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With Toast Order & Pay pre-authorization and group ordering, restaurateurs see a 12% higher ticket size on average, the company claims. Image credit: Business Wire

The Week in Agrifoodtech: Toast files for IPO, Pinduoduo commits $1.5bn to ag

September 1, 2021

In news from the world of foodtech and agtech over the past seven days, restaurant payments platform Toast filed for an IPO in the US; while VC firm AgFunder closed its latest alt-protein fund, New Carnivore, on $21 million [disclosure: AgFunder is AFN‘s parent company.]

🇺🇸 Restaurant payment platform Toast files for IPO. Toast said it plans to raise $100 million from the listing, though Bloomberg noted that was likely to be a “placeholder amount” that would likely change. The Covid-19 pandemic led many restaurants and foodservice outlets to accelerate their adoption of ‘contactless’ tech like that offered by Toast. (Bloomberg)

🇺🇸 AgFunder raises $21 million for its New Carnivore alt-protein fund. ADM Ventures, the VC arm of the global food and commodities company Archer-Daniels-Midland, invested in the fund. Alexandria Venture Investments, a unit of $30 billion real estate investment trust Alexandria Real Estate Equities, also participated. (AFN)

🇨🇳 Pinduoduo reports first-ever profit, commits $1.5 billion to agtech and rural development. The e-commerce company reported its first-ever quarterly profit for Q2 2021, and said that profits from this and future quarters will be allocated to a new ’10 Billion Agriculture Initiative’ which will “address critical needs in the agricultural sector and rural areas.” (AFN)

🇺🇸 Corteva Agriscience and Indigo Ag to collaborate on carbon credits. Corteva’s carbon initiative will use Carbon by Indigo’s “advanced capabilities for measuring and verifying carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas abatement at scale.” (AFN)

🇺🇸 Soil biology specialist Biome Makers bags $15 million Series B funding. The Sacramento, California-based startup has developed a range of soil testing products and AI-driven analysis tools to help farmers better understand their land’s soil microbiome. (AFN)

🇬🇧 Small Robot Company raises $5.5 million in equity crowdfunding campaign. The startup build robots that can do jobs such as mapping fields, killing weeds, and no-till drilling. (The Spoon)

🇪🇸🇦🇷 ZoomAgri raises $3.3 million for ‘vision-as-a-service’ food inspection tech. The startup’s goal is to digitalize antiquated testing, inspection, and certification processes for the ag commodities sector using computer vision, machine learning, and IoT. (AFN)

🇺🇸🏀 Misha’s Kind Foods closes $3 million seed round for plant-based cheeses. Eleven-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul participated in the round. The startup earned a certification from California designating it as a dairy, which allows it to use the word “cheese” in its labeling. (Misha’s Kind Foods)

🇭🇰 Allklear scores HK$10 million ($1.29 million) in pre-Series A funding. Gobi Partners led the round with Chartwell Ventures, Vectr Ventures, Novel Tycoon, and Miss Hong Kong 2020 winner Lisa-Marie Tse also participating. Allklear has created a freeze-dried ‘Future Salad’ containing the nutritional value of five bowls’-worth of salad in a single sachet. (AllKlear)

🇦🇺 Alphabet drone startup Wing delivers 10,000 cups of coffee in one year. The Google-affiliated startup also delivered 1,700 snack packs and 1,200 roast chickens in the Logan area of Brisbane, Australia, over the last year, according to the company. Wing is nearing 100,000 deliveries since it launched in 2019 as part of Alphabet’s experimental research division. (Wing)

🇺🇸🇨🇭Ginkgo Bioworks partners with flavor developer Givaudan. The Swiss company will use Ginkgo’s bioengineering platform to sustainably develop versions of products “that are only available in minute quantities in nature.” (FoodIngredientsFirst)

🇦🇺 Cell-cultured meat company Vow and animal-free fat startup Nourish partner to create a new alt-protein range. The aim of the collaboration is to create products that more accurately replicate the flavor and mouthfeel of animal-derived meat cuts. (Forbes)

🇶🇦🇺🇸 Qatar plans $200 million cell-cultured meat hub in partnership with Eat Just. The Middle Eastern country and US-based Eat Just will build what they say is “the MENA region’s first-ever facility for cultivated meat.” (AFN)

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