Every week we track the business, tech and investment trends in CPG, retail, restaurants, agriculture, cooking and health, so you don’t have to. Here are some of this week’s top headlines.
This week was full of investments in every sector — a true reflection of a recent report that found food startups gobbled up more than $3 billion globally in VC investment over the past year. Some major funding rounds include: Swiggy’s $210 million round, ezCater’s $100 million investment, Gotham Greens’ $29 million raise and Bossa Nova’s $29 million.
In other news, the FDA plans to hold a meeting about cultured food products, and the GOP is likely to sneak cuts to food stamps through the house farm bill this week.
Check out our weekly round-up of last week’s top food startup, tech and innovation news below or peruse the full newsletter here.
Food startups gobbled up more than $3b globally in disclosed investment over the past 12 months. Some of the trends included plant-based and alternative proteins, robot chefs and sugar substitutes.
The meeting will discuss manufacturing, food safety, unique hazards that may exist with cultured food products, new control measures, evaluating substances used in product creation and labeling.
Plant-based food options accounted for nearly 20% of food and beverage dollars spent last year. More than one-third of Americans say they are following a specific diet in 2018.
The investment was led by Naspers and DST Global. Others taking part in the round included Meituan Dianping and Coatue Management. The plan is to invest in extending its reach to new locations in India and build out its logistics network.
Creadev contributed to the round alongside existing investors, including Silverman Group. The company will use the funds to build out new greenhouse facilities, invest in R&D and expand distribution and its team.
Funding was led by Cota Capital, China Walden Ventures and LG Electronics. Bossa Nova will use the capital for software research and development, hiring and international expansion.
Funding was led by Wellington Management Company and included previous investors Iconiq Capital and Insight Venture Partners.
The round is being led by Alven and Otium Brands. New funding will allow the company to launch its product in new countries and sign new partnerships with supermarkets across Europe.
Funding was led by 301 Inc, the venture arm of General Mills, with participation from Emil Capital Partners. The investment will go towards entering new retail channels and product innovation.
Leading the round is FII Tech Growth, with participation from new investor Endeavor Catalyst, and current investors 360 Capital Partners and Innogest. New funding will be used to improve operations and product as well as to expand the service to new markets.
The company has acquired EdgiLife, a consumer insights and data analytics company, and its Love With Food healthy snack box subscription service. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Apeel Sciences has developed technology that it claims could more than double the shelf life of the fruit. The company will apply its edible coating on avocados sold at Costco outlets nationwide, with plans on expansion to other retailers and regions soon.
A legal battle between Deere & Co and AGCO Corp over gadgets related to precision agriculture is highlighting a race to automate farm work.
There are still ongoing fights over SNAP work requirements and farm subsidy limits, but one obstacle to the farm bill has fallen.
Funding was led by the Foundry Group and Techstars. The new capital will be used to extend the company’s selection of foodstuffs beyond leafy greens and into grain bowls, breakfast bowls, poke bowls, açai bowls and yogurt bowls.
New investors include LGT Impact Ventures and Belltown Ventures. Previous backer Atomico also followed on. The farmer-friendly online grocery platform will use funding to further its UK expansion.
Funding was led by Pontifax AgTech and Five Seasons Ventures, with participation from Tekfen Ventures, Emerald Technology Ventures and Bits x Bites. The startup is working on gene-editing technology to optimize coffee and banana crops.
The round was led by Draper Associates, with participation from Softmatter VC, Starlight, The U-Start Club, Blue Horizon, Hemisphere Ventures, Babel Ventures, Yakumi Investment, Olive Tree Capital and Harrison Blue Ventures. It will allow the company to finish its R&D work and move onto commercial scale.