The Zenchef team. Image credit: Zenchef

The Week in Agrifoodtech: Swiftly bags $100m for grocery tech, Pano’s $20m to fight wildfires with AI

September 22, 2022

This week, retail and grocery tech startup Swiftly bagged a mega-round while front-of-house restaurant software startup Zenchef cooked up new financing to expand its presence. In agtech, Pano raised funds to fight wildfires with AI and Land O’Lakes’ Truterra arm landed a grant from the USDA.


Foodtech funding

🇫🇷 PSG Equity leads €50 million ($49 million) for Zenchef. The latter will scale its front-of-house restaurant tech software across Europe and the US thanks to the new financing. (Yahoo Finance)

🇺🇸 Grocery tech startup Swiftly bags $100 million from BRV Capital Management, others. The Series C round pushes Swiftly’s valuation over the $1 billion mark. (WSJ)

🇳🇱 Restaurant tech startup Formitable raises €8 million ($8 million). Funding from mobile payments startup Mollie founder Adriaan Mol will go towards Formitable’s expansion across Europe. (Tech.eu)

🇺🇸 Kate Farms lands $75 million Series C led by Novo Holdings. Kate Farms specializes in plant-based formulas for tube and oral feeding in healthcare situations such as hospitals. (PR Newswire)

🇮🇱 Profuse Technology raises $2.5 million to tackle the cost of cultivated meat. New York-based Green Circle led the round, which Profuse will put towards R&D and commercialization, amongst other things. (The Spoon)

🇿🇦 De Novo Dairy scores undisclosed investment from UM6P Ventures. De Novo uses precision fermentation to develop animal-free dairy products. (techcabal)

Agtech funding

🇮🇳 Farm-to-consumer produce platform Deep Rooted secures $12.5 million Series A round. IvyCap Ventures led the round with participation from existing investors including Accel, Omnivore and Mayfield. (VC Circle)

🇺🇸 Pano raises $20 million to detect and fight wildfires with AI. Initialized Capital led the Series A round, which will support Pano’s market expansion into high fire-risk areas in North America and Australia. (Business Journals)

🇮🇩 Agridesa lands $200,000 pre-seed round led by Triputra Group. The startup will cultivate five hectares of land in West Java using its “closed-loop” agriculture system connecting landowners and farmers. (Incubees)

🇲🇽 Produce procurement startup Alima bags $1.5 million. Soma Capital, Y Combinator, Dorm Room Fund, and others led the seed round. (LatamList)

🇫🇷 French insect protein startup InnovaFeed lands $250 million Series D round. Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, led the investment. (AFN)

🇩🇪 MicroHarvest raises €8.5 million ($8.5 million) Series A led by Astanor Ventures. The precision fermentation startup plans to build “the world’s fastest protein production system.” (Vegconomist)

🇸🇮 Pest monitoring & forecasting platform Trapview nabs €10 million ($10 million) Series B. Funding, led by European Circular Bioeconomy Fund, will kickstart Trapview’s commercial development in Europe, Brazil and the US. (Tech.eu)

🇮🇩 Koltiva raises undisclosed amount from Silverstrand Capital & others. Koltiva offers a suite of software products to help digitize global supply chains. (Tech in Asia)

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇧🇷 🇺🇸 The Production Board (TPB) invests $100 million in Brazil’s largest ag retailer, Lavoro. The SPAC deal will list Lavoro shares on the Nasdaq stock exchange. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Bayer & Perdue AgriBusiness announce regenerative farming collaboration. The partnership aims to reduce large-scale carbon emissions and create a model for a more sustainable food value chain across Perdue’s grain network. (Successful Farming)

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇪🇺 🇮🇱 EQT Growth launches €2.4 billion ($2.4 billion) to back European and Israeli startups. Climate-focused companies and technologies, including foodtech, is one of the key investment areas of the fund. (Sifted)

🇺🇸 Land O’Lakes’ sustainability arm Truterra awarded $90 million from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Funds will go towards scaling the company’s regenerative farming-focused pilot project. (Truterra)

🇪🇸 BioTech Foods snags €750,000 ($750,000) grant from the Spanish Foreign Trade Institute. The grant will fund BioTech Foods’ investMEAT project researching cell lines, cultured media, and biomaterials for cultivated meat. (Vegconomist)

Other news

🌎 Vertical farming companies sign the Vertical Farming Manifesto to set standards for the sector. BoweryAeroFarms and YesHealth Group are among the participating companies. (Perishable News)

🇺🇸 Starbucks exploring “load-balancing” technology to help with “barista burnout.” The technology is meant to help stores cope with the influx of digital orders flooding in. (Yahoo Finance)

🇺🇸 🇨🇦 Instacart launches Connected Stores to help retailers create personalized shopping in stores and online. The suite of tools is now available for grocery stores in the US and Canada. (TechCrunch)

🇺🇸 Spirits brand Beam Suntory to invest $400 million in making Jim Beam production more sustainable. That includes expanding the distillery capacity by 50% while cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half, the company said. (Food Dive)

🇺🇸 🇫🇮 Perfect Day launches “biotech-as-a-service” business. Called nth Bio, the service will help other companies in the space to scale up, starting with egg white protein maker Onego Bio. (Food Dive)

🇪🇸 Ekonoke unveils beer made from indoor hops. The “Respect!” limited-edition beer is made from hops grown hydroponically via controlled environment agriculture. (Nature)

🇬🇧 Agri-EPI Centre launches Agritech Investment Advisory Ltd. The a new advisory service is meant to bridge the gap between investors and innovative agri-food start-ups. (Agri-EPI Centre)

🇸🇬 🇺🇸 Singapore’s Next Gen Foods picks Chicago for US headquarters. The startup’s new Chicago R&D center will be located at food business incubator The Hatchery Chicago’s facilities. (Chicago Tribune)

🇪🇸 Spain fines food delivery service Glovo $78 million for violating labor laws. Glovo says it will appeal the decision, which alleges the service failed to pay social security, among other things. (Reuters)

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