🍫 Choco-lot of Funding

Exclusive: 38 new FoodHack Ambassadors, 9 Finalists announced for the FoodTech World Cup

This week we welcomed 38 new Ambassadors to the FoodHack family.

Made up of startup Founders, VC Partners, CVC investors and industry insiders, they’re bringing vast expertise and making big plans to nurture their local FoodTech community.

Get to know the Ambassadors behind the smiling faces below and find out which cities they’ll be hosting Meetups in next.

Plus check out the full list of 50+ Chapters to pinpoint your nearest Hack Community.

This week in FoodTech:

🌀 Electric Blue: Pepsi’s new cola colour
🍗 Seaweed Skin On: Vegan chicken thighs
🧫 Cultivated Prototype: Asparagus scaffold

The Digest

📈 What’s up? Californian meat-free brand Tattooed Chef is back on shelves in the US, ten months after filing for bankruptcy.

📉 What’s down? Beyond Meat unveiled its eighth straight quarter of YOY revenue decline, with a net loss of $54.4 million on revenues down 18% to $75.6 million in Q1 2024.

↩️ In a new report, the World Bank has asked countries to redirect their subsidies away from livestock farming and towards low-emission products, including alternative proteins.

🪜 Singapore researchers have developed a promising cultivated meat prototype by co-culturing porcine muscle and fat cells in a decellularised asparagus scaffold.

🌈 British campaign group Bite Back, led by chef Jamie Oliver, reveals that food companies are using bright colours and cartoon characters on their packaging in an ‘unethical’ effort to manipulate children into wanting junk food.

🔬 A new study from Sun Genomics and Arizona State University highlights improvements to the gut microbiome and autism spectrum disorder symptoms with the use of custom probiotics.

🧫 The Singapore Food Agency and the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment have proposed a revision to the novel food approvals process, with a new “Defined Food” category and new requirements for pre-market approval of these foods or ingredients, which include food that “consists of or contains novel or genetically modified ingredients that have not received pre-market approval, as well as any insect-like species that are not catalogued as such”.

⏰ HackSummit ticket prices increase by up to CHF 300 tonight. Get your pass before prices rise.

New in Funding

Credit: Meati

🍄 US-based mycelium meat producer Meati raised $100 million Series C1 funding, the largest investment in an alternative protein company since its own $150 million Series C round in 2022. It also expanded into 2,000 Kroger stores and plans to reach 10,000 stores by the end of the year. Why they were backed.

🍫 Ethical pantry company Voyage Foods, which says it makes the “most sustainable” chocolate on the market, secured $55 million Series A+ funding just two weeks after signing a commercial deal with Cargill. Look out for next week’s Trend Report on cocoa-free chocolate.

⚡️Stockholm-based Volta Greentech bagged 32 million SEK investment to bring cost-efficient and scalable climate solution to agriculture. According to the startup, their groundbreaking 2nd generation Lome™ feed additive, cuts the cost for GHG reductions by 10x.

🇮🇳 Indian agritech Poshn raised $4 million in equity funding to streamline the agricultural supply chain with its full-stack services for the wholesale trading of commodities, with which wholesale buyers can purchase from millers and stockists.

🪼 Israel-based Qortein secured $400,000 to process jellyfish biomass for use in the food, nutraceutical, and nutricosmetic industries, since it claims that jellyfish are an invasive species. Get the backstory.

👉 Head this way for all the latest funding rounds including CO2 lasers for autonomous weeding robots and supplement mixtures to speed up muscle tissue for cultivated meat by 80%.

FoodTech World Cup Finalists

Following 200+ applications, 46 Semi Finalists, 6 hours of regional Demo Days, it’s time to meet the Finalists of the FoodTech World Cup.

Here’s why the 9 startups were selected.

Next up: The Founders will each present live at the HackSummit in Lausanne next month. Show your support by joining in the audience and come and meet them 1-1 over the 2 days.

New in Startups

Credit: TurtleTree

🇸🇬 Singaporean startup TurtleTree joined forces with nutrition brand Cadence Performance Coffee to debut its precision-fermented lactoferrin as part of an espresso shot for endurance athletes, soon to be available online in the US.

💷 British cultivated meat startup Meatly unveiled a first-of-its-kind protein-free culture medium that costs just £1 per litre, significantly reducing production costs for cultivated proteins.

🐶 German pet food producer Dr. Clauder’s has partnered with Calysta to create the world’s first dog treats made with FeedKindPet, an air protein-derived ingredient designed for pet nutrition.

🌽 Ginkgo Bioworks is partnering with biotech company GreenLab to grow brazzein, a sweet-tasting protein that may be up to 2,000 times sweeter than sucrose, in corn kernels at commercial scale. Here’s how.

🇹🇭 Thai on-demand food delivery company Line Man Wongnai is considering an IPO on a Thai exchange or in the US in 2025.

🍄 Berlin-based Nosh.bio opened a new factory in Dresden capable of producing over 1000 tonnes of mycelium protein per year.

🥥 UK-based Cocogreen received a King’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade for its “supersoil”, made from coconut husks and featuring patented Moisture Control Technology, designed to accelerate crop growth in a similar way to compost.

Plant Based

Credit: THIS

🍗 British plant-based meat producer THIS is launching the country’s first nationally distributed vegan chicken thighs, complete with skin, into Tesco stores next week.

🥩 Israel’s Chunk Foods, which makes whole-cut plant-based meats, is set to unveil the “largest plant-based meat slab”, designed primarily for briskets, and a cubed version tailored for fast-casual dining experiences, at the National Restaurant Association Show later this month.

🎬 Impossible Foods debuted its first ad campaign since its rebrand, launching its new flavour- and health-focused marketing campaign at the Met Gala earlier this week. Watch it here.

Big Food

Credit: McDonald’s

🎸 McDonald’s Germany unveiled a “Famous Order” menu, featuring Beyond McPlant menu options curated by rock stars Bill and Tom Kaulitz.

🥛 Mars Inc. launched a sustainable dairy plan, ‘Moo’ving Dairy Forward,’ to be supported by a $47 million investment over three years and focus on areas such as methane reduction, efficient manure management and sustainable feed production.

🔷 Pepsi launched a new, limited-edition blue cola, Electric Blue, designed to “challenge what consumers expect from a cola”.

From the Community

Get a job in FoodTech

📈 Good read: The upside for upstarts even when all the venture capital and M&A dries up.

🌎 Join us at a FoodHack Meetup near you in Lisbon and Mexico City.

🥶 Just for fun: Fundraising founders during the VC funding winter

Until next time - Stay Hungry

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