Umiami bags $30m, forest tech funding grows: the week in agrifoodtech – AgFunderNews

France’s Umiami took a step closer to commercializing its whole-cut vegan chicken breast this week with the close of an Astanor Ventures-led Series A round.

Elsewhere, two startups raised funds for their reforestation-focused tech, while the Gates Foundation and Qatar’s development fund pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to help women farmers adopt climate-resilient practices in Africa.


Agtech startup funding

🇬🇧 Better Origin banks $16 million in Balderton Capital-led Series A for its AI insect mini-farms. The Cambridge-based startup uses black soldier fly larvae to upcycle food waste from supermarkets into into feed for egg-laying hens. It’ll use the funds to expand into Europe and hire talent. (AFN)

🇺🇸 Treeswift gets $4.8 million in Pathbreaker Ventures-led seed round. The Philadelphia-based startup develops drones that can perform a number of tasks including deforestation monitoring, carbon capture readings, and forest fire prevention. (TechCrunch)

🇦🇺 Lord of the Trees raises $1.25 million pre-seed funding. Draper Associates led the round for the Australian startup that uses precision drone technology to plant tree seeds and contribute to global reforestation. (Business News Australia) 

🇮🇳 Farms2Fork Technologies’ CultYvate platform nets ₹45 million ($592,000) in pre-Series A funds. Proceeds will go towards further developing the company’s platform, which provides smart irrigation, sensing, and other precision AI tools to farmers. (Economic Times)

Foodtech startup funding

🇲🇽 Online grocer Jüsto announces $152 million Series B. General Atlantic led the round that will enable Jüsto to expand its e-grocery business within Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and new markets in Latin America. (Yahoo)

🇺🇸 Season Health bags $34 million in Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz. The on-demand delivery service provides diabetes and chronic kidney disease patients with meals tailored to their conditions. (Fast Company

🇫🇷 Alt-protein startup Umiami closes $30 million Series A round. It’ll use the funds to scale its industrial production processes and get its plant-based chicken breast analog to market. Astanor Ventures was the lead investor, with French government-linked BpiFrance French Tech Seed Fund also participating. (Green Queen

🇺🇸 Horizon Technology Finance extends $15 million venture loan to MyForest Foods. The latter is developing meat alternatives using mycelium and is gearing up to launch its first product, MyBacon. (Horizon Technology Finance)

🇰🇪 Nairobi-based Tushop secures $3 million pre-seed round led by 4DX Ventures. The social commerce startup offers group-buying of groceries with free delivery, and will use the new funding to build its team and expand across Kenya. (TechCrunch

 🇺🇸 AgFunder leads $3 million seed round for Umaro Foods. The Berkeley, California-based startup turns red seaweed into meat analogs, including its plant-based bacon which was featured on a recent episode of Shark Tank. (AFN) [Disclosure: AgFunder is AFN’s parent company.]

🇵🇹 Restaurant tech startup Pleez raises 1.5 million ($1.64 million) seed round led by FoodLabs. The platform uses AI to analyze the performance of menu items, and will use the funding to further develop its tech stack and expand around Europe. (Tech.eu

Other news

🌍 The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Qatar Fund for Development pledge $200 million to help African smallholders adapt to climate change. Named Nanmo, the two organizations’ strategic partnership “will invest in climate-adaptive agricultural tools and technologies to build resilient food systems and markets across the African continent,” with a particular focus on women producers. (Gulf News

🌐 Alt-protein won’t save the planet, new report says. The report from the Brussels-based International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems says that issues remain around energy-intensive processes, source ingredients, and additives in the production of meat and dairy analogs. (AFN)

🇺🇸 The Better Meat Co debuts mycelium-based foie gras. Meant as a vegan alternative to controversial animal product, the foie gras will be made from the Sacramento-based company’s Rhiza protein and debut in restaurants this quarter. (Food Dive

🇺🇸 Square Roots opens new farm with Gordon Food Service. The New York-based company’s fourth container farm, built in partnership with distributor Gordon, will serve customers across Ohio state. (Square Roots

🇺🇸 Eat Just gets regulatory approval in the EU for its mung bean protein. The approval enables the startup to start selling its mung bean-based egg alternatives in EU countries later this year. (Food Navigator

🇺🇸 GoPuff is slashing 3% of its workforce. The ‘instant delivery’ service for food, snacks, and alcoholic beverages will lay off around 15,000 employees in an effort to improve the company’s finances. (Bloomberg

🇺🇸 War in Ukraine expected to drive up US farm costs even further. A Purdue University poll of US farmers and ranchers found that disruption of grain, oil, and fertilizer shipping from the war is driving up production costs, with 63% citing input costs as the main concern. (Successful Farming

🇩🇰🇸🇪🇨🇭🇺🇸 MISTA innovation platform members develop a new plant-based yogurt base. AAK, Chr Hansen, Givaudan, and Ingredion collaborated on the base using plant-based proteins, cultures, specialized protein binders, and flavor enhancers. (Food Navigator

🇯🇵 IntegriCulture debuts animal-free serum tech to reduce costs for cultivated meat. The Japanese startup is readying the food-grade medium, called I-MEM, for commercial sale. (AFN) [Disclosure: AgFunder is an investor in IntegriCulture.]

🇮🇳 India orders probe into Zomato and Swiggy for potential misconduct. The Competition Commission of India will investigate the rival delivery services over allegations of delayed payments, hiding data from restaurant partners, and exorbitant fees. (Inc42

🇳🇿 Bluelab acquires Autogrow. Both companies produce equipment and automation technologies for greenhouses and hydroponic setups. (Horti Daily

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