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Llama Cargo Scooter
Image credit: Llama Cargo

The Week in AgriFoodTech: URB-E pivots to last-mile delivery, GoodBytz bags $12m, a new fund for regen ag

October 26, 2023

This week, URB-E, a company best known for developing e-scooters, took a sharp left turn with both its business and its brand. And while funding rounds are low and slow of late, they nonetheless trickle in despite the tough economic times. Climate-tech startup Overstory, robot kitchen-maker GoodBytz, and FarmInsect all announced new capital.

Satellite imagery from Overstory. Image credit: Overstory

Agtech funding

🇳🇱 Climate-tech startup Overstory lands $14 million Series A. The round was led by B Capital, with participation from The Nature Conservancy. (FinSMEs)

🇩🇪 FarmInsect bags €8 million ($8.4 million) to turn bugs into livestock feed. Sandwater and Bayern Kapital’s growth fund led the Series A round. (

🇫🇷 Paris, France-based CarbonFarm Technology raises €2.5 million ($2.6 million) seed round. Racine2 , Ponderosa, and AgFunder contributed to the round, amongst others. (AgFunderNews)

🇫🇷 Amatera closes €1.5 million ($1.6 million) pre-seed round led by PINC. The French startup develops climate-smart perennial crops including a new coffee variety with the resilience and yields of Robusta and the taste of Arabica. (AgFunderNews)

🇫🇮 Montinutra raises €2 million to convert forest industry side streams into biochemicals. The pre-Series A round included Metsä Spring and private investors. (EU Startups)

Parts of GoodBytes’ robotic kitchen system. Image credit: GoodBytes

Foodtech funding

🇩🇪 Robotic kitchen developer GoodBytz snags €12 million ($12.6 million) Series A. Oyster Bay led the round, which GoodBytz will use to produce “over 100” Robotic Kitchen Assistants and expand internationally. (EU Startups)

🇺🇸 Bev tech startup Sidework (formerly Backbar) closes undisclosed new round led by Cherubic Ventures. Sidework has raised “over $10 million” to date. (PRWeb)

Plantible extracts RuBisCO, a protein found in all leafy greens, from lemna (a.k.a. duckweed).
Plantible extracts RuBisCO, a protein found in all leafy greens, from lemna (a.k.a. duckweed). Image credit: Plantible

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

🇺🇸 Alveo & Corteva collaborate on molecular crop disease diagnostics. The two will expand availability of Alevo’s molecular sensing and disease diagnostics tech for crops. (Nasdaq)

🇺🇸 Sustainable packaging startup Mi Terro teams up with tea giant Lipton. The two will develop dissolvable tea pods as replacements for petrochemical-derived films. (AgFunderNews)

🇺🇸 Agtech company Ever.Ag acquires AI data science firm Austin Data Labs. The latter will provide “a strong data foundation” for Ever.Ag’s suite of agriculture technologies. (FoodBev Media)

🇺🇸 Plantible Foods teams with ICL Food Specialties to create a clean-label alternative to methylcellulose. The product will be available in the US in 2024 as part of a multi-year agreement between Plantible and ICL. (AgFunderNews)

Plastic-alternative packaging from Notpla. Image credit: Notpla

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇦🇺 Real assets manager SLM & ag asset manager Impact Ag launch regen ag and carbon fund. The SLM Agri Carbon Fund will established carbon projects on its farms in Australia. (Agri Investor)

🇮🇳 Wadhwani AI gets $3.3 million grant. Nonprofit Wadhwani AI uses its namesake technology to detect pests in agricultural settings. (Tech in Asia)

🇬🇧 Notpla scores £1 million ($1.2 million) grant from Innovate UK. The grant will fund Notpla’s seaweed-based alternative to plastic packaging. (LinkedIn)

🇳🇿 Better Bite Ventures invests in Singapore’s Fattastic, Australia’s Pivot Eat, and South Korea’s Everything But. Investments are part of the firm’s early-stage First Bite initiative. (Green Queen)

Image credit: Llama Cargo

Other news

🇺🇸 E-scooter maker URB-E rebrands as Llama to focus on urban logistics. The company will scale its network of micro-containers to improve last-mile logistics in cities. (PR Newswire)

🇧🇪 Astanor Ventures achieves B Corp certification. The VC fund focuses on impact investment across the agrifood sector. (iGrow News)

🇺🇸 AgBiome hints at layoffs. The ag biotech company could let go of all 123 employees, citing difficulties raising capital in the tough fundraising environment. (Business North Carolina)

🇩🇪 HelloFresh announces 150 million euro ($158 million) buyback of shares. The food delivery company reported lower earnings and a decline in customers on its third-quarter earnings call. (Reuters)

🇺🇸 Ayana Bio launches new bioactives made via plant cell culture. First ingredients include dog rose, hedge nettle and sage. (PR Newswire)

🇺🇸 Snackable marshmallow brand Smashmallow awarded $21 million after a lengthy legal battle. The brand prevailed with an equipment manufacturer that “failed to deliver on its promises.” (AgFunderNews)

🇮🇱 Food manufacturer Tnuva sets up NIS 15 million ($3.7 million) fund for dairies near Gaza. The fund aims to rebuild farm structures and equipment damaged in the ongoing conflict. (The Times of Israel)

🇺🇸 E-commerce company Shipt lays off 3.5% of staff. The Target-owned company cited lower consumer demand for online shopping. (Grocery Dive)

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