12 notable deals and things to know this week (2023 โ€“ week #42)

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย ๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Blackbird Labs, an American startup, raised $24M for its restaurant loyalty platform. It enables restaurateurs to gain insights and better interact with repeat customers.

๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ทย ๐Ÿฅ› Bon Vivant, a French startup using precision fermentation to recreate dairy proteins, raised โ‚ฌ15M to scale its production capacity and move toward regulatory approval.

Two deals in alternative seafood (in both cases for bluefin tuna, an endangered species) produced through cellular agriculture:

๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ทย ๐Ÿฝ๏ธ Yooga, a Brazilian startup, raised $2.3M for its restaurant operation management system. We observe an interesting trend of startups working on digitising restaurants (and other retail operations) in South America, especially Brazil. I think that it is a space to keep an eye on. I often wonder if and when such services will try to go international. They are developing nationally or regionally (with giants such as Toast).

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ชย ๐Ÿง ย  Orbem, a German startup, raised โ‚ฌ30M for its AI-powered MRI technology. By lowering drastically the cost of an MRI. For example, it can scan food products and help to detect more efficient and climate-resilient crops.

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡นย ๐ŸŸ The Circle, an Italian startup, raised โ‚ฌ2.1M for its aquaponic farming technology.

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ• Lanch, a German startup, raised โ‚ฌ6.5M to launch brands co-created with influencers and content creators. This is a space that we look at with a look of interest. For now, many startups have tried to capitalise on the capacity of influencers to generate traffic, but we have not yet seen an ability to generate repeated success.

๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐ŸŒฑ Paul-Tech, an Estonian startup, raised โ‚ฌ1.4M to provide farmers with real-time insights on their soil.

๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐ŸŒพ Hectarea, a French startup, raised โ‚ฌ0.5M for its platform facilitating investment in agricultural land. In France, as in many other developed economies, the median age of farmers is disturbingly high. It remains unclear how the transition to a new generation can happen (while older farmers expect a lot from selling their land to finance their pension). New financing models are needed. After the success of real estate crowdfunding, this could be a new trend for consumers looking to invest their money while having an impact.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย ๐Ÿงฌย DNA testing company 23andMe got hacked, and some users’ data got posted online. Cybersecurity is a significant concern for consumers (and food companies) looking into testing kits and personalisation. If we want more consumers to perform these tests and then share them with food companies to get personalised nutrition recommendations, we need to find ways to ensure greater security of such sensitive data.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐ŸŒพย We often hear that it is the end for startups operating indoor farms. Thatโ€™s not far from true, but there are exceptions, and Gotham Greens is a large one. It has just inaugurated its 12th large hydroponic farm.

๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿ“ˆ Three proofs that the food revolution is near
๐Ÿ’Š ๐Ÿ Food as medicine

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