11 notable deals and things to know this week (2024 โ€“ week #22)

Startup news and deals

๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎย ๐Ÿ„ Enifer, a Finnish startup, raised โ‚ฌ36M to build a large-scale mycoprotein facility, which will be completed next year. It says it will be the first commercial plant to use byproducts of the food industry as raw materials.

๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ทย ๐Ÿšœ Harvy, a French startup, raised โ‚ฌ810k for its platform that connects farmers to buyers (restaurants and grocery shops). While the amounts raised are small (compared to other ecosystems), we observe a growing number of players who aim to reduce the number of middlemen and digitise the relationships between suppliers and buyers of food produce.

๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐ŸŒฑ Metrovate, a New Zealand startup, raised $1M for its precision biostimulants, which aim to improve plant growth while being biodegradable and safe.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿฅ— Fay, a U.S. dietitian startup, raised 25โ‚ฌM for its platform connecting dietitians, insurance providers, and patients. The startup is benefiting from the wave of new users of GLP-1 drugs, which are required to see a dietitian while taking the medication.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย ๐Ÿฅ” Ohalo, an American startup, emerged from stealth to reveal its ‘boosted breeding’ technology to enhance crop breeding efficiency and outcomes. Using its technology, all the traits of interest are transmitted (instead of half of each parent’s genome) to their offspring. Since 2019, it has already raised over $100M. It could be applied to all major crops, from applications in potatoes, with substantial yield increases.

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช๐ŸดNory, an Irish startup, raised $16M for its restaurant โ€œoperating systemโ€. It leverages AI to help restaurants manage their operations from inventory to workforce.

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐ŸŒฟ AgroUrbana, a Chilean vertical farming startup, raised $6M to increase its production of leafy greens and expand its facility.


๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑย ๐Ÿบย Heineken, the beer giant, invested in STร‹LTZ, a Dutch seltzer (low-alcohol beverage, often seen as a hype alternative to beer for younger generations) startup. Beyond investing, Heineken will help the young brand to develop its presence in retail and hospitality. These kinds of deals between large players and small brands are pretty rare, but if well-executed and with a long-term commitment from the leading company, they can be successful in win-win situations.

Industry news & trends

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย ๐Ÿ’‰ย Nestlรฉ is ready to launch twelve GLP-1 โ€œcompanion productsโ€ under the band Vital Pursuit. These ready-made meals are here to provide users of drugs such as Wegovy with foods that will help them during and after their treatment.

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณย ๐Ÿฅœย Competition from China is not only coming for EVs and solar panels; it can also reach plant-based ingredients. Merit Functional Foods, a Canada-based company operating a state-of-the-art pea and canola protein facility has been placed in receivership. It mentions the competition from cheap and subsidised pea protein in the Canadian market as the main reason for the companyโ€™s failure.

๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผย ๐Ÿ›ตย Uber will buy Delivery Heroโ€™s Taiwan business for $950M. Both were overwhelming leaders in this market. It will leave Uber with an almost monopoly. Concentration in the restaurant delivery industry is still far from being over, with an ever-decreasing number of players. The โ€œnew normalโ€ will be markets dominated by only one or two players and, quite logically, price increases for the consumer.

๐Ÿ’งย ๐Ÿ›ฉ๏ธย Do you want to win a jet? If you are in the US, you only have to buy a can of Liquid Death water to try your luck.

Lessons from failed ecosystems
โš–๏ธ State of alt. proteins regulation

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