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Trigo co-founders Michael (left) and Daniel Gabay. Image credit: Tom Bartov

The Week in Agrifoodtech: Trigo’s $100m, Dutch gov’t backs cultivated meat, Bill Gates wants to decarbonize rice

October 27, 2022

This week, foodtech startup Trigo landed funds for its automated checkout system that lets shoppers purchase goods without waiting for a cashier. The Dutch government is allocating new funds to cultivated meat initiatives, and Bill Gates and others have a new venture for decarbonizing rice production in Asia.

Foodtech funding

🇮🇱 Trigo bags $100 million round co-led by Temasek and 83North. Trigo’s technology allows customers to shop without waiting for a cashier to ring up items. (AFN)

🇪🇸 Plant-based meat startup Heura cooks up $20 million in bridge funding. Backers include athletes Ricky Rubio, Sergi Busquets, Sergi Roberto and David Broncano, as well as Unovis Capital. (Green Queen)

🇺🇸 RoboBurger secures $10 million for autonomous “robot chef in a box.” The company raised seed funding via a partnership with private equity firm Promethean Investments. (Restaurant Dive)

🇺🇸 GenoPalate lands $5.6 million for DNA-based nutrition products. This financing is the first part of a $10.6 million equity round, and will go towards to grow product offerings. (WisconsinInno)

🇮🇱 Target Global leads $5.2 million seed round for cultivated meat startup Forsea. The latter says its “non-GMO organoid platform” is simpler and more cost effective than other cultivated meat processes. (AgReads)

🇮🇩 Unilever Ventures leads $6m round for vitamin brand Youvit. Existing investor DSG Consumer Partners also participated the round along with several undisclosed new backers. (Tech in Asia)

🇪🇸 Ouvo closes €180,000 ($180,000) pre-seed round. Funding will go towards finishing product development ahead of a market launch in 2023. (Ouvo)

Agtech funding

🇺🇸 Local Bounti rakes in $23.3 million PIPE investment. The indoor farming company will use the funding to scale up its proprietary technology and increase crop output. (Food Navigator)

🇺🇸 Crop health startup AgroSpheres raises $22 million Series B to accelerate commercialization. Lewis & Clark AgriFood and Ospraie Ag Science led the round. (FinSMES)

🇺🇸 Agroforestry platform Propagate has raises $10 million Series A round. The Nest led the round with participation from AgFunderthe TELUS Pollinator Fund, and others. (AFN) [Disclosure: AFN’s parent company is AgFunder]

🇧🇩 Agroshift raises $1.8 million for its agribusiness marketplace. Shorooq Partners and Anchorless Bangladesh co-led the round, which is Bangladesh’s largest-ever pre-seed round. (Deal Street Asia)

🇪🇸 Ekonoke secures €4.2 million ($4.2 million) for growing hops indoors. Agricultural innovation “powerhouse” of Corporación Hijos de Rivera, Cosecha de Galicia led the round. (FoodBev Media)

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇳🇱 Dutch government to allocate €60 million towards cellular agriculture research and development. An additional €25 million in co-financing is expected. (Cellulaire Agricultuur Nederland)

🇧🇪 Verlinvest launches $100m V3 Ventures fund for food, health and beauty startups. V3 will first target startups in the U.K., Europe, the US and India, focusing on pre-seed to Series A investments. (TechCrunch)

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇮🇩 P2P lender iGrow and aquaculture startup eFishery partner. Indonesia-based eFishery’s fish farmer partners will be able to access loans more easily thanks to the partnership. (Deal Street Asia)

Other news

🇺🇸 Nutrient discovery startup Brightseed unveils first ingredient in its portfolio of bioactives. Brightseed Bio 01 is a dietary fiber ingredient for gut health meant to be included in food and beverage items. (AFN) [Disclosure: AFN’s parent company is AgFunder]

🇪🇹 Ethiopia approves genetically engineered potatoes trials. The potatoes are said to be resistant to blight, which still causes potato harvest losses around the world. (Ethiopian Observer)

🇮🇩 Grab will close cloud kitchen services in Indonesia. The Southeast Asia “super-app” and and ride-hailing giant said it is trying to adopt an “asset-light” business model. (Nikkei Asia)

🇺🇸 Beyond Meat launches plant-based steaks at over 5,000 US stores. The launch comes after stagnant growth over the last year as well as a recent slew of layoffs. (Food Dive)

🇦🇺 Supermarket chain Coles will start drone-dropping grocery orders to customers. The trial is part of an initiative with Alphabet subsidiary Wing. (Startup Daily)

🇺🇸 Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures is forging an agrifoodtech venture to decarbonize rice production in Asia. Wavemaker Impact, Temasek, and subsidiary fund GenZero are also involved. (Tech in Asia)

🇮🇳 More than 900 restaurants leave the Swiggy food delivery platform. Restaurants cite a revenue drag from high commissions and “deep discounts” as the reason for their departure. (VC Circle)

🇺🇸 Former employee accuses genetically engineered (GE) salmon producer AquaBounty of workplace safety violations. AquaBounty says the claims are “not accurate.” (AFN)

🇸🇬 Solar Foods gets regulatory approval in Singapore for “air protein.” A commercial launch of the protein grown with CO2 and electricity is slated for 2024. (Food Navigator)

🇬🇧 UK watchdog may force funds to remove ESG claims that fail to meet new “green” criteria. The move is part of the Financial Conduct Authority’s crackdown on greenwashing. (Financial News)

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