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.
AgFunder has released its 2021 investment report, which has found that startups raised a whopping $26.1 billion in 2020, a 34.5% growth over 2019. Oatly has quietly filed for its IPO, which may value it over $10 billion. Costco has raised its hourly wage to $16 an hour.
Alicia Kennedy makes a strong case for why food tech innovation is useless without justice. The planet needs a radical restructuring of land use, not steaks made in a lab.
Last but not least, USDA data has found that nearly all pandemic bailout funds went to white farmers.
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Check out our weekly round-up of last week’s top food startup, tech and innovation news below or peruse the full newsletter here.
Alicia Kennedy makes a strong case for why food tech innovation is useless without justice. “We know what the planet needs, and it’s the radical restructuring of land use. We know what the people need, which is self-determination around farming for the Global South, as well as for the Black, brown, and Indigenous people upon whose land the United States and other nations settled. Instead, we’re getting steaks made in a lab. Who asked for this?”
Startups raised $26.1b in 2020, a 15.5% year-over-year increase, which we expect to increase to more than $30b as new 2020 deals come to light. This would represent 34.5% growth over 2019.
The company is considering seeking a valuation of around $10b.
Costco will raise its starting rate for hourly store workers in the United States to $16 an hour. It currently has around 180k US employees, and 90% of them work hourly.
White farmers received nearly 97% of the $9.2b provided by October 2020 through CFAP, four times more than the average Black farmer.
According to data from PitchBook, cell-based agriculture startups raised a record total of $1.6b, $383.2m of which were bagged by cultivated meat firms, marking a 3-fold increase compared to deal values in 2019.
The financing will be completed later this year and is expected to crystallize unicorn status for Infarm.
TPG ART and Pontifax AgTech led the round. The new funding will go towards increasing its production capacity.
The software company posted a 94% increase in revenue during 2020 as customers shifted toward digital ordering channels during the pandemic.
Foxtrot has announced a Series B funding round to expand its chain of upscale convenience stores. Almanac Insights is leading the round.
Sequoia Capital China led the round. The three-year-old company delivers online bulk orders to offline grocery stores located inside or near residential communities.
Toast tapped Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan to underwrite a possible listing later this year. It could also consider other options including a sale or combination with a blank-check company.
Arthur Chow, VP at S2G Venture’s, explains why Amazon’s early foundation may provide a clue as to why brick-and-mortar will still be needed to build a resilient grocery supply chain.
We have a responsibility to all stakeholders in our supply chains to pursue deep and substantive change, starting with the social and economic issues that underlie how we grow, make, distribute and sell food. Errol Schweizer, host of The Checkout Radio and former VP of grocery for Whole Foods Market, shares 5 actions food retailers, brands and supply chain stakeholders must take to create a more fair, just and sane food system.
The unprecedented events of the last year forced food brands to quickly adapt to their customer’s needs and shopping behaviors, while also navigating a rapidly changing grocery retail landscape. Founders share how they grew their businesses through new approaches to customer discovery, acquisition and loyalty.
Check out our list of resources to learn about systemic racism in the food and agriculture industries. We also highlight Black food and farm businesses and organizations to support.