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Agri-Food Technology Weekly
2022-04-02

  This week, Israeli bee technology company Beewise raised $80 million to save the world’s bee populations with robotic beehives, while US. autonomous greenhouse technology provider Koidra closed a seed round. On the alternative protein side, startup Arzeda has raised funding for its "protein design" platform and fermentation technology.

Agricultural technology financing

  Israel's Beewise has raised $80 million in a funding round led by Insights Partners. The startup develops solar-powered and artificial intelligence-based robotic beehive solutions aimed at saving bee populations.

  Indian startup FarMart has raised $32 million in a Series B round led by General Catalyst. The company allows corporate clients to source fresh produce directly from farmers. Existing shareholders Matrix Partners and Omidyar Network continued to follow suit.

  Saudi Arabian startup Haseel has closed a $6.6 million Series A funding round. The platform, which connects farmers with corporate customers, promises to deliver farm-fresh produce to 16 cities in Saudi Arabia within two hours. The round was led by Vision Ventures.

  American firm Leaf Agriculture has raised $5 million in a seed round led by S2G Ventures. Leaf Agriculture's API-integrated software platform aggregates agricultural data from multiple sources, including John Deere, AGCO, and Trimble, among others.

  Koidra, a US. autonomous greenhouse technology provider, has raised $4.5 million in seed funding. The round was led by Ospraie Ag Science, with participation from Amritam Holdings, Cavallo Ventures and Foothill Ventures.

  Plant Cartridge in Malaysia has raised $3 million in seed funding. Backed by investors such as 500 Global, the startup focuses on providing hardware and software solutions for facility agriculture.

Food tech financing

  US-based MycoTechnology has raised $85 million in Series E funding led by Oman’s sovereign wealth fund. The startup will use the new funding to further leverage its fermentation technology platform and expand its presence in Asian, European and Middle Eastern markets.

  US. startup Yami has raised $50 million in Series B funding to promote its Asian grocery e-commerce platform. Yami provides American consumers with Asian food, skin care and household products, among others. Altos Ventures and Balsam Bay Partners co-led the round.

  Arzeda, a US. startup dedicated to “engineering proteins”, has raised $33 million in Series B funding, led by Conti Ventures. The company will use the new funding to expand its portfolio of computer-engineered enzymes. These enzymes can be used in food, personal and home care products.

M&A and IPO

  French insect farming giant Ÿnsect has acquired Jord Producers in the US for an undisclosed sum. Ÿnsect will use Jord Producers' Tenebrio plant in Nebraska to supply chicken feed to the United States.

  Israel's Wanda Fish Technologies and Tufts University in the US form a partnership for cell culture seafood research. The two-year research agreement gives the Israeli company the intellectual property rights in cell-cultured seafood.

  URB-E, a US startup focused on low-carbon delivery services, has partnered with Square Roots. URB-E will manage and be responsible for the delivery of vegetables grown on the Square Roots vertical farm to retail locations within New York City.

Other industry news

  American facility farming company Gotham Greens has announced a major expansion in the United States. Gotham Greens will double the size of its high-tech greenhouses from 600,000 square feet to more than 1.2 million square feet by the end of 2022.

  French foodservice giant Sodexo will double its investment in restaurant technology on university campuses. Sodexo will add virtual food brands, ramen vending machines and checkout-free grocery stores on several campuses in the United States.

  American biotech company Pairwise brings gene-edited leafy greens to market. The company used CRISPR editing technology to modify the genes of mustard greens to reduce the plant's pungent taste.

  Indonesian plant-based meat company Green Rebel has launched plant-based meat products in Singapore. The company's plant-based beef, chicken and pork are now available in many popular restaurants in Singapore.