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.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced plans to rapidly expand Amazon Go stores, opening up to 3,000 locations by 2021. The company is experimenting with the convenient store format that aims to meat the demand of the mealtime rush.
Food delivery service Postmates has closed a $300 million round led by Tiger Global to advance its technology and explore robots and automation.
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Jeff Bezos sees eliminating meal-time logjams in busy cities as the best way for Amazon to reinvent the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, where most spending still occurs.
The investment values Postmates at about $1.2b. With the new funding, Postmates plans to advance the technology its restaurant merchants use at point-of-sale. It is also researching ways to use automation and robots to make cheaper and faster deliveries.
Existing investors Baillie Gifford, the Alaska Permanent Fund, the Investment Corporation of Dubai and Flagship Pioneering participated in the round. Using Indigo Marketplace, buyers can purchase grain directly from farmers.
Coca-Cola says it’s monitoring the nascent industry and is interested in drinks infused with CBD. The soft drinks maker is in talks with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Canabis to develop the beverages.
Cornershop is a startup that runs marketplaces, through an app, for on-demand delivery from supermarkets, pharmacies and other food retailers in Mexico and Chile. It recently raised $21m in a Series B funding round in 2017.
Amazon has acquired a stake in food and grocery retail chain More. The deal is estimated at $582m.
Morningside Venture Capital led the funding, which will be used to fund its growth and improve on customer experience.
The Good Food Institute announced a grant program for universities and startups working on plant-based and cultured meat research with the goal of creating new technologies and ingredients used by all.
The round was led by Intrinsic Capital Partners. It will be used to expand its team, explore and invest in beneficial partnerships as well as to bring more creative retail management solutions to the industry.
Aldi is expanding grocery delivery nationwide through a partnership with Instacart. It is also launching a test of curbside pickup.
Just a month after its last funding round, Ola has raised $50m from Sailing Capital and the China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund. The company will now enter its third foreign market—New Zealand.
The round is led by VC firm Octopus Ventures. It will use the investment to develop a broader range of ready-to-eat food, accelerate the growth of its community, further grow its team and expand the capacity of its production kitchen.
The ‘KFC-style’ ground chicken product will be tested at a restaurant outside of the US to test consumer reactions.
The portal celebrates mom-and-pop shops and other smaller merchants that sell through the platform.