The Week in Agrifoodtech: String Bio raises $20m, SVG heads south with $50m agtech fund

Indian biotech company String Bio landed Series B funding this week and announced plans to turn methane into alternative protein. California’s SVG Ventures announced a new fund specifically supporting the ag sectors in Australia and New Zealand, and Canadian indoor farming company Fieldless Farms raised Series A funding. Plus, more foodtech layoffs and stylish hats made from mushroom roots.

Foodtech funding

Meati bags $150 million for mushroom root-based meat analogues. The round was led by growth capital firm Revolution Growth. Cultivate Next, the venture fund of QSR brand Chipotle, also participated. (AFN)

“Optimization platform” Hivery Bags $30 million to help stores with product placement. The Series B round, led by Tiger Global, will go towards developing new software products. (TechCrunch)

Coefficient Capital leads €5.9M ($6M) round for Milano Vice. the latter has also officially launched out of stealth mode with its virtual pizza franchising concept that uses data analytics to clean users’ pizza delivery preferences. Big Mountain Foods secures over $1.4 million in Canadian federal funding. It will increase the production capacity of its alternative proteins and commercialize a new soy-free, chickpea-based tofu.

Shaka Harry lands $2 million seed round for vegan meat. Better Bite Ventures, Blue Horizon, and others participated in the round, which Shaka Harry will use to expand into retail sales. 

Premium food delivery app GoGetters raises £350,000 ($419,000). Company founders describe their startup as the “Waitrose of delivery apps” that delivers from mainly independent restaurants in the UK. 

String Bio nabs $20 million Series B from Woodside Energy Group, Ankur Capital, and others. The Indian biotech startup also signed a strategic development agreement with Woodside Energy to turn methane into alternative protein. 

Agtech funding

 Eclo nabs €4.7 million ($4.8 million) from Noshaq and others to build a high-tech factory for mushroom substrate in 2023. The urban farming company also grows micro-greens, herbs, and various types of “exotic” mushrooms. 

Fieldless Farms lands $17.5 million Series A round to expand operations and introduce new products. Agriculture and food fund Forage Capital Partners led the financing. 

Fine chemicals company DIC Corporation makes undisclosed investment in biotech startup Back of the Yards Algae Sciences. The latter will use DIC’s proprietary technology for the extraction of algae and mycelia from biobased materials.

Blockchain startup Ucrop.it raises $3.1 million pre-series A to help farmers prove sustainable practices. Yugen Partners and existing investor The Yield Lab LATAM led the round. 

M&A, IPOs & partnerships

Stor.ai, a digital commerce platform for grocers, partners with Southern California’s Vallarta Supermarkets. Vallarta will use stor.ai’s platform to advance online shopping, delivery and fulfillment solutions at its stores. 

The Live Green Co. and Malaysia-based pharma company Duopharma Biotech sign agreement. Their collaboration will involve developing plant-based products and functional foods for Duopharma Biotech’s consumer healthcare product range. 

 Crop One & Emirates Flight Catering open ‘world’s largest’ vertical farm in Dubai. The farm will produce more than 2 million pounds of leafy greens annually and also be served to passengers on Emirates flights. 

Israeli startup Better Juice and Germany’s GEA Group launch a “sugar-reduction innovation center.” The companies invite other juice manufacturers to test out the pilot facility’s sugar-reduction technology on their products and ideas. 

 India, Israel, the UAE, and the US will establish “integrated agricultural parks across India” to address the escalating food security crisis. The UAE is investing $2 billion into the project. 

ProducePay & ALLCOT announce a carbon offset program for produce growers. ProducePay hopes to help growers generate residual income and make them more resilient to the impacts of climate change. 

Re-Nuble partners with CruzFoam to create indoor farm nutrients from seafood. The circular economy startups are on a mission to upcycle at least a portion of the 1.3 billion metric tons of food wasted annually. 

Funds, grants & accelerators

SVG Ventures sets up $50 million fund in Australia to back local agtech companies. The firm hopes to give Australian and New Zealand startups better access to new technologies and opportunities through the THRIVE Australia Venture Fund. 

 I would like to congratulate them for the funding and my best wishes to the entire team.

Shishir Gupta CEO & Founder startuplanes

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