🌙 Mycelium on the Moon

PLUS: 30 top investors reveal which 50+ technologies they're excited about in Food and Climate

Earth Day is right around the corner, so we asked 30 leading Food and Climate investors which technologies they are most excited by.

They include: personalised nutrition, food waste, all things mycelium, carbon-negative proteins, regenerative ag, fossil-free fertiliser, gut health, traceability

Ready to meet the founders behind these (and many more) solutions and see what’s next in Food and Climate? Then join us in Lausanne at the HackSummit.

P.S. use code EARTHDAY20 for 20% off your pass, hurry it’s valid until Sunday.

This week in FoodTech

  • The end of Incogmeato

  • Appetite for Appetex

  • €160M for insect farming

The Digest

📉 What’s down? Kellogg has discontinued its Incogmeato burger, part of its Morningstar Farms product range, having seen a yearly sales decrease of 15% in 2022 across its plant-based brands.

📉 German vertical farming company Infarm has closed its operations in Copenhagen due to an ongoing “strategy shift”.

🍄 Ecovative’s Eben Bayer reveals how he’s scaling mycelium alternatives in food, fashion, beauty, materials along with his advice to early-stage founders before he joins a fireside chat with Sifted at the HackSummit.

🇮🇱 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced this week that an Israeli food tech startup was about to receive the green light to produce animal-free milk proteins. He did not name the company, but speculators are saying it’s Remilk

🍌 The Economist uses a banana index to make the relative carbon impact easier to digest.

New in Funding X Funds

🦗 French insect farming startup Ÿnsect raised €160 million and plans to devote more of its resources to the higher-value pet food ingredients category. It is also planning to reduce its workforce by roughly 20%, as part of a wider strategy shift.

🧈 German “better-for-you” food startup KoRo, which makes nut butters, snacks, and superfoods, raised €20 million in a Series B extension to fuel growth in both offline and online media.

💸 The UK government has invested £12 million into a new Cellular Agriculture Manufacturing Hub, led by the University of Bath, aimed at helping British scientists and companies scale up cultivated meat technology.

🇫🇮 Finland-based EniferBio secured €11 million Series A funding, in a round led by AquaSpark, for its fungal mycoprotein made from the by-products of food and agricultural processes.

🇩🇪 Germany-based Nosh raised €3.2 million in seed funding led by Earlybird VC. The startup is using fungi to replace meat and will use the capital for R&D, mass prodcution and commercialiation.

💰 Check out all 9 funding rounds from this week including functional hydration, vegan fried chicken and better-for-you nut butters and superfoods.

NextGen Seed Tech

🤝 Synbio startup Ginkgo Bioworks announced a research partnership with leading agritech company Syngenta Seeds. The partnership will focus on screening a targeted genetic library for novel trait discovery, in order to inform future seed trait development so that farmers can grow healthier and more resilient crops.

🌙 US-based startup Garden City Fungi is working on growing mycelium on the moon. Its Exhale bags are designed as a CO2 source (something severely lacking in space) to help grow mycelium in extreme conditions, and have already seen success in testing.

💨 Pivot Bio’s pilot program, which saw growers replacing synthetic nitrogen with its microbe-based nitrogen-fixing product on nearly one million acres of farmland, resulted in a reduction of more than 80,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

🍋 Ayana Bio, a spinoff from Ginkgo Bioworks, launched its first ingredients (lemon balm and echinacea) made via plant cell culture. Rather than using photosynthesis, it feeds plant cells with sugars, plant hormones and other nutrients.

🍔 Israeli FoodTech Meat.The End unveiled what it claims is the “world’s first” texturised chickpea protein burger.

Alt Protein

🥩 Israel’s Aleph Farms launched its first product brand, Aleph Cuts, and is preparing for the commercial launch of its first product, a premium Angus-style thin steak due to be marketed as the Petit Steak.

🇮🇸 Portfolio Co: Iceland’s Loki Foods has opened its first scale facility for its plant-based meat and seafood ahead of schedule, and also received a Eurostars grant from the Icelandic Centre for Research.

🇰🇷 South Korean vegan cheese startup Armored Fresh launched its Almond Milk American Slices into popular US plant-based fast food chain Slutty Vegan.

💡 Beyond Meat’s first R&D engineer, Saba Fazeli, has launched Momentum Foods, and created hybrid meat brand Paul’s Table, stating that “while meat alternatives exist, they fail to deliver on the cost and quality they’ve promised.”

🧫 Upside Foods announced a new range of cultivated ground meat products and a breakthrough in cultivated chicken cell lines as it works towards regulatory approval and commercialisation.

🍔 Motif FoodWorks debuted its first D2C product, the Motif BeefWorks plant-based burger patty, made with its proprietary novel ingredients, Hemami and Appetex.

Big Food

🌱 Sodexo has pledged to make 50% of its college campus menus plant-based by 2025.

🚚 Asda is partnering with autonomous vehicle startup Wayve to trial self-driving grocery delivery from its Park Royal store in West London, serving an area of 72,000 households.

Trends: Hybrid Alt Meats

Startups in the field think hybrid meat could be the solution to increase consumer acceptance of meat alternatives, reduce prices and help to tackle rising demand for meat…

🔎 Discover in the full FoodHack+ Report:
- 2x case studies (SciFi Foods, Mycorena)
- The why, the challenges and the figures behind the space
- List of 15 companies blending ingredients to make hybrid alt meats

From the Community

Find your next job:
- High Time Foods (USA) are offering a Leadership Role in Boston
- Proveg International (Germany) are hiring an Impact Research and Program Manager

🔦 Check out who you’ll meet at the Startup Fair and HackVillage at this year’s HackSummit.

⭐️ And meet the 7 keynote speakers who’ll take to the stage on May 11-12th.

👋 Join one of 9 FoodHack Meetups taking place in Amsterdam (April 24th), San Francisco (April 27th), Berlin (27th May), Thessaloniki (3rd May), Toronto (4th May), Basel (4th May), Paris (May 4th), Reykjavik (May 25th), Mexico City (21st June).

🏀 Just for fun: Product first. Problem second.

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Curated by Nicola and Laura 

Until next time - Stay Hungry