12 notable deals and things to know this week (2024 โ€“ week #5)

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ชย ๐Ÿ„ Infinite Roots, a German startup, raised $58M for its mycelium fermentation platform. Compared to other players in the space, the startup doesnโ€™t plan to operate its own factories. instead, it works with contract manufacturers.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿฒ Freja, a British startup, raised ยฃ2M for its bone broth brand. The success of this brand, and beyond, of bone broth used for nutrition rather than enhancing recipes, shows the unwavering appetite of consumers for healthy and better-for-you products.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐ŸŒฑ Neatleaf, an American startup, raised $4M for its cultivation solutions for agriculture that combine AI, data, and robotics.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย ๐Ÿชย Walmart closed its internal incubator Store Nยฐ8. Created 7 years ago as a separate business unit, it was intended as a place to experiment with new ideas, not immediately profitable. This type of innovation hub has gone out of fashion in recent years, as it didnโ€™t often deliver tangible value for corporations.

๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ› Protix, a Dutch startup, received a โ‚ฌ37M loan from the European Investment Bank to expand its insect production. With this funding, it will build a new facility in Poland. Protix seems to be the (current) clear leader in the field of insect proteins, with the only operational facility in Europe among the three giants (which all received hundreds of millions), and plans to open facilities in the US and now in Eastern Europe.

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿค– Bluewhite, an Israeli startup, raised โ‚ฌ39M for its robotics technology that enables the retrofit of existing tractors into autonomous robots. Thatโ€™s quite smart, as it reduces the upfront cost for farmers and significantly reduces the risk associated with hardware production (for the startup) while creating a SaaS-like business model for the startup.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย ๐Ÿ” Aniai, an American startup, raised โ‚ฌ12M for its burger-cooking robots.

๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ทย ๐Ÿ“บย Carrefour and Netflix are testing a combined subscription, which will give access to โ€œCarrefour Plusโ€ (granting a 10% discount on the retailerโ€™s private label products) and Netflix.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿˆ Elo Life Systems, an American startup, raised $20.5M to grow the adoption of monk fruit as a natural sweetener.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐ŸŒฑ IGS, a British startup, raised $28.5M for its vertical farm technology. With the funds, it will open a large farm in the United Arab Emirates. The country is becoming a new hub for vertical farming, as many startups are opening or planning to open facilities there.

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐย โ˜• Kaffe Bueno, a Danish startup, raised โ‚ฌ6.2M to scale its production of products based on upcycled coffee grounds. ย into high-value products for global niche markets.

๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช๐ŸŒพ Shamba Pride, a Kenyan startup, raised $3.7M for its agriculture platform, which provides data-driven insights and innovative solutions to farmers.

๐Ÿ›๏ธ๐Ÿฅ— The politics of alternative proteins
๐Ÿฎโ˜๏ธ Decarbonising food: we have a cow problem

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