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Agri-Food Technology Weekly

  This week has been arguably the craziest week in decades. Global food insecurity has been exacerbated by the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe that has followed Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the surge in global commodity prices, including energy and food prices. Key developments in the agri-food tech space this week include US-based food delivery robot Starship Technologies raising $42 million in Series B funding to bring its food-delivery robot to new markets; in Singapore, famed street snack offers cell-cultured meat to the public for the first time Food; in Ukraine, John Deere tractors are on the battlefield.

Food technology field

  Softbank Vision Fund 2 leads investment in US food e-commerce startup Weee! $425 million in Series E financing. The company will expand its rare Asian and Latin American food offerings to more locations in the United States.

  US food delivery robot startup Starship Technologies has raised nearly $100 million in a month. The food-delivery robot maker has raised another $42 million in Series B funding less than 30 days after the European Investment Bank raised 50 million euros ($55 million).

  Swedish biotech startup Mycorena has raised €24 million ($26.8 million) for its fungal protein. This is the largest Series A round ever raised by a Nordic startup in the alternative protein space.

  British animal-free cheese startup Better Dairy has secured a $22 million Series A round, giving vegan cheese a boost. The company is using precision fermentation technology to develop completely vegan hard and aged cheeses.

  Israeli startup Tastewise has raised $17 million in Series A funding led by DisruptiveAI Fund. Food and beverage companies can use Tastewise's AI platform to test new ingredients and products, and its technology promises to be the next big trend in the industry.

  Canadian food-saving startup FlashFood has raised $12.3 million in Series A funding to fight food waste with its online marketplace app. The round, led by S2G Ventures, will help FlashFood expand into more North America.

  Singapore-based cell culture seafood startup Unami Meats has secured US$2.4 million in pre-seed funding for continued research and development of cell culture seafood products. Better Bite Ventures and CULT Food Science are lead investors.

  De Novo Dairy, a South African alternative dairy start-up, has also received an investment from CULT Food Science. The company develops recombinant milk proteins through fermentation technology and is expected to bring alternative dairy products to the market.

  Spanish alternative protein maker Libre Foods has raised €2.2 million ($2.5 million). The startup plans to expand its fungal protein line from bacon to whole-muscle beef and chicken alternatives. The round was led by Green Generation Fund, with participation from Good Seed Ventures, ProVig International and Veg Capital.

  UK-based cellular agriculture startup CellulaREvolution has completed a Pre-Series A round of funding of £1.75 million (about $2.38 million). The company is working on "continuous cell culture technology" for the cell culture meat industry. This round of financing was led by “Shuang Capital” of the Lee Kum Kee Family Office; Allusion One also participated.

  German alternative protein startup Keen 4 Greens has raised $2 million for its fermented mycelium product. The company will continue to develop plant-based full-muscle products, in addition to the plant-based chicken nuggets and burgers it already produces.

Agricultural science field

  Dutch greenhouse software developer Source.ag has secured a $10 million investment. Source.ag's software platform combines data processing and artificial intelligence to make greenhouses and indoor farms more efficient and productive.

  AgriAku, an online agricultural marketplace in Indonesia, has raised $6 million to make agricultural products more accessible to farmers. The company's online platform connects sellers of fertilizers, seeds and other agricultural inputs with stores that serve small farmers. Go-Ventures led the round.

  US-based online retailer 99 Counties has raised $3.8 million in pre-seed funding. It will officially launch its online marketplace in Iowa to help farmers sell their renewable-raised meat to consumers.

  Egyptian agtech startup Freshsource said it has closed a seven-figure seed funding round. The company connects farmers with buyers of produce such as hotels and restaurants in 11 Egyptian cities, reshaping local agricultural supply chains. The round was led by 4DX Ventures and Wamda.

M&A and IPO

  Phytolon of Israel and Ginkgo Bioworks of the United States collaborate on food colorants. The two companies will use precision-fermented yeast to develop new "natural" colorants ranging from yellow to purple.

  DoorDash, an American food delivery platform, acquired restaurant ordering platform Bbot for an undisclosed amount.

  Indian cloud kitchen company Kitchens@ merges with Kitchens Centre. The merger makes the former one of the largest "ghost kitchen" companies in India, with 1,000 facilities in 20 cities.


  In Singapore, GOOD Meat, a subsidiary of GOOD, brings cell-cultured chicken to street food stalls. Diners can sample the company's cell-cultured chicken nuggets in Singapore's world-famous street food. This is the company's latest move in the Singapore market.

  Israeli investment agency Tnuva has launched a new venture capital fund. Tnuva NEXT will invest NIS 30 million ($9.28 million) in Israeli food tech startups in 2022, the same amount as last year.

  Canada has approved the world's first Covid-19 vaccine produced using plants as "bioreactors". The vaccine, developed by Canadian biopharmaceutical company Medicago, was found to be 71 per cent effective in clinical trials against Delta and Gamma variants of the new coronavirus.

  Amazon has opened the first Whole Foods Market with cashier-less technology in Washington, D.C. Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology allows customers to completely bypass the traditional checkout process after shopping for groceries.

  Two Ukrainian farmers piloted two John Deere tractors successfully "captured" a short-range surface-to-air missile system of the Russian army. The unit price of the missile launch and radar vehicle system in 2007 was about $25 million.