Waterdrop Series B, Kalera SPAC: Agrifoodtech week

Last week, food tech companies Waterdrop and Lunchbox closed eight-figure Series B rounds; while in agtech, vertical farming Kalera announced plans to go public via a SPAC deal.

Elsewhere, a new report from the non-profit Good Food Institute found that the plant-based protein sector may need billions more in investment to meet future demand.

Disclosure: parent company of AFN, AgFunderis an investor in Retailo, which is mentioned below.

Financing of foodtech start-ups

🇦🇹 Water drop raises $70 million Series B. The Austrian company, which manufactures cubes of moisturizing “microdrinks” that dissolve in water, will further develop in the United States and Asia. (food dip)

🇺🇸 Restaurant ordering platform Lunch box raises $50 million. Coated led the Series B round, which Lunchbox will use to accelerate product research and development as well as expand hiring. (Lunch box)

🇰🇪 B2C e-commerce company Global Copy closes a $50 million Series C funding round. Copia will use the funding to expand from Kenya to other African countries. (APN)

🇺🇸 Zero acre farms raises $37 million to replace vegetable oil. The company manufactures “healthy oils and fats” through fermentation and will use the Series A funds to expand this business. (Zero acre farms)

🇮🇳 Retail business raises $36 million from AgFunder, more for its Series A round. The online B2B marketplace that connects merchants to food producers and other suppliers will use the funds for geographic expansion and to launch new products and verticals. (APN)

🇳🇱 Dutch supermarket only online Crisp raises $35 million. The Series B capital will be used for new hires and gives the company a valuation of “just under $500 million”. He recently partnered with a vertical farmer Closed. (Tech Crunch)

🇮🇩 Astro closes a $27 million Series A round. The “quick trade” app – which aims to deliver 1,500 SKUs anywhere in Jakarta in 15 minutes – has secured funding from top investors Accel and Sequoia Capital, among others. (BusinessStreetAsia)

🇵🇹 Kencko pockets $10 million to shake up fruit and vegetable consumption. The Portuguese plant-based nutrition platform sells powders and freeze-dried drink capsules that contain multiple servings, helping consumers get their “five a day”. Siddhi Capital led the round. (Tech Crunch)

🇺🇸 Sustainable pet food company Wilderness obtains a $10 million credit facility. Funding came from a Canadian company Espresso capital. Wild Earth – which makes plant-based alternatives to traditional dog food – will use the funding to drive customer acquisition. (PE Center)

🇯🇵 Plant-based “healthy junk food” brand 2Foods raises $4.4 million. Kagome Corporation, Japan’s largest producer of processed tomato products, led Series A. (green queen)

🇸🇬 Gurgling gobbled up $1.3 million in a seed round led by Beenext and Flash Ventures. Singapore’s ‘group buy’ food delivery app lets users see and select what their friends have ordered. (Technology in Asia)

🇸🇬 Plant-based ice cream company raises $1.1 million. Kind Kones said the round led by DSG Consumer Partners values ​​it at $7.4 million. (Technology in Asia)

Agtech seed funding

🇮🇳 Agri-food platform Our food closes a $6 million round. The company deploys mini food processing units to farmers to help rural entrepreneurs process raw materials on the farm. (Activity area)

🇮🇳 MoooClose Raises $2.4M in Seed Funding. The company, which offers technological solutions to small dairy producers, will use the funds to expand geographically. (Economic period)

🇳🇿 Cropsy is raising NZ$1.5 million ($995,000) from angels for an AI-powered ‘crop vision’ system. Its tractor-mounted technology helps growers make decisions, identify pests and diseases, and optimize spraying. (cool place)

🇳🇿 Livestock tech startup Protag pockets NZ$1 million ($662,000) in seed capital. Te Aroha-based company makes smart ears Keywords which provide dairy farmers with data on the health and location of herds. Accelerator Sprout led the heat. (Protag)

🇸🇪 IRROT closes $590,000 seed round led by LRF Companies. The Swedish agtech company will use the new funds to increase sales of its automated irrigation technology. (IRROT)

M&A, IPOs and partnerships

🇺🇸 Vertical agricultural operator Kalera agrees to merge with SPAC Agrico Acquisition Corp. The deal will value the combined entity at $375 million. (APN)

🇺🇸🇧🇷🇨🇦 Joint venture ADM and Marfrig PlantPlus Foods acquires Sol Cuisine for $100 million. Buying the Canadian vegan food maker will give PlantPlus “a strong footing” across the Americas, CEO John Pinto said. (Forbes)

🇸🇬🇲🇾 Grab finalizes the acquisition of Jaya Grocer. The Singapore-based mobility and food delivery app has acquired a 75% stake in the supermarket chain, aiming to expand on-demand grocery delivery coverage across Malaysia. (To grab)

Funds, grants and accelerators

🇺🇸 Lightsmith Group closes $186 million fund for “climate resilience and adaptation”. Funders include the Rockefeller Foundation, the European Investment Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The New York-based company recently supported the Indian market for WayCool agricultural products. (BusinessStreetAsia)

🇺🇸 Iowa will ramp up cover cropping. the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will reimburse Polk County up to $350,000 for planting cover crops in the Des Moines and Raccoon River watersheds, with the goal of seeding 40,000 acres in four years. (successful farming)

🇨🇭 Nestle to triple its funding for cocoa sustainability to $1.4 billion. Some of the money will provide financial incentives to cocoa farming families in Africa, focused on implementing sustainable practices and preventing child labor. (Food Industry News)

Other news

🇸🇪🇬🇧 Oatly ads banned by UK watchdog over ‘misleading’ green claims. The Advertising Standards Agency found that the milk alternative company’s adverts “exaggerated” the meat and dairy industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. (The Guardian)

🇺🇸 Plant-based protein infrastructure requires an investment of $27 billion to meet 2030 demand. The world needs to build 800 extrusion plants each producing 30,000 metric tons of extruded protein products per year, according to the estimates of the Good Food Institute. (food dip)

🇹🇭 Thailand decriminalizes cannabis in a “major step” towards commercialization. The lifting of criminal sanctions paves the way for a regional cannabis industry in a part of the world known for having some of the strictest drug laws. (APN)

🇺🇸 square roots opens its largest vertical farm. The Brooklyn-based container farming company and North American food retailer Gordon Food Service opened a modular container farm in Kenosha, Wisconsin that can generate 2.4 million packages of greens and herbs per year. (food browser)

🇺🇸 Pepsico Europe will eliminate virgin plastic from crisp bags by 2030. Initiatives to switch to recyclable or renewable plastic will cover Pepsico snack brands such as Walkers, Doritos and Lays, among others. (Food ingredients first)

🇺🇸 Synthetic biology company Tierra Biosciences launches the “proteins on demand” e-commerce portal. The platform hopes to make protein sourcing faster and more efficient for scientists and researchers. (APN)

🇸🇦🇺🇸 greenhouse operator Red Sea Farms to expand into the United States. The Saudi Arabia-based company says its indoor farming technology, developed for deserts, could be commercially valuable in water-scarce regions of the United States. (Daily Horti)

🇺🇸 United States Department of Agriculture launches market news mobile app for farmers. The free app gives farmers and others in the agricultural supply chain access to nearly 800 livestock, poultry and grain market reports, with additional products expected in the future. (successful farming)

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