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According to a report by European VC Atomico - funding in Europe has grown 3x what it was last year (from $41B in 2020 to a projected $120B in 2021).
One thing that particularly stood out was that "planet-positive" venture investments climbed at twice the rate of overall investments into tech.
A clear sign that the tide is changing and it's a good time to be building or investing into the planet positive sector. (And be in Europe).
This week in FoodTech:
- Unveiling the world's biggest cell-based steak.
- New funding into zero waste e-grocers and alt-eggs.
- A robot discovers its passion for decorating cookies.
- DoorDash moves away from the gig economy?
📈 What’s Up: New data from Emerging Tech Research shows that venture funding for agtech startups hit a quarterly record of $3.2 billion in Q3 2021. The annual deal total is already more than 20% up on last year at $7.8 billion.
📉 What’s Down: Bagel shop owners in the US are struggling with cream cheese shortages after Kraft Heinz and other suppliers have experienced a spike in demand and supply chain issues. Maybe time to try an alternative?
⏰ Closing Soon! Applications to Big Idea Ventures are closing in 3 days. Apply here for a $200K investment and tailored start-up/scale-up support.
🥔 An interesting read on “the ancient potato of the future” which has sustained Indigenous people for 11,000 years, and which USDA is now studying for its 8-year shelf life and its resistance to drought, heat and disease.
🇮🇱 We're working on a list of Israeli FoodTech 'Soonicorns' - know of a startup we should add? Tell us here.
🛒 Texas-based Pod Foods raised $13M combined seed and Series A funding to overhaul the grocery supply chain with its digital wholesale B2B marketplace which focuses on emerging brands.
🛍 Dutch zero waste e-grocer Pieter Pot raised €9M to further expand its next-day grocery delivery service, where products arrive in fully reusable jars, significantly lowering consumer packaging consumption.
🇨🇭 Switzerland’s Embion Technologies (FH'21 alumni) raised 4.5M CHF for its biomass processing technology platform which upcycles food and agricultural industry by-products into functional ingredients.
🗑 US waste-fighting startup Dispatch Goods raised $3.7M seed funding for its restaurant and food delivery packaging reuse service, designed to cut down on single-use packaging.
🐜 Sweden’s Tebrito (FH'21 alumni) secured €3M to further development of its insect-based sustainable nutrition products, grown on residual streams from the forest industry.
💸 Find all 20 funding rounds of the week including who's behind Flink's $750M Series B and the Canadian startup that raised $6.5M CAD to help scale small craft food and drink makers.
Robots and Farms
👛 ChowNow launched a first-of-its-kind Diner Impact Score on its marketplace, which shows consumers how much money they’re saving restaurants by ordering through the platform, and a Diner Savings feature which shows consumers they’re saving themselves.
🍴 Ghost kitchen operator Reef Technology is buying 2ndKitchen, a startup that helps connect local restaurants with other businesses that want to offer food, marking its second acquisition in as many months.
🛵 DoorDash is moving away from gig workers and testing a full-time employment model as it launches an “ultra-fast” (10-15 minutes) delivery service in New York City, centred around its DashMart location.
💻 Italian digital ag platforms xFarm and FarmTechnologies have teamed up to become xFarmTechnologies, offering a “full digital farm management platform” with a goal to become the “Spotify of agtech”.
👩🍳 SJW Robotics demoed its robotic kitchen prototype for the first time: a fully robotic wok restaurant kiosk which prepares and cooks meals in 80-90 seconds and holds enough ingredients for 320 meals.
🚜 Gotham Greens has opened a 10-acre farm in California, designed to drastically reduce the resources needed to grow produce. A pioneer of locally-grown agriculture, it doesn’t transport its produce, instead serving local communities.
🥩 Israeli food tech MeaTech 3D Ltd. has successfully bioprinted what it claims is the biggest cell-based steak so far: 104g of cultivated fat and muscle cells.
🥛 Swedish oat milk giant Oatly announced its plans to open three new production facilities by 2023 in order to address supply shortages and meet growing consumer demand for plant-based milk.
🕴 Two executives who have served 30 years at meat giant Tyson Foods have jumped ship and joined Beyond Meat as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Supply Chain Officer. The plant-based shift is real.
🧪 Boston-based Motif FoodWorks introduced Hemami, an animal-free, yeast-derived heme proteinthat provides plant-based meats with umami flavour and a meaty aroma.
🌭 Upside Foods has developed an animal-free growth medium for cultivated meat, a goal it has been working towards for years, which contains the same components as animal growth feed but is cruelty-free.
🩸 Israeli startup Yemoja is developing Ounje, a nutrient-dense red microalgae which will allow plant-based meat alternatives to “bleed” realistically without artificial colour additives.
🌊 The Plant-Based Seafood Co announced it will unveil the world’s first plant-based Oyster Po’boy, featuring oysters made from pea protein, at a popup event in New Orleans today.
🥣 US brand Wonderlab’s Doozy Pots launched four flavours of vegan gelato made from oats and hemp hearts, which are lower in saturated fat than most gelato options and come in sustainable packaging.
🦃 Check out this unbelievable plant-based Wicked No Turkey Crown Roast, made from seitan, available in Tesco UK. It. Looks. Insane.
Big Food & Acquisitions
🍬 Sustainable FMCG group Humble Group has acquired plastic-free gum maker True Gum and will grow its ambitions and operations for a plastic-free future.
🌶 Germany's Just Spices has been acquired by US-based Kraft Heinz.
🏴 Scottish beverage giant AG Barr, the company behind Irn Bru, has taken a 60% stake in British plant-based brand MOMA Foods with full acquisition expected in three years.
👣 McCain Foods has taken a minority stake in Irish plant-based frozen foods brand Strong Roots in a deal worth $55M, allowing the latter to expand its footprint in new and existing markets.
🍽 Jack in the Box Inc. is acquiring Del Taco Restaurants for approximately $575M in a move that unites two complementary brands, both with loyal guest bases.
🧂 Symrise AG is acquiring Giraffe Foods, Inc., a sauces, dips and dressings maker, for an undisclosed amount in order to expand into the market for customised flavour and taste enhancement solutions.
Trends: FemTech x FoodTech
🔎 Discover in the full FoodHack+ Report:
- 2x case studies (Food Period, &Me)
- Trend drivers, and hurdles for FemTech x FoodTech
- List of 30+ startups supporting feminine wellness with food
- Interview with Jessica Karr of Coyote Ventures
👋 From The Community
👀Jobs: Find 90 FoodTech Jobs including Trophic (plant-based bacon, USA) hiring a Head of Protein Science, Willicroft (plant-based cheese, NL) hiring for Head of Sales, Fermify (milk protein production, AT) recruiting a Bioprocess Engineer, Saturo (ready-to-drink meals, DE) hiring for Marketing & Comms.
🙋♀️ Apply: Are you a woman founder or CEO in the future of food, fashion, beauty, or biotech? Then complete the Women Founder Survey by our friends at The Vegan Women Summit!
🇿🇦 FoodHack Cape Town hosted their first in-person meetup with attendance from BioCiTi, De Novo Dairy, Mzansi Meat Co., The Kind Kitchen, Frys Family and more.
😅 Bit of fun: Twelve kinds of foam, a teaspoon of ice cream, a cast of the chef’s mouth - an honest review of eating at the worst Michelin starred restaurant.
🦠 Watch: 2-minute video of a single cell organism dying. Interesting, but sad.