14 notable deals and things to know this week (2024 โ€“ week #15)

Startup news and deals

๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿฅš Onego Bio, a Finnish startup, raised $40M for its egg proteins made through precision fermentation.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย ๐Ÿšœ Seso, an American startup, raised $26M for its software that aims to solve US farmerโ€™s HR issues. The platform notably automates visa processes.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸทFull Glass Wine, an American startup, raised $14M to continue acquiring direct-to-consumer wine marketplaces and subscription platforms. It creates a one-stop-shop experience for everything related to wine and strengthens the multiple platformsโ€™ profitability by unifying their logistics. Beyond this example, we observe a growing number of mergers between small or medium-sized DTC startups (too small to be acquired but too large to be declared a โ€œfailureโ€) with a similar idea to share fixed costs, increase their attractiveness for retailers, and improve their logistics.

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿฒ Reduced, a Danish startup, raised โ‚ฌ6M for its fermentation technology that upcycles food industry side streams into umami flavours.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒพ Pollen Systems, an American startup, raised $2.4M for its crop analysis platform, which uses drones to provide data at the level of the individual tree.

๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช๐ŸŒฟ Ironic Biotech, a Swedish startup, raised โ‚ฌ1M for its proteins, which enable iron to be easily absorbed into the blood.

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿฒ Shicken, a UK startup, raised ยฃ4M for its plant-based and Asian-inspired ready-made meals. Beyond providing โ€œsubstitutionโ€ for meat and dairy products, we are convinced that ready-made meals are one of the keys to โ€œunblockingโ€ consumersโ€™ willingness to adopt a more plant-based diet. Indeed, many consumers donโ€™t really know how to cook plant-based foods and can be reassured by such meals.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐ŸŒฑ BioConsortia, a US-based startup, raised $15M for its bioinputs, enhancing crop yields and agricultural sustainability using microbial solutions.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย ๐Ÿฅ Nourish, a U.S.-based startup raised $35M for its telenutrition platform that connects people with dietitians.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย ๐Ÿ Orchard Robotics, a U.S. startup, raised $3.2M for its AI-powered camera system that turns existing farm equipment into apple-growing data collectors.

Regulation & public support

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บย โš–๏ธย Vow, an Australian cellular agriculture startup, received regulatory approval from Singapore for its cultivated quail. It becomes the third startup to become approved in Singapore, the fourth startup to be approved globally for cellular agriculture, and the first for quail. Unlike other cultivated meat startups, Vow ultimately seeks to create new types of meat.

Industry news & trends

๐ŸŒŽย ๐Ÿššย Good video on why it is useless to talk about food miles (the distance travelled by food before reaching the consumer) when considering the climate impact of food. And transport is only 5% of the impact of food. So, eating locally grown meat may not be a very efficient way to reduce your climate impact.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย ๐Ÿชย Do you remember all the hype about Amazon Go stores and their โ€œjust walk outโ€ technology, which scans all the items you took alongside your journey into the store to charge you when you leave the store then automatically? It was maybe only hype.
First, Amazon is switching to smart shopping carts and removing this technology. Second, it appears that the tech had a little help: a thousand workers in India reviewed the themes consumers picked up. In 2022, this team had to review about 70% of the sales. Thatโ€™s another blow to the autonomous store.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธย ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธย Whirlpool is laying off Yummlyโ€™s team. It acquired the once-successful recipe app in 2017. Yummly was known for its technology parsing other recipe websites and transforming them into actionable shopping lists with insights on taste, enabling the users to make smart searches. This is also the end of a trend where major appliance makers looked to connect their hardware to consumer-facing content apps (something that never took off).

โ˜๏ธ ๐ŸŒ ๐Ÿฅ— Food+Climate Tech
[New report] ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ’ฐย State of FoodTech in Europe in 2024

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