💰 $645M AgriFood Funds

PLUS: 650+ women in Food and Climate to know, 140 y/o food favourite goes plant-based, 17 funding announcements

This International Women's Day, we put together a list of 650+ remarkable women in Food and Climate.

You’ll find 100s of inspiring founders, investors, operators and community members who are leading by example and moving the needle on inclusion and Climate action, with many of them joining us at the HackSummit this June.

And of course, it shouldn't just be today that we celebrate women in our industry, so here’s 12 ways to accelerate inclusion throughout the year.

This week in FoodTech:

🔦 Media 101: How to get the word out
🍄 Myceli-yum: Vegan, 0-waste meats
🍷 Wine Time: Recyclable paper bottles

The Digest

📈 What’s up? UK supermarket Tesco is seeing an uplift in demand for plant-based foods, and says that the industry is now in its “second phase”.

📉 What’s down? Eat Just has paused its cultivated meat operations in Singapore, though says that it is a temporary phase.

🍅 The European Council and representatives from the European Parliament have reached a provisional political agreement to ban single-use plastic packaging for indoor dining as well as single-use plastic sachets for condiments such as ketchup, plus an obligation for takeaway businesses to offer customers the possibility of bringing their own containers at no additional charge.

❌ The Florida Senate has approved a bill banning the sale of cultivated meat, making it the first US state to do so.

👎 The FDA has granted a qualified health claim for yoghurt, as it recognises a potential link between regular consumption and the reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes based on data from over 300,000 people.

🥗 The German nutrition society Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung updated its dietary guidelines to include sustainability as well as health, and recommends eating at least 75% plant-based foods.

🔦 Good Read: Daniel Skavén Ruben has built a comprehensive guide on how to pitch stories to AgriFoodTech media. Check it out here.

🐮 Opinion: Are animals technology?

Funds x Funding

Credit: AI Palette

💰 Cibus Capital secured $645 million across two funds to support mid-market and late-stage agrifood companies contributing to more efficient, less resource-intensive food production. Its portfolio to date includes pollination tech startup BeeHero and clean-label ramen company Borealis Foods.

🏭 German startup ProteinDistillery secured €15 million seed funding. It uses biomass fermentation to create new protein ingredients, and will use the funds to support the launch of Europe's first protein-competence centre in the South of Germany. 

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 University of Edinburgh spinout Wobble Genomics, currently operating in stealth, secured €9.9 million to commercialise its novel approach to RNA sequencing, which could be used in everything from drug development and research to agriculture and ecology.

🇸🇬 Singapore-based Ai Palette secured $5.7 million Series A1 funding to expand its AI-powered platform, designed to help food companies ‘accelerate and de-risk the product innovation process’.

🤍 Swiss startup Cultivated Biosciences raised $5 million seed funding to scale production of its yeast-derived fermented cream, designed to deliver a better flavour and textural experience to alt dairy products, as it works towards a 2025 launch in the US.

⏩ Check out all 17 FoodTech Funds and Funding rounds announced this week including AI-boosted pet food, cost-cutting seaweed bacon and carbon-neutral “green” ammonia.

New in Startups

Credit: Incredo

🍭 Israeli startup Incredo unveiled Incredo Sugar G2, a concentrated version of its sugar-based reduction solution, Incredo Sugar. Crafted from a blend of real sugar (derived from cane or beet) and protein, it preserves the sweetness and sensory characteristics of sugar without any lingering aftertaste, while using up to 50% less sugar content. 

🔬 Abu Dhabi-based sweet protein producer Novel Food Groups announced its plans to build a $500 million biotech production hub in the United Arab Emirates focused on precision fermentation.

🌾 New US startup AgZen’s RealCoverage pesticide technology uses AI to optimise pesticide use, offering real-time adjustments to ensure that plants get sprayed just enough and keep pesticides only where they are needed.

🤖 UK-based crop harvesting robot startup Wootzano is expanding into Malaysia via a £30 million partnership with VCI Global. Its robots use advanced sensors, computer vision and artificial intelligence to delicately handle fruits and vegetables.

🧫 The UK Food Standards Agency is aiming to begin safety testing of cultivated meat by this autumn, and is hoping to win government funding to support the necessary lab facilities.

Plant Based

Credit: Kynda

🍄 German B2B biotech Kynda is partnering with plant-based meat producer The Raging Pig to launch its vegan, zero-waste, mycelium-based food products into the German market, marking a first for Europe.

🌭 Kraft Heinz is launching plant-based Oscar Mayer NotHotDogs and NotSausages, made with ingredients such as bamboo fibre, mushroom, pea protein and acerola cherry, as part of its joint venture with NotCo - Here’s the good, bad and the ugly.

🍗 TiNDLE Foods is set to unveil a plant-based stuffed chicken range and a barista oat milk at Expo West, ahead of an expected launch on retail shelves in the second half of the year.

🍳 LA-based YO Egg launched its plant-based poached and sunny side up eggs, designed to be fried or boiled, into US retail, starting with select stores across the city. Watch how it’s made.

Big Food

🤝 Mars, Inc. is partnering with PIPA to develop an omics analysis platform, designed to accelerate research and operations insights related to potential pathogen risks throughout the food supply chain and proactively address food safety challenges. 

🍔 Burger King Germany has made all of its plant-based products and meals cheaper than meat to help encourage increased consumption, and is developing a new flower-shaped patty with The Vegetarian Butcher to differentiate its plant-based patties from its beef burgers. 3 takeaways on the launch.

🍍 Innocent Drinks is launching a £1 million fund to support regenerative fruit and vegetable farming practices within its supply chain.

👨‍🌾 UK supermarket Morrisons launched a new Sustainable Farm Network to support its farmers in achieving sustainable, net zero farming.

🍷 Aldi UK is launching recyclable paper wine bottles, which it says is a first for UK supermarkets, to help offer “greener choices” and “drive sustainable change”.

HackTrends: Rewilding

Rewilding is essentially allowing nature to reclaim its space, restore ecological balance, and mitigate the impacts of human activities — like climate change.

🔎 Discover in the full HackTrends Report:
- 2x case studies (Funga, Cultivo)
- The why, the challenges and the figures behind the space
- List of 22 companies working on nature’s climate cure

Find out more: While it may not be as exciting or “disruptive” as other carbon capture technologies, a focus on working together with nature rather than outside of it seems well deserved.

From the Community

Recent jobs in FoodTech:

📊 Tracking all the data for a seed raise in one graph.

4️⃣ The top 4 mistakes founders make in managing their investors.

🤝 13 DeepTech communities you need to know, according to VCs.

🎟️ Meet 10 new speakers coming to the HackSummit. P.S. Want a free ticket? Apply to be a volunteer and get first hand experience on running a world-class climate event. Applications are open.

💚 Come and meet your local community at a free FoodHack Meetup next in Tel Aviv, Lausanne, and Milan.

🇧🇬 Join the Food Innovation Acceleration Day with Junior Achievements on 9th March.

🗡️ Just for fun: Gearing up for a fundraise in 2024.

Until next time - Stay Hungry

What did you think of today’s newsletter?

I love it 😁 Meh 😐 I hate it 🙁

Until next time - Stay Hungry