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Agri-Food Technology Weekly

  Notable industry funding this week was the $34 million round by cell-culture seafood startup Finless Foods. Meanwhile, big-name food brands are ceasing operations in Russia, pulling out of the market in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Worldwide condemnation of the Russian government and military has grown, as have economic sanctions.

Food technology field

  Once Upon a Farm in the US closed a $52 million Series D round. The new funding will be used to expand the company's cold-pressed food products for children and launch in new regional markets.

  US cell culture seafood startup Finless Foods closed a $34 million Series B funding round and used the new funds to build a production plant. Finless Foods is currently developing cell-cultured bluefin tuna and will also launch a plant-based tuna product in the US market. Hanwha Group, a large South Korean business group, led the round, with other investors including Dainichi, At One Ventures, Olive Tree Capital, Sustainable Ocean Alliance and SOSV waiting.

  Chip giant Nvidia invests $10 million in Serve Robotics. Serve Robotics, which was spun out of Uber's Uber Eats unit, will use the funding to expand its robotic food delivery service beyond San Francisco and Los Angeles.

  Arkeon Biotechnologies of Vienna, Austria has raised $7 million in seed funding. The company uses fermentation technology and microbial archaea to develop functional protein ingredients for food.

  US-based vegan startup Lypid has raised $4 million in seed funding. The startup plans to commercialize its plant-based fat platform to develop plant-based fat ingredients for products like plant-based meat.

  S2G Ventures backed Big Bold Health with $4 million in funding. The startup's goal is to develop healthy solutions based on traditional buckwheat tartare.

Agricultural science and technology filed

  Clean Crop Technologies, a US agri-tech startup, has raised $6 million in Series A funding to reduce losses and increase yields with its “high-pressure catalytic technology” that treats mold and toxins in crops after harvest.

  Singapore-based insect farming startup Protenga has raised $2 million. The company will launch more "smart insect farms" in neighboring Malaysia, converting organic by-products into high-value protein and fertilizer.

  American synthetic biology company Mi Terro has raised $1.5 million in seed funding. The company works to convert agricultural waste into protein raw materials that can be used in animal feed, plastic replacements, and more.

M&A and IPO

  Zoox, the robo-taxi company owned by Amazon, has acquired Boston-based Strio.AI. Strio.AI developed an automated strawberry crop picking and pruning system, but now the company is exiting the agtech space.

  Indian food delivery service Swiggy is gearing up for an IPO. Swiggy is said to be planning to raise up to $1 billion in the IPO.

  Israeli cell-cultured meat company SuperMeat will partner with Japan's Ajinomoto. The companies plan to build a commercially viable supply chain platform for the cell-cultured meat industry.

Other news

  Indian fresh food e-commerce company Ninjacart has set aside $25 million to support agritech startups. The Agricultural Seed Fund will invest in agritech startups developing unique and sustainable technology solutions.

  Google donates $1 million to ReFED to prevent food waste. Google has become the lead funder of the nonprofit ReFED's new Catalytic Fund.

  The US Food and Drug Administration has approved CRISPR gene-edited cattle for meat production. It is reported that gene-edited shorthair beef may be available in the market within two years.

  American agricultural biotechnology company BrightSeed recently made a new discovery, using an artificial intelligence-driven substance discovery platform to discover phytochemicals that can be used to treat fatty liver in discarded industrial hemp seed husks.

  Tyson Foods will invest in more sustainable technologies. Its venture capital arm is gathering ideas and finding solutions to help companies meet sustainability goals around emissions reductions, food waste and more.

  Amid global economic sanctions and condemnation, Coca-Cola joins the latest wave of high-profile food brands to suspend operations in Russia. Several brands including Kellogg's, Kraft Heinz, McDonald's, Starbucks, Pepsi and Yum! Brands have taken similar steps in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.