🦣 Mammoth Meatballs

PLUS: 10KG cultivated meat prototype, waste-fighting flour, arrivederci Domino's Pizza

The FoodTech sector had more than its fair share of highs and lows this Q1.

👍 more partnerships and alliances, another green light, new products revealed
👎 more startups closing, selling off, supply chain challenges, bank collapses

More bumps along the way are inevitable if we are to succeed at transforming our food system and scaling impactful technologies.

Don’t be afraid to fail. And strap in for Q2 🎢

This week in FoodTech

  • 7 trending news for cultivated meat

  • 9 alternatives to VC investment

  • $20M fund for agrifood startups

The Digest

📈 What’s up? 2022 foodtech funding may have been down on 2021, but it was still almost twice as much as in 2019 and 2020, according to data from DigitalFoodLab.

📉 What’s down? Californian cultivated pork startup New Age Meats has shut down operations after five years in business. 👉 Here CEO and Founder Brian Spears shares why and what’s next.

💸 Founders Factory shows 9 alternative funding options for startups.

🧂 The FDA has proposed a rule for labelling of salt substitutes which would permit their use and give industry more flexibility in reducing sodium levels in food and beverages.

😇 One of FoodTech’s most sought-after angels, Beatriz Franco tells us her journey so far, her top advice for Founders and where she’s investing next.

New Funding and Funds

🇳🇿 New Zealand-based agtech Halter raised NZ$85 million Series C funding for its GPS-enabled solar collar that “guides” cows around pastures using sound and vibrations, reducing the need for fencing.

🌾 Agreena, based in Denmark, secured €46 million Series B funding for its soil carbon platform that financially incentivises farmers to shift to regenerative agriculture practices.

💰 Dutch impact investor Future Food Fund announced the first closing of its second fund at €20 million, which it will invest in agrifood tech startups working in smart farming, regenerative agriculture, bio-based ingredients and alternative proteins.

🇦🇺 Australian female-founded startup Cauldron raised $10.5 million seed funding in a round led by Main Sequence and Horizon Ventures. It will use the funds to expand its existing precision fermentation pilot plant, and eventually wants to build Asia-Pacific’s largest network of precision fermentation facilities.

🍿 Rob’s Backstage Popcorn, launched by The Jonas Brothers and The Naked Market, secured $7 million in a Series A funding round that featured celebrities including Mindy Kaling and Ryan Tedder. It will use the funds to support national growth at Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, Sam’s Club and other retailers.

💸 Read all 12 funds and funding rounds from the week including AI-powered supermarket solutions for fresh food and a newly formed VC’s first $25M fund.

Upcycled wheat stalks

🌾 The Supplant Company, based in the US, has developed a flour from upcycled wheat stalks. The waste-fighting flour has fewer calories, up to six times the fibre, and fewer net carbohydrates than traditional wheat flour.

🥬 Canadian startup Up Vertical Farms opened the country’s first hands-free vertical farm, and expects its salad greens to be available in retailers in the region shortly.

Cultivated Meat

🦣 Sydney-based cultivated meat startup Vow Foods debuted its cultivated woolly mammoth meat this week, developed from the extinct animal’s DNA. 👉 Watch Stephen Colbert‘s take on it.

🐈 Canadian cultivated meat innovation company CULT Food Science says it has acquired consumer brand assets and “discontinued” product formulations from cell-based pet food startup Because Animals, to focus on cultivated pet food development.

🇮🇹 The Italian government introduced a draft law that, if approved, will ban the production and sale of cultivated meat, in order to “protect the country’s heritage”. 👉 Here’s why it’s a lost opportunity.

🇯🇵 A group of Japanese academic and corporate partners announced the Consortium for Future Innovation by Cultured Meat, to promote “concrete efforts for social implementation of edible cultured meat manufacturing technology using 3D bioprinting”.

🥩 TissenBioFarm, based in South Korea, unveiled a 10kg cultivated meat prototype at the country’s first cellular agriculture hub, the North Gyeongsang Cellular Agriculture Industry Support Center.

🐷 Australia’s Magic Valley debuted cultivated pork, grown with FBS-free media, its latest achievement after launching cultivated lamb meat last year.

Plant Based

🇹🇼 Taiwanese-U.S. food tech Lypid unveiled vegan pork belly made with its patented plant-based PhytoFat at Future Food-Tech earlier this month.

🍳 Swiss startup Revye has created a plant-based egg white alternative made from upcycled spent brewer’s yeast, which it processes into proteins and fibres.

🍤 The Plant Based Seafood Co. launched “first-of-their-kind” Mind Blown™ Shelf-Stable Sea Scallops, its first shelf-stable plant-based seafood product.

Big Food

💨 Nestlé is moving closer to its GHG emission reduction goals, seeing a decline in emissions to 112.9 million tonnes in 2022, marking a 6.4% change year-on-year. And it’s working with Cargill and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to support regenerative agriculture practices in the US.

🍕 Domino’s Pizza Italy has entered into liquidation after failing to “win over customers in the birthplace of pizza”.

Trends: Cell-free biomanufacturing

Cell-free bio is uniquely situated to provide next-generation proteins and enzyme products that are fundamental to biomanufacturing and beyond. The technology enables the production of the products that modern society relies on in a more cost-efficient and sustainable way.

🔎 Discover in the full FoodHack+ Report:
- 2x case studies (Caravel Bio, Allozymes)
- The why, the challenges and the figures behind the space
- List of 16 companies trying to create a greener chemicals industry

Find out more about how cell-free biotech could rid the world of industrial chemicals as we know them.

From the Community

Find your dream job:
- Re:Meat (Sweden) are recruiting an R&D Director
- De Novo Food Labs (South Africa) are hiring a Senior Strain Engineer
- Esencia Foods (Spain) are looking for a Lead Mycologist

👋 Always free: The next FoodHack Meetups take place in Wageningen (4th April), Istanbul (11th April) and Stockholm (19th April).

🔦 Apply here for the Lidl NL biodiversity startup challenge

🔝 These 30 leading voices joined the speaker lineup for the HackSummit.

👀 Check out the side events taking place in Lausanne for the HackSummit, plus get in touch if you’d like to host one too!

🚀 biotope by VIB is inviting early biotech agrifood startups to apply for a 3-week basecamp program towards pre-seed stage readiness. Apply here 

⚡️Just for fun:

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Curated by Nicola and Laura 

Until next time - Stay Hungry