVE Australia Venture Fund. (StartupDaily)

Other news

🇺🇸 🇮🇱 Micro-fulfillment tech company Fabric lays off 40% of its global workforce. CEO and co-founder Elram Goren has resigned as part of the restructuring. (Grocery Dive)

🇺🇸 ChowNow laying off almost 100 employees. The online food ordering platform’s cuts impact employees across onboarding, sales and operations. (Restaurant Dive)

🇺🇸 Restaurant tech layoffs are definitely on the rise. Speaking of ChowNow, its CEO Chris Webb says we should expect more restaurant tech layoffs throughout the rest of summer thanks to industry-wide nervousness about the future economic environment. (Restaurant Dive)

🇫🇷 QR code-based payments app Sunday cuts staff and exits 60% of its markets. The restaurant app will shut down operations in four of the seven markets it recently expanded to Spain, Portugal, Canada and Italy.: (Sifted.eu)

🇦🇹 Consumers must request meat-based items at Austrian Burger King restaurants from now on. Almost the entire burger range, including classics like the Whopper, will be served as plant-based items unless otherwise specified. (Vegconomist)

🇳🇱 Meatable unveils cultivated pork sausage that takes “just a few weeks’ time” to produce. The Dutch company is eying sometime before 2025 as a go-to-market date. (Green Queen)

🇱🇰 Sri Lanka crisis rekindles debate over organic farming. The South Asian nation’s “disastrous” shift to organic farming poses new questions about the viability of sustainable agriculture. (Time)

🇺🇸 Biomaterials startup MycoWorks launches a line of hats made from mycelium. The hats, made with MycoWorks’ Reishi alt-leather biomaterial, cost between $810 and $1,725. (AFN)

🇬🇧 Just Eat Takeaway restructures, cuts 390 jobs in France. Europe’s largest food delivery service cited “challenging market dynamics” and said the move is part of an attempt to improve profitability. (Reuters)

🇺🇸 Growth capital investor Pontifax AgTech Management rebrands as Aliment Capital. The firm says its name change reflects an “ongoing commitment to advancing sustainability and nutrition” through its investments. (PR Newswire)

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