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Jay-Z invests in pizza robot startup Stellar: The Week in Agrifoodtech

by Graeme Hammer
Published: Last Updated on

This week brought a win for more sustainable grocery delivery with The Rounds’ Series A fundraise. Meanwhile, investment in restaurant robots increased with Jay-Z’s funding for pizza robot truck Stellar and new capital for Hyper Food Robotics. Gene-editing startup Inari led agtech investment with its mega-round.


Foodtech funding

🇺🇸 The Rounds nabs $38 million for waste-free e-commerce with no annual fee. Andreessen Horowitz led the Series A round for the Amazon Prime alternative. (TechCrunch)

🇫🇷 Gourmey lands $48 million Series A round led by Earlybird Venture Capital. Funding will hep Gourmey move its lab-grown foie gras from R&D stage to commercialization. (Sifted)

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🇺🇸 Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners serves up $16.5 million investment for pizza robot truck startup Stellar. Stellar will launch its first trucks this fall at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. (Restaurant Dive)

🇺🇸 Water startup Liquid Death valued at $700 million after $70 million Series D. Science Ventures led the round with participation from LiveNation. (Bloomberg)

🇺🇸 Altos Ventures leads $50 million Series A for sustainability focused bottled water company PATH. Funding will go towards expanding production of PATH aluminum water bottles. (Delicious Food)

🇵🇱 Foodsi bags €1.24 million ($1.22 million) for its surplus food buying platform. CofounderZone and Satus Starter funds, as well as “experienced private investors” participated in the round. (EU Startups)

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🇮🇸 GreenBytes raises €1 million ($985,000) pre-seed round to tackle food waste in restaurants. Crowberry Capital led the round with participation from Berlin-based APX and angel investors. (Northstack)

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🇺🇸 Allergy friendly food brand Partake Foods raises $11.5 million Series B. The company says it notched 200% year-over-year growth from 2020 to 2021 and 100% year-over-year growth from 2021 to 2022. (Baking Business)

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🇺🇸 Equii raises $6 million seed round from Khosla Ventures. Formerly known as Cella Farms, Equii will use the funding to launch its first product, a bread, made with its high-protein grain flour. (Food Business News)

🇺🇸 Typhur cooks up $20 million for its Sous Vide Station. The setup will debut at CES 2023 and be available for public consumption later that year. (TechCrunch)

🇬🇧 Gaia’s Farming Co. secures £500,000 ($567,000) in seed funding from undisclosed investors. Gaia will use the funding to continue building its hemp milk business. (Vegconomist)

🇮🇱 Velocity Ventures invests in robotic “box” kitchen company Hyper Food Robotics. Hyper will launch it autonomous pizza kitchens in 2023. (Inside Retail Asia)

Agtech funding

🇺🇸 Gene-editing startup Inari closes $124 million Series E round. The round included participation from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) and Inari founder Flagship Pioneering. (AFN)

🇬🇧 JLEN Environmental to invest £26.7 million ($30 million) into glasshouse to grow cannabis for medical purposes. The environmental infrastructure fund will power the new greenhouse with one of its anaerobic digestion plants. (Morningstar)

🇨🇦 Elevate Farm raises $26 million CAD ($19 million). Longtime investor Brightspark Capital participated in the round for the vertical farming company. (Vertical Farm Daily)

🇺🇸 Tractor Zoom secures $5 million in Series A led by Builders VC and Bienville Capital. Tractor Zoom’s digital marketplace streamlines the equipment-procurement process for farmers and vendors. (AFN)

🇮🇳 Agribusiness marketplace Falca raises $3 million from Inflection Point, others. The agritech supply chain platform provides advisory services to farmers  as well as a marketplace to sell their wares. (Tech in Asia)

🇺🇸 Quantum Energy Partners to commit $400 million to infrastructure company Trace Midstream. The newly formed Trace II company will build carbon sequestration assets and midstream infrastructure across North America. (BusinessWire)

🇦🇺 Food waste startup Optomni raises $200,000 AUD ($130,000) seed round led by Skalata Ventures. Optomni’s AI-based wholesale trading platform improves demand prediction and supply matching for growers and wholesalers. (Startup Daily)

Funds, grants & accelerators

🇫🇷 Asset manager Capagro launches €200 million ($197 million) agtech fund. The fund will seek to lead or co-lead roughly 15 startups, with investments between €3 million and €10 million ($2.9 million and $9.8 million). (Agri Investor)

Other news

🇧🇷 🇺🇸 Meat giant JBS shuttering its US-based alt-protein division, Planterra. The move includes closing down a 189,000-square-foot factory in Denver, Colorado, as well as getting rid of more than 100 jobs. (AFN)

🇬🇧 Deliveroo opens a brick-and-mortar grocery store. The “Deliveroo HOP” location will stock groceries from Deliveroo partner Morrisons and also function as a pick-up point for orders made through the app. (Bloomberg)

🇸🇬 Researchers at the National University Singapore are growing cultivated meat via magnetic field. The team says next steps involve working with industry partners to attempt scaling the method up. (AZO Cleantech)

🇦🇺 🇸🇬 Alternative protein company Vow opens “the largest” cultivated meat facility in the southern hemisphere. The company plans to launch a product in Singapore by the end of 2022. (AFN)

🇺🇸 GoPuff launches health and wellness product line, Goodnow. The quick-commerce startup announced a separate deal with Grubhub to make many of its convenience items available via the latter’s marketplace. (Grocery Dive)

🇨🇭 Nestlé outlines plant to transition coffee farmers to regenerative agriculture. The NESCAFÉ brand will provide farmers with training, technical assistance and “high-yielding coffee plantlets” to help them transition. (PR Newswire)

🇺🇸 BlueNalu readies plans for a large-scale facility for making cultivated seafood. The plant is expected to be operational in 2027. (Food Navigator)

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