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T-shirt pouches made with Paptic sustainable materials. Image credit: Paptic

The Week in AgriFoodTech: Toray’s $8bn foray into biomass tech, Paptic lands $25m, Israeli agrifoodtech heats up The Kitchen

September 7, 2023

This week, materials manufacturer Toray announced a mega-investment in cellulosic sugar and Finland’s Paptic secured funds to expand its sustainable materials portfolio. Meanwhile, Israeli agrifoodtech startups were all over the news this week with funding announcements, M&A and Kosher certification for cultivated meat.

Cellulosic Biomass Technology’s (CBT) cellulosic sugar production technology and facility. Image credit: Toray Industries

Foodtech funding

🇯🇵 🇹🇭 Toray Industries Inc. invests ¥1.2 billion ($8.1 billion) in Thailand’s Cellulosic Biomass Technology. The investment raises Toray’s stake in the cellulosic sugar company to 84.4%. (Composites World)

🇳🇱 Phycom scoops up €9 million ($9.6 million) from Corbion, Phase2.earth & others. Phycom will use the funds to grow its microalgae at industrial scale. (Vegconomist)

🇺🇸 Plant-based egg company Eat Just raises new round led by The Ahimsa Foundation/VegInvest. Eat Just says it’s “closer to operational profitability” but “still has a lot of work to do.” (AFN)

T-shirt pouches made with Paptic sustainable materials. Image credit: Paptic

Agtech funding

🇫🇮 Paptic secures €23 million ($24.6 million) Series A to expand its sustainable materials portfolio. The European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF), Ecolab and Itochu Fibre led the round. (EU Startups)

🇮🇱 S2G Ventures leads $8.25 million round for ViaAqua Theraputics. The latter will use the funds to bring its first aquaculture health management products to market. (FinSMEs)

🇫🇷 Unigrains and Bpifrance invest in ag equipment leader OTICO. The minority investment will fuel OTICO’s further development and international expansion. (Unigrains)

A Freight Farms container farm. Image credit: Freight Farms

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇺🇸 Indoor farming tech startup Freight Farms to go public via merger with blank-check company Agrinam Acquisition Corporation. The merger values Freight Farms at nearly $150 million. (Boston Globe)

🇺🇸 🇳🇱 Equilibrium & Bosch Growers submit winning bids for AppHarvest‘s Kentucky greenhouse facilities. The auctions are part of AppHarvest’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection process. (AgFunderNews)

🇫🇷 🇮🇱 Fermentation giant Lesaffre acquires 10% stake in Yeap, an Israeli startup developing proteins from upcycled yeast. The deal will help Yeap bring more products to market. [Disclosure: AgFunderNews’ parent company, AgFunder, is an investor in Yeap.] (AgFunderNews)

🇮🇱 Minerals company ICL Group’s investment platform ICL Planet Startup Hub invests in AI agritech startup Agrematch. The two are partnering to develop novel crop nutrition solutions. (AgriBusiness Global)

The Kitchen Hub team at The Kitchen Labs. Image credit: Tal Shahar
The Kitchen Hub team at The Kitchen Labs. Image credit: Tal Shahar

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇮🇱 Foodtech incubator The Kitchen Hub announces a new $70 million fund. It is also launching The Kitchen Labs, an innovation center for startups with the support of the Israeli Innovation Authority (IIA). (AgFunderNews)

🇩🇪 Berlin-based VC World Fund raises over €50 million ($54 million) for climate tech funding. New investors including KfW Capital and Lithuanian renewables-focused energy firm Ignitis Group joined. (Tech.eu)

🇰🇪 The One Acre Fund helping smallholders in Africa wins the 2023 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. The fund will receive $2.5 million in funding from the Hilton Foundation. (Businesswire)

🇪🇺 The European Innovation Council (EIC) backs project for whey protein made from CO2 and electricity. Research comes from ‘air protein’ startup Solar Foods, the University of Groningen and others. (Food Navigator)

Dumplings containing cultivated pork from Fork & Good
Fork & Good has raised $22 million to date from investors including True Ventures, Leaps by Bayer, Collaborative Fund, Firstminute, Green Monday, and Starlight. Image credit: Fork & Good

Other news

🇺🇸 Bioreactor specialist ABEC files lawsuit against Eat Just’s GOOD Meat cultivated meat division. The suit alleges that GOOD Meat has failed to fulfill financial obligations including paying $30 million in invoices. (AgFunderNews)

🇺🇸 University of California Davis genetically engineers walnut tree to fight crown gall disease. A review by the USDA says the tree “may be safely grown and bred in the United States.” (USDA)

🇺🇸 Tofurky challenges Texas law imposing “unclear and vague standards” for plant-based meat companies. The Animal Legal Defense Fund and The Good Food Institute filed the suit on behalf of Tofurky. (Animal Legal Defense Fund)

🇮🇱 SuperMeat‘s cultivated chicken cell lines meet Kosher meat Mehadrin standards. Kosher certification agency OU Kosher will work with the company to develop guidelines. (Digital Journal)

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