Zepto founders Aadit Palicha and Kaivalya Vohra. Image credit: Zepto

The Week in Agrifoodtech: Zepto bags $200m, Stanford launches climate change school

May 5, 2022

This week, Indian “instant delivery” e-grocer Zepto got closer to unicorn status with its Series D fundraise, while Colombia’s RobinFood raised funds to expand its ghost kitchen network across Latin America. Elsewhere, cultivated leather startup VitroLabs closed its Series A and Stanford University announced a new school focused on climate change solutions.


Foodtech startup funding

🇮🇳 “Instant” grocery service Zepto bags $200 million Series D funding. Existing investor Y Combinator Continuity led the round, which brings Zepto’s valuation to $900 million. (Reuters

🇺🇸 Clerk scores $30 million in Series B round. The Austin, Texas-based startup develops a range of technologies to digitalize brick-and-mortar grocery stores. Sageview Capital led the fundraise. (TechCrunch)

🇺🇸 Voyage Foods announces $36 million Series A co-led by UBS O’Connor and Level One Fund. Voyage Foods will scale its food tech business that recreates popular foods like chocolate and peanut butter with alternative ingredients. (Food Dive)

🇮🇩 E-grocer Pasarnow raises $9.5 million in Series A funding. East Ventures‘ Growth Fund has contributed the lion’s share to the investment round so far. (DealStreetAsia)

🇵🇭 Kraver’s Kitchen scoops up $3 million Series A funds to expand its cloud kitchen operations. The round was led by Quest Ventures with participation from Foxmont Capital, Oak Drive Ventures, and Kaya Founders. (Tech in Asia)

🇦🇹 Alt-dairy startup Fermify closes pre-seed round. The Vienna-based company is building a tech platform to “cultivate” casein, one of the key proteins in cow’s milk, outside the animal. Übermorgen Ventures and BackBone Ventures co-led the round, with Kale United among the other participating investors. (Vegconomist)

🇸🇪 Melt&Marble bags €5 million ($5.3 million) for plant-based beef fat made via precision fermentation. Alt-protein investor Lever VC led the round with participation from Be8 Ventures, Good Startup, and others. (The Spoon)

Agtech startup funding

🇧🇷 Lightsmith Group leads $60 million round for digital farm management startup Solinftec. The Brazilian startup will use the funds to expand availability of its digital ag platform in North and South America [disclosure: AFN‘s parent company, AgFunder, is an investor in Solinftec.] (AFN)

🇺🇸 VitroLabs closes $46 million Series A round for cultivated animal leather. Agronomics led the round with participation from BESTSELLER’s Invest FWD, Kering, Khosla Ventures, Leonardo DiCaprio, New Agrarian, and Regeneration.VC. (VitroLabs)

🇨🇦 Verge Ag raises $7.5 million Series A to expand its operations-planning software for farm equipment. Yamaha Motor Ventures led the round with participation from Fall Line Capital, SP Ventures, and GrainInnovate. (Betakit)

🇨🇭 Infrascreen nets $1.5 million for its efficiency-boosting greenhouse nanomaterial. Investbridge Capital and ACE & Company co-led the seed round, which will enable Infrascreen to “deploy units” to customers in the greenhouse space. (AFN)

Other news

🇨🇭🇨🇳 Agrochemicals company Syngenta gets $4.5 billion sustainability-linked loan. The facility includes a feature where there would be “a reduction in interest margin if certain sustainability performance targets are achieved in a particular year.” (Bloomberg)

🇺🇸 “The majority” of US farmers applying for conservation programs are rejected, a new report has suggested. The report from the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy found that limited budgets are being “misdirected” to larger, more pollutive farming operations. (Successful Farming

🇬🇧🇺🇸 Ingredients company Tate & Lyle to acquire chickpea protein company Nutriati. The deal comes six months after Tate & Lyle’s move to distribute Nutriati’s functional proteins and flours for alt-meat and plant-based food production. (Food Navigator

🇮🇱 BioMeat and The Volcani Center launch the E-FISHient Protein project. The joint venture aims to develop, produce, and market cultivated tilapia meat using non-animal serums to combat overfishing around the world. (Green Queen

🇴🇲🇺🇸 Alt-protein startup MycoTechnology and the Oman Investment Authority form a joint venture. A forthcoming production facility will leverage locally grown dates in Oman to produce and commercialize mushroom-based protein. (MycoTechnology)

🇮🇩 ‘Farm-to-table’ platform TaniHub has exited the direct-to-consumer market. Instead, the startup will focus on supplying fresh produce from farmers to enterprise customers. (Katadata)

🇺🇸 Renowned VC John Doerr donates $1.1 billion to fund the new Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. Stanford University’s first new school in 70 years aims to accelerate the development of solutions for climate change. (The New York Times)

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